Chapter

Tzu Chi: The Modernization of Buddhist Compassion

Richard Madsen

in Democracy's Dharma

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780520252271
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941038 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520252271.003.0002
Tzu Chi: The Modernization of Buddhist Compassion

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This chapter studies the Tzu Chi, the religious organization responsible for building the Great Love villages, and introduces the organization's leader and foundress, Master Cheng Yen, who is also dubbed the “Mother Teresa of Asia.” It views the constructiveness of the organization's contributions to the democracy of Taiwan, while also considering the cultural capacities and cultural perspectives of Asia, and then shifts to Cheng Yen, from her religious development to her founding of the Tzu Chi. From there, the chapter looks at the changes in Tzu Chi's original imperative due to the emerging Taiwanese nationalism. It also explains that the success of the Tzu Chi can be partially due to the success of the Taiwanese democracy and describes the “pass on the light” ceremony.

Keywords: Tzu Chi; Cheng Yen; Taiwanese democracy; Taiwanese nationalism; pass on light; cultural capacities; cultural perspectives; religious development

Chapter.  14641 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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