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Monasteries and Academies. Monasteries were important infrastructure in the Chinese Buddhist tradition Monasteries flourished during the Tang and further developed during the Song

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Monasteries and Academies

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monasteries and academies
Monasteries and Academies
  • Monasteries were important infrastructure in the Chinese Buddhist tradition
    • Monasteries flourished during the Tang and further developed during the Song
    • The dramatic increase of Buddhist monasteries built by Chan monks led to the theory of “unique Chan monasteries,” which is misleading
  • Similar constructions for spreading Confucianism were made into academies
buddhist monasteries
Buddhist Monasteries
  • Two basic types:
    • Public: Monasteries of the ten directions (shifang cha)—Chan monasteries
    • Private: disciple-lineage cloisters (jiayi yuan)—Teaching monasteries (jiao monasteries) and Vinaya monasteries
    • merit cloisters (gongde yuan)
  • Emperors and Gov’t officials could convert a monastery from one type to anther
  • More monasteries were designated as Chan monasteries during the Song, although some Chan monasteries were designated as Teaching monasteries (jiao)
chan monasteries
Chan Monasteries
  • Dominant Buddhist monastic institution in the Song: Five Mountains and Ten Temples
  • The ground plan of Song Chan monasteries was modeled upon that of the imperial court
    • Main gate, Buddha hall, Buddha Vairocana Hall, dharma hall, abbot’s reception hall, private abbot’s quarters, meditation room, earth spirit hall, patriarchal hall, donors hall, acolytes’ quarters
The four deva kings were sometimes enshrined in main gate
  • Main halls contained images of Guanyin and that of 500 or 16 arhats
  • The personnel structure of a Chan mastery: an abbot, monks (nuns), novices, postulants, lay persons…
functions of halls
Functions of Halls
  • Ceremonies were held in the Buddha halls, dharma halls, sangha halls, donors halls, and sutra reading halls.
  • Some halls were dedicated to the worship of a specific Buddha or Bodhisattva:
    • Guanyin Hall, Vairocana Hall
Patriarchal Hall was dedicated to the veneration of key patriarchs in the Chan lineage and former abbots

Xuanzhong si in the Shibi Mountain in Shanxi, Pure Land and Chan

  • Academies became extremely popular during the Southern Song because of the rise of Neo-Confucianism
  • Confucius and his disciples regained respect and popularity with scholars and were installed in shrines at academies
  • Many academies were named after their founders, thus the members of their school/lineage were enshrined