Chapter

The Buddhist School of Principle and the Early Song Intellectual Terrain

Albert Welter

in Yongming Yanshou’s Conception of Chan in the Zongjing lu

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199760312
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897322 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199760312.003.0006
The Buddhist School of Principle and the Early Song Intellectual Terrain

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This chapter addresses Yongming Yanshou’s impact on Buddhism and Song intellectual life by repositioning Yanshou as an advocate of a Buddhist School of Principle. It challenges Zhu Xi’s reduction of Buddhism to Linji faction teaching, contending the Buddhist literary world was not as uniform as previously supposed, but incorporated divisions that paralleled Confucian ones. Buddhist and Confucian literati, rather than occupying discrete intellectual territory, operated in a shared intellectual space with unique aspects that distinguished them from each other. From the Confucian perspective, Wang Yangming’s School of Mind has long alerted us to the overlap between Confucian and Chan Buddhist teachings and methods. The Buddhist School of Principle reminds us, similarly, of potential avenues of overlap with the Zhu Xi School of Principle. The chapter also evaluates the well-known typology of Song-Ming intellectual life proposed by Araki Kengo, based on this new perspective.

Keywords: School of principle; Song dynasty; intellectual life; Zhu Xi; Wang Yangming; School of mind; Araki Kengo; Buddhist literary

Chapter.  8255 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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