Educating Chinese Buddhist Monastics in the People's Republic of China: Seminaries, Academia, and the State


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


This dissertation investigates the development and influence of modern seminary education on Buddhist monasticism within the People's Republic of China. Seminaries first emerged in the early twentieth century as defense measures against government appropriation of Buddhist property, but other state policies later led to their extinction from 1949-1956 and 1966-1979. Since the post-Mao era Buddhist revival, however, from 1980 onwards more than forty seminaries have been established. This system of seminaries has transformed the modes and content of the knowledge and authority Buddhist institutions transmit. I argue that to understand the impact on seminaries of Buddhism, we must also understand how seminaries are influenced by state and academic institutions.