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Travagnin, Stefania (2009) The Madhyamika dimension of Yinshun : A restatement of the School of Nagarjuna in 20th century Chinese Buddhism. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Yinshun (1906-2005) is regarded as one of the eminent monies representative of twentieth-century Chinese Buddhism. He has been valued for his large corpus of writings and scholarly achievement, as well as for his contribution to the change and development of Chinese Buddhism in the twentieth century and his influence on the formation of the future Chinese Buddhist community. Yinshun undertook the mission of re-commenting on and re-promoting the study of the Madhyamika scriptures. His efforts provoked a revival of interest towards the Madhyamika School among contemporary Chinese Buddhist and, a reassessment of the writings of Nagarjuna within Chinese Buddhism. This research reveals the Madhyamika patterns in Yinshun's works and practice and argues that the Madhyamika dimension of Yinshun should be interpreted within the context of the religious, intellectual and national restoration that twentieth-century China was subject to. At that time Chinese Buddhists came to create a new theoretical framework on which to base the new Buddhism, and adopted the latter as a symbol of the new Chinese identity. Yinshun articulated his own mission to restoring Chinese Buddhism, and the first part of his plan was the establishment of new standards of authority and a modem orientation towards tradition. For this purpose, he theorised a "negotiation strategy" that combined the figure and teachings of Nagarjuna with the mainstream Chinese San-lun doctrine. This work aims to present a still unexplored level of analysis of Yinshun, as well as an unprecedented reconstruction of the modern history and exegesis of the Madhyamika/San-lun in China. Finally, with the argument that Yinshun's negotiation between traditions was intended for a Buddhist recovery of the nation, this dissertation can also locate itself in the discipline of historical studies of China.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:03

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