Traditional Community Associations (she 社) and Buddhism in Medieval China

Traditional Community Associations (she 社) and Buddhism in Medieval China

Hao Chunwen - Senior Professor, Capital Normal University

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Room 102, Rosenkranz Hall See map
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511

This lecture will be in Chinese

This paper is a preliminary study of the relationship between traditional community associations in villages, towns, and cities that originally involved semi-annual sacrifices and the Buddhist religion during the Wei, Jin, Northern-Southern, Sui and Tang dynasties (fourth-tenth centuries). It reveals that during Jin, Southern-North-ern and Sui, the main conflict between the early associations and Buddhist monks concerned the killing of ani-mals. It further shows that later, in the seventh-tenth centuries, the two traditions came to a less confrontational arrangement, involving mutual understanding and assimilation. In the earlier stage, Buddhist monks fought against Chinese traditional culture, trying to persuade village associations to accept foreign ideas and give up traditional practices. This changed during the second stage, when monasteries and monks adopted a more co-operative attitude. The lecture addresses the problem of taking life in Buddhism and Chinese culture, Confucian values, debates over the making of statues, mortuary practice, monasticism, and the conflict of cultures. Evidence is drawn from stone stelae inscriptions, biographies and histories, as well as manuscripts.


從衝突到融合——中古時期傳統社邑與佛教的關係

郝春文(首都師範大學資深教授、耶魯大學客座教授)

提要:本文對兩晉南北朝隋唐五代間傳統私社與佛教的關係進行了初步考察,揭示出在兩晉南北朝隋代二者關係的主線是殺生和禁止殺生,即佛教文化與傳統文化在觀念和行為方式上的對立與衝突;唐五代時期二者關係的主線是兩種文化的相互寬容和融合。在這一演變過程中,寺院與僧人在態度和策略方面的改變也是很明顯的。前一階段寺院和僧人對中國的傳統文化採取的對立的態度,使用各種手段要求或者迫使社邑放棄傳統的觀念和行為方式,接受外來的觀念和行為方式。後一階段寺院和僧人轉而對傳統文化採取寬容、支持和參與的態度,所考慮的是能參與些什麼傳統活動或能幫助傳統私社做些什麼,即以接受部分中國傳統觀念和行為方式為媒介,將外來的觀念和行為方式與傳統的觀念和行為方式最大限度地糅合在一起。這種平等相待的態度和求同存異的策略所取得的效果是顯著的。佛教文化與中國傳統在私社思想與活動中的融合,原因是多方面的,但寺院與僧人之態度和策略的轉變,應是其中的重要因素之一。


Chunwen Hao is the Dean of the School of History and the Director of the History Institute at Capital Normal University. He is also the Chief Editor of Dunhuangxue guoji liangluo weiyuanhui tongxun 敦煌學國際聯絡委員會通訊 (Newsletter of International Liaison Committee for Dunhuang Studies) and Dunhuang Tulufan yanjiu 敦煌吐鲁番研究 (Studies on Dunhuang and Turfan). Dr. Hao’s work focuses on the Dunhuang Manuscripts, Dunhuang Buddhism, and Chinese medieval history (3rd Century BC to 13th Century; Han to Song Dynasty). He is the Principal Investigator of a Chinese government-sponsored key project (国家社科基金重大项目). Vol 1-12 of Yingcang Dunhuang shehuilishi wenxianshilu 英藏敦煌社会历史文献释录 (The Collections of The Social and Historic Documents from Dunhuang Manuscripts in British Library) have been published in 2015 as part of the project, and the rest of the collection (30 volumes in total) will be published in different stages.

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