The State of Enlightenment

Alan Cole

in Fathering Your Father

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780520254848
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943643 | DOI:
The State of Enlightenment

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This chapter reviews the Sui figures Zhiyi and Xinxing, exploring a variety of strategies for convincingly locating the totality of tradition in a single Chinese man—that is, early efforts to create something like a Chinese buddha. It also examines how politics figured in these early literary creations. In the case of Guanding's various reconstructions of Zhiyi's ancestors, important examples of creating authority by co-opting and refiguring lineages are unearthed. These writings illustrate a studied disregard for historical facts in the narration of perfect tradition's supposed past. There is much to be gained by seeing these two pre-Tang refigurations of tradition as providing a backdrop for the later Bodhidharma genealogists and for demonstrating a range of techniques and strategies in the Tang effort to create Chinese buddhas who perfectly owned the totality of tradition and overcame the India-China divide.

Keywords: Sui figures; Zhiyi; Xinxing; Chinese man; Chinese buddha

Chapter.  18415 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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