The Impact of Politics on the Minnan Buddhist Institute: Sanmin zhuyi 三民主义 and aiguo zhuyi 爱国主义 in the Context of Sangha Education

Stefania Travagnin

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    This article analyzes patterns in the direct and indirect influence of the Chinese government on the redefinition of Sangha education during the twentieth century. My research examines three moments in the history of the Minnan Buddhist Institute (minnan foxueyuan 闽南佛学院, hereafter MBI): the foundation years (1927–1933), the reopening in 1985, and its new mission and structure since 1997. I investigate the different ways in which political ideologies were incorporated into the curricula and training seminars for monastics. Specifically, this study addresses the effects of the Nationalist ideology of the Three Principles of the People (sanmin zhuyi 三民主义) and Communist Party patriotism (aiguo zhuyi 爱国主义) on the Sangha learning systems. The final section will consider the MBI as a case study of Buddhist cross-strait relations, and will map the exchanges between Buddhist education programs that developed in different political contexts by examining the values shared by Buddhists on Taiwan and on the mainland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-50
    Number of pages30
    JournalReview of Religion and Chinese Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - May-2015


    • Minnan Buddhist Institute;
    • Sangha education
    • sanmin zhuyi
    • aiguo aijiao
    • Taixu
    • rensheng fojiao
    • renjian fojiao
    • cross-strait relations

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