Monastic discipline; jielü; vinaya revival; modern Chinese Buddhism; contemporary Chinese Buddhism
In contemporary China, Buddhism is thriving in many forms and various milieus, a phenomenon that can be compared to the status of Buddhism during the Republican period. The resurgence of monastic discipline (jielü/vinaya) is one of the many common features characterizing these two movements. The present paper aims to shed light on modern and contemporary Chinese Buddhism by analysing the conception and practice of jielü in the strict sense of the word (i.e. the śrāvaka or hīnayāna vinaya, as well as the bodhisattva or mahāyāna vinaya); the codes and rules of the so-called ‘Chinese vinaya’ will be referred to only occasionally. The distinguishing features characterizing the modern vinaya revivals will be presented, focusing on their continuity throughout the twentieth century. Similarly to the recoveries of monastic discipline in the past, these modern processes of vinaya revival are based on the idea that since vinaya is the very foundation of the Buddhist dharma, it may help Buddhism to regenerate during an age of decadence.