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Title: Buddhist education and the rise of the Buddhist university in modern Taiwan
Author: Tsai, Chin-ling
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 5267
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the role of Buddhist education in Chinese history and the background that caused modern Buddhist monasteries in Taiwan to establish higher educational institutions. I begin my investigation with a brief survey of Buddhist education in pre-modern China, but turn quickly to the Republican period when Buddhism was regarded as a declining religion that brought no contribution to a society seeking modernization. Against this background, the revolutionary monk- Taixu championed a series of reforms, including reforms to Buddhist education. The modern scholar, Holmes Welch, writing in the 1960s, concluded that Taixu's blueprint of reviving Chinese Buddhism was mostly unsuccessful in his own days and therefore of only limited influence. Yet, even after Taixu's Buddhist seminaries shut down, young monks who were educated there later on fled to Taiwan where these young monks continued to propagate Taixu's idea of "Humanistic Buddhism" and to adopt Buddhism to the needs of contemporary society. Among these efforts, the . promotion of Buddhist education played a crucial role and is embodied in the establishment of five universities in the past two decades. In the later part of the thesis, I examine how these universities are different from other types of universities and whether or not they fulfill the missions that the funding groups intended to achieve when starting these universities. I argue that within a competitive environment, these universities set up by Buddhist groups need to establish a more clear identity and a better understanding of what exactly is needed in the educational environment of Taiwan. Only by doing so will they prove their values to society and establish a stable position in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available