Translation, Comparative Hermeneutics, and Yogacara Social Theory in Lu Cheng's (1896 to 1989) New Buddhist Canon


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


Using Lu Cheng's edition of a new Chinese Buddhist canon against multilingual translations as a probe, this dissertation examines the social turn in theorizing translation and hermeneutics as embodied in the modern Yogacara revival. I seek to demonstrate that rigorous textual analysis was only a means to implement Lu's social reform where critical thinking holds a society together. More than a habit of thinking, for Lu, being critical entails collective practices of organized skepticism guided by Buddhist logic and grounded in compassion. As such, the making of this new canon provides a unique angle to explore ways of denaturalizing familiar concepts such as science, knowledge, society, and critical thinking through the reverse lens of a Buddhist theorization of social issues.