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Monks, Rulers, and LiteratiThe Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism$
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Albert Welter

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175219

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175219.001.0001

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Official Recognition of Chan Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty

Official Recognition of Chan Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty

(p.25) 2 Official Recognition of Chan Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty
Monks, Rulers, and Literati

Albert Welter

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the history of the official recognition of Chan Buddhism in China during the Tang Dynasty, or the period from 618 to 906. It reviews two partisan debates related to the Chan struggle for recognition in order to show the role played by government officials and secular literati in the development of Chan. It suggests that the debate associated with the struggle between rival Chan factions in the early Song Dynasty was instrumental in defining the principles that came to characterize Chan, and served as the foundation for the acceptance of Chan as a leading school of Chinese Buddhism in the Song.

Keywords:   Chan Buddhism, Tang Dynasty, religious acceptance, partisan debates, government recognition, Song Dynasty, China

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