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Thursday, February 16, 2017

[Dissertation] Buddhism and the State in Medieval China: Case Studies of Three Persecutions of Buddhism, 444-846

Author:
Longdu Shi

Publication Year:
2016

School:
University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies

Abstract:

In the history of Buddhism in China, three major persecutions took place between the fifth and the ninth centuries. In the present research, I propose to study them together and in their broader context as a means of understanding the relationship between Buddhism and the state in medieval China. Although a further episode of repression of the Buddhist community occurred in southern China in the tenth century, I will argue that the first three great persecutions marked a fundamental transition in the interaction between Buddhism and Chinese society. As an attempt to study the social and political history of Buddhism in medieval China, this thesis shall accord some space to the development of the monastic community and economy during the time under examination. It will furthermore lay emphasis on the long-term factors of Buddhist development, thus hoping to shed new light on the cultural, economic, social and political reasons for the religious persecutions. As these persecutions were carried out under the orders of the ruling secular authorities, and most of the assumed reasons are related to the imperial policies, the present research is a case study through which the interaction between Buddhism and the state in medieval China will be investigated.

Table of Contents:

Introduction
Chapter 1 The Persecutions of Buddhism in Medieval China

Part 1
The Northern Wei 北魏 (386-534) Persecution (440-446)
Chapter 2 The Background of the Persecution
Chapter 3 The Persecution of Buddhism under the Tuoba/Northern Wei

Part 2
The Northern Zhou 北周 (557-581) Persecution (574-577)
Chapter 4 Primary Notes and a Brief History of the Time
Chapter 5 The Persecution of Buddhism under the Northern Zhou

Part 3
Buddhism and Its Persecution under the Tang 唐 (618-907)
Chapter 6 The Sui Dynasty 隋 (581-618) and Buddhism
Chapter 7 The Tang Dynasty: Historical and Social Contexts
Chapter 8 Religious Persecution during Huichang Era 會昌 (840-846)

Conclusions
Chapter 9 Buddhism and the State in Medieval China

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