Have library access?
  • Journals


The Process of the Localization of Humanistic Buddhism: On the "Intellectualization" and "Institutionalization" of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism in Singapore



Parallel abstracts

Since the first half of the twentieth century, the Buddhist monks and the lay (business) leaders in Singapore adopted the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism and the Bodhisattva spirit, advocating the practice of compassion through charity and philanthropic activities, Buddhism and Secular education, and Buddhist culture, as well as Traditional Chinese culture. These efforts and phenomenon can be generalized as a win-win Buddhist evangelism strategy of "Repackaging of the doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism" + "Promotion of Social Charity, Education and Culture". These Buddhist monks and lay leaders came directly from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, Fujian, the southeast coast of mainland China. They, including Venerable Master Zhuang Dao (轉道老和尚), Venerable Master Ci Hang (慈航法師), Mr. Lee Choon Seng (李俊承居士), Venerable Master Hong Chuan (宏船法師), Venerable Master Chang Kai (常凱法師), and Venerable Master Guang Qia (廣洽法師). In other words, the leaders of Chinese Mahayana Buddhist not only emphasized the attainment through self-cultivation of the pure land afterlife, but also advocated efforts to establish the pure land in this life and in this multi-racial and multi-religious society. All these propagation movements were somewhat similar to Humanistic Buddhism (renjian fojiao 人間佛教), advocated by the leaders of contemporary Mahayana Buddhism, such as Venerable Master Tai Xu (太虛大師), Venerable Master Yin Shun (印順法師) and Venerable Master Hsing Yun (星雲大師). In sum, although the Chinese Buddhist leaders in Singapore may not hold high the slogan of "Humanistic Buddhism," they have actively embarked on social charity, education and cultural programs to realize the Buddhist Pure Land in Singapore. In other words, the concept advocated by Humanistic Buddhism of "Transcend the world without leaving the world behind, and live in the world while seeking to transcend the world" has evolved in Singapore into a concrete practice.