Traditional Community Associations (she 社) and Buddhism in Medieval China
Hao Chunwen - Senior Professor, Capital Normal University
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.
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.