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The Reincarnation Story of Shōtoku Taishi 聖徳太子 (573-621): Rethinking a Buddhist Lineage in the 8-9th Century China and Japan
Author Lin, Pei-ying
Source Collections of College Students Thesis Relating to Buddhism=大專學生佛學論文集
Date2010
Pages167 - 180
PublisherTaipei Hua-yen Lotus Society=華嚴蓮社
Publisher Url http://www.huayencollege.org/frameset.html
Location臺北市, 臺灣 [Taipei shih, Taiwan]
Content type專題研究論文=Research Paper
Language英文=English
NotePei-Ying Lin, SOAS, London.
AbstractThis essay aims to answer a question: In Tang 唐(618-907) China and Heian 平安(794-1185) Japan, to what extent was the Zen 禅(Chi. Chan) School’s sectarian consciousness clear and distinguishable? An answer is found in the process when the lineage discourse created power during the time of Japanese Monk Saichō 最澄(767-822), who took an important part in generating the reincarnation stories of Shōtoku taishi 聖徳太子(573-621) and Huisi 慧思(515-577). The connection between Huisi and Shōtoku taishi reflects that they shared the source constituted by the same master’s teachings. The sectarian identity, however, might have been blurred due to this Buddhist networking. The reincarnation story of Shōtoku taishi shows how the Zen resources were used; also it will be analysed as a rhetoric product of lineage construction by a variety of Chinese and Japanese monks. By investigating layers of additions in the reincarnation plots, their own sectarian identity is inferable from their purposes of story fabrication. Does a distinct lineage represent an equally distinct membership, or sectarian consciousness? Lineage construction, however, was an issue in later periods, whereas during the earlier stages, Chinese Buddhists freely referred to and incorporated many other meditation systems for the sake of systematizing Buddhist teachings of similar kinds. Accompanying the trend of Buddhist categorization and systematization, in the early stages, Zen-related terminology was often borrowed and shared by various schools.The religious environment of medieval China represents a huge ‘cafeteria’ where religious followers took combos of whatever they liked most. Moreover, even sectarian lineages were part of the shared resources and sometimes interchangeable in the initial stage. Buddhists from various traditions shared the same ‘Zen’ masters and patriarchs. Hence, the assumption of a monolithic “Zen School” based on “the” Zen lineage is in fact our projection and rather problematic; it is more likely that Zen was simply “a” lineage, which was not that special and unique as it has been depicted.
Table of contentsIntroduction 168
1. The Reincarnation Story 169
2. Du Fei 杜朏 (c.710 – 720) 172
3. Situo 思託 (722-809) and Jianzhen 鑑真(688-763) 173
4. Jianzhen and Huisi 176
5. Saichō and Huisi 177
7. Conclusion 179
Hits209
Created date2014.05.28
Modified date2022.01.26



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