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Dao

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 381–400 | Cite as

W ang Fuzhi’s Criticism of Buddhism and Its Limitations

  • Mingran TanEmail author
Article
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Abstract

Wang Fuzhi’s 王夫之 remarks on Buddhism have not been given sufficient attention despite increasing research on him. The few works on this topic either focus on just one aspect of his view of Buddhism or fail to disclose the purpose and uniqueness of his attack of it. This essay analyzes his view of Buddhism comprehensively, in particular his insight into the paradox of Buddhist universal love and his rejection of Buddhist retribution and reincarnation from Confucian righteousness and qi 氣-monism. In addition, it also explores the reason, context, and limitations of his criticism, that is, his reaction to the popular approach of “understanding Confucian classics through learning Buddhism” in the late Ming 明, his response to Zongmi’s 宗密 criticism of Confucian cosmology and human nature, and his misunderstanding of some Buddhist concepts. Yet his criticism is still illuminating to our understanding of the interaction of Confucianism with Buddhism and other religions.

Keywords

Wang Fuzhi 王夫之 Buddhism Life and death Universal love Emptiness 

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Notes

Acknowledgments

This article is part of my key project: “An Innovative Research of the Historical Transmission and Transformation of Confucian and Mencian Philosophy” funded by 2016 The Transmission and Transformation Engineering of Qilu Excellent Traditional Culture.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Zhouyi and Ancient Chinese Philosophy, School of Philosophy and Social DevelopmentShandong UniversityJinanChina

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