Buddhism in Contemporary China

Buddhism in Contemporary China

Event Details

A talk and conversation with Ester Bianchi, PhD Department of Philosophy, Perugia University

About this Event

A talk and conversation with Ester Bianchi, PhD

In modern times, outstanding Buddhist masters reinforced and revived traditional Chinese Buddhist practices, such as chan meditation and Pure Land chanting and remembrance of the Buddha’s name. However, this general emphasis on meditation also included the implementation of early meditation techniques inspired by the Theravada tradition, as well as Tibetan and Japanese tantric practices. Being perceived as legitimate parts of the Buddhist tradition according to a modern perception of the religion, these forgotten or new forms of meditation were integrated into mainstream Chinese Buddhism. The idea was that of complementing chan meditation with other cultivation practices which, in some cases, were even considered to be more effective than chan itself. This general trend can still be seen in present-day China and Taiwan. The talk will present contemporary Chinese Buddhism through the prism of these various meditation techniques among Han Chinese practitioners.


About Ester Bianchi

holds a Ph.D. in ‘Indian and East-Asian Civilization’ from the University of Venice and is the associate professor of Chinese Religions and Philosophy and of Society and Culture of China at the Philosophy Department of the University of Perugia (Italy). She is also external associated researcher of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités CNRS-EPHE (since 2012) and Research fellow of the Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (since 2016). Her studies focus on the religions of China, particularly on Buddhism, both in imperial and in modern and contemporary time; her research is centered on Sino-Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist monasticism, the revival of Buddhist monastic discipline and, more recently, the spread of Theravāda Buddhist Model in modern Chinese Buddhism.

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