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The Intellectual Context of the Dasheng Zhiguan Famen Yanjiu: The Foundation of Master Sheng Yen’s Tiantai Study
Author Lin, Pei-ying
Source 2018 第七屆漢傳佛教與聖嚴思想國際學術研討會
Publisher Url
Location臺北, 臺灣 [Taipei, Taiwan]
Content type會議論文=Proceeding Article
KeywordMaster Sheng Yen; Dasheng zhiguan famen; Huisi (515-577); Tiantai Buddhism; contemplation, meditation
AbstractThis paper analyzes Master Sheng Yen’s first book, the Dasheng zhiguan famen yanjiu, and his encounter with the Japanese academia. This is a study of an important medieval Tiantai scripture attributed to Master Huisi (515-577). Huisi was said to be the master of Zhiyi (538-597), the alleged founder of Chinese Tiantai School. Being an early Tiantai work on contemplation, this scripture is influential to meditation masters, whether from the Chan schools or the Tiantai background. Huisi’s authorship, however, had been a topic for question, and Sheng Yen treats this issue carefully in his book.

Master Sheng Yen deals with this work from two aspects: the historical question on the authorship; and the doctrinal position. This approach combines the Japanese and western scholarship, and is a result of his diligent study in Tokyo. It is particularly noteworthy to mention that when young Sheng Yen was reading for his MA degree and chose this scripture for his topic, he encountered only opposition and no encouragement from his Japanese advisors for the potential difficulty. Under such an considerable pressure, he still decided to work on this particular scripture and finished his thesis. It’s a proof of Master Sheng Yen’s courage.

Through this work by him, we can have a glance of the foundation of Master Sheng Yen’s Tiantai thought clearly. His academic learning did not stop after finishing his thesis; rather, it was the starting point and provides insights to the trajectory of his Buddhist learning. In this paper, I will discuss his approach to Tiantai Buddhism in general, to Huisi in particular, and the background of his writing up, and the influence of the Japanese scholarship.
Created date2021.03.16
Modified date2021.03.23

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