His whole life，Li Juo-wu had a very strong connection with Buddhism. One could say that his life experience was most closely related to this relationship which was reflected in his changing mentality and intellectual development. When scholars in the past judged Li，they tended to positive or negative extremes but were unable to get the real picture as they failed to analyze systematically and in detail the interrelation between Li's life and Buddhist thought. Thus critics and admirers alike would only grasp one side of the complicated relationship between Li's life and thought.
Focusing on Li's religious life，the present paper follows the lead of his contacts with Buddhism and shows the development of his personal thought. In other words, Buddhism is taken as the centre of Li's whole life and thought. His personal character, family background，teachers, friends, and social environment and also taken into conisderation in order to present Li's thought in entirety.
Apart from the preface and conclusion，the present paper is divided into seven parts, the first one discussing Li's early years and their relationship with Buddhism，the second one analyzing his connection with Wang Geng's teaching and the way he blended is with Buddhism，the third one introducing the different Buddhist works he authored，the fourth one making clear that Li's Ch'an thought belonged to the Tathagatagarbha tradition，the fifth one ascertaining that Li's Pure Land ideas belonged to the pure land of liberation through one's own power advocated by the Ch'an School，the sixth one providing a systematic and complete analysis of Li's problematic "crazy Ch'an" and all possible causes for the criticism he drew for it，and the seventh one observing the differences between Li and pure Buddhists through the criticism of contemporary eminent monks.
It was discovered that Li's relatives passed away one after the other in his youth, and that he lived in a very difficult environment. Due to these conditions his mind turned towards the idea of retreat and search for religious truth. His encounter with the Diamond Sutra lead to an intellectual breakthrough. He furthermore arrived at a synthesis with Wang Geng's thought Ch'an and，at the same time，Pure Land concepts played also a role in his life. Ch'an，however，was always the center of his thoughts, yet his careless actions as a monk eventually lead to his incarceration and death.