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Title: Two images of Maitreya : Fu Hsi and Pu-tai Ho-shang
Author: Hsiao, Bea-Hui
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1995
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This study is undertaken in the hope that the Chinese depictions of its subjects, the layman Fu Hsi and the monk Pu-tai, may serve as a gateway to a wider perception and deeper understanding of Chinese religion. In particular, this study aims to shed light on the influence of Chinese culture and religion on Buddhist tendencies in the sixth century and on the development of Chinese Zen Buddhism in the tenth. These two personages have long been regarded in Chinese Buddhist history as pre-incarnations of Bodhisattva Maitreya, Within this context the present study provides the necessary background to the Maitreya tradition in order to establish the relevant connections between these two figures, and summarizes the Buddhist background during their lifetimes. In addition, two conspectuses of the available biographical sources on Fu Hsi and Pu-tai are also presented. After unveiling Fu Hsi's biography, an in-depth analysis of Buddhist practice in early medieval China is provided to shed light on Fu Hsi's life. Every effort has been made to analyze what is represented as Fu Hsi's thought and evaluate his supposed doctrinal contributions to the Eight Schools of Chinese Buddhism. Furthermore, an endeavour has been made to delve into the enigmas of Pu-tai's life and incidents to trace Buddhist doctrinal development. Eventually, an evaluation of the influence of these two figures on various social substrata of Chinese culture is undertaken, and a comparison of the affinities and differences between these two is drawn.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral