作者單位：Professor, Department of East Asian Languages, University of California The Speech of Professor Lancaster
Methodology; History; Analysis; Thought
The study of an entity that we identify as “Chinese Buddhism” started at an early date with the writing of documents that cataloged what came to be the canonic translations and compilations. This focus on the textual tradition and the biographies of those involved in the creation of the Chinese language literature continued to influence study. Over the centuries since those first efforts to establish the identity of the tradition in China, we have seen a variety of approaches to the subject. In every period of time, there have been generally accepted methodologies. These procedures outlined the formalities of study that that resulted from custom, tradition, and preferences of scholars. One result of these developments has been the establishment of limits beyond which there was a penalty of rejection both personal and institutional. Subject matter was ranked so that some aspects were subordinated to a less conspicuous place or status in the scheme of studying Buddhism that could be called “Chinese”. In the contemporary world, new technology has challenged the field and newer methods are raising questions about whether the computer is supplanting the older scholarly tasks or amplifying them. The tasks of researchers must include an appraisal of how they define the character of the subject matter as well as recognizing the limits imposed by custom on the ways of active investigation. Questions remain as to whether the study of Chinese Buddhism has been inclusive of everything that is wanted or required for the full picture of the tradition.