The Roles of Secular States in the Development of Contemporary Chinese Buddhism: A Cross-Strait Perspective on Buddhist Nunneries

  • Tzu-Lung Chiu
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


When discussing Buddhism under People’s Republic of China (PRC) government supervision, some scholars implicitly or explicitly regard the development of Buddhism in China in a negative light, or are critical of the PRC government’s control of religions (e.g., Levering 1993; Chandler 2006; Qin 2000). Against this backdrop, this paper discusses, firstly, the religious life of present-day Chinese Buddhists through multiple case studies conducted at eight monastic institutions in China, with particular reference to whether and how monastics’ religious activities and everyday lives are subject to intervention or influence by past or current PRC government policies. Secondly, it discusses some of the nuanced differences between the religious lifestyles of Taiwanese and Chinese Buddhists: for, even though Taiwan and China both share similar contexts of Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhism, Buddhism in these two regions has different manifestations, in part because the Taiwanese state—though “secular” in the narrow sense of not promoting a particular state religion—has never attempted to ban public or private religious observance.


The secular state Contemporary Chinese Buddhism Nuns in Taiwan and China Buddhist revival and rituals 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic DiversityGöttingenGermany

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