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A fragile revival : Chinese Buddhism under the political shadow, 1522-1620 Zhang, Dewei 2010

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A Fragile Revival: Chinese Buddhism under the Political Shadow, 1522-1620  by Dewei Zhang Ph.D., Peking University, 1999  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Doctor of Philosophy in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Asian Studies) The University of British Columbia (Vancouver)  July 2010  © Dewei Zhang, 2010  Abstract I aim to reveal in this dissertation the dynamics behind the evolution of the late Ming Buddhist revival as well as some of its general characteristics, mainly from the political perspective. This significant religious revival has proved to be intimately tied to politics. Studying these interactions reveals a remarkable and complicated process. I examine how the revival took place and was processed at different social levels in different regions over the one hundred years of the Jiajing-Wanli period (1522-1620). The more theoretic portion of this project seeks to understand how, why, and to what extent this revival was a reaction and adjustment to the contemporary political environment by referring to the relevant social, economic, religious, cultural, and regional backgrounds. In addition to close reading of textual and epigraphical materials, I consistently employ quantitative analysis, regional approach and cases studies in the mould of the French Annals School. My argument is that, profoundly influenced by a weak Buddhist institution and a structural weakness in the Ming government, the evolution of the late Ming Buddhist revival was not so much driven by the inner dynamics of Buddhism as by drastic changes in the overall lay society, among which the inner and outer court politics, although not always the decisive factor, always remained a catalyst for other factors. This revival fostered a stronger commitment to Buddhism in society and produced some charismatic Buddhist masters who were tremendously influential, but it remained fragile because its development was bascially under the control of its patrons rather than the saMgha itself. I suggest that we reconfigure our understanding of the Ming Buddhist revival. Specifically, I point out that a long-distance shift of the national Buddhist centre took place from Beijing to the Jiangnan region around the 1600s, and that it was propelled both by drastic changes in national politics and by distinct traits of local Buddhism. I explain how this revival could happen after Jiajing‘s discrimination against Buddhism, and why it would conclude later when the socioeconomic environment mostly remained unchanged. Key words include Buddhist revival, court politics, the mid- and late Ming, Beijing, and Jiangnan.  ii  Table of Contents  Abstract ....................................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... iii List of Tables ................................................................................................................................v Abbreviations Used in the Notes and Bibliography................................................................ vi Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................... vii Dedication ................................................................................................................................... ix Introduction..................................................................................................................................1 Chapter 1: The Religious Legacy and Political Context ........................................................17 1.1 Policies Relevant to Buddhism in the Ming Dynasty .....................................................................................17 1.2 The ―Institutional Weakness‖ in the Political Structure ..................................................................................26 1.2.1 Emperor Hongwu‘s Centralization of Power ...........................................................................................26 1.2.2 Variations Prior to the Jiajing Era ............................................................................................................31 1.3 Political Troubles during the Jiajing-Wanli Era ..............................................................................................34 1.3.1 Emperor Jiajing: Rituals, Daoism, and Court Politics .............................................................................35 1.3.2 Emperor Wanli: the Succession Issue and a Deadlock at Court ...............................................................39 1.3.3 Cleavage in the Outer Court.....................................................................................................................44 1.4 Concluding Remarks .......................................................................................................................................48  PART I  Changes outside the saMgha .....................................................................................50  Chapter 2: Emperor Jiajing (r. 1522-1566): Discriminating against Buddhism..................51 2.1 Buddhism as a General Target.........................................................................................................................51 2.1.1 ―How Far this could be from the Final Years of the Zhengde Reign‖......................................................52 2.1.2 ―I Fear that some People might Satirize me for Partiality‖ ......................................................................54 2.1.3 ―Transforming Buddhist Monks to the Orthodoxy (huazheng 化正)‖ .....................................................58 2.1.4 ―Vicious People and the Bandits have been on the Same Path since Ancient Times‖ .............................60 2.2 Nuns and Tibetan Buddhism as Specialized Targets .......................................................................................61 2.2.1 Tibetan Buddhism ....................................................................................................................................61 2.2.2 ―Nuns are Different from Buddhist and Daoist Monks‖ ..........................................................................66 2.3 Significance and Characteristics of Jiajing‘s Discrimination against Buddhism ............................................69 2.4 Concluding Remarks .......................................................................................................................................71  Chapter 3: Empress Dowager Cisheng’s 慈罯 (1545-1614): Lavishing on Buddhism .......73 3.1 Cisheng, Wanli, and Court Strife.....................................................................................................................73 3.1.1 A Brief Biography of Cisheng ..................................................................................................................74 3.1.2 Cisheng, Wanli, and Secret Wars among Court Women ..........................................................................77 3.2 Cisheng the Greatest Patron of Buddhism in the Ming ...................................................................................85 3.3 Cisheng‘s and Wanli‘s Direct Influence on Buddhism ....................................................................................94 3.4 Concluding Remarks .....................................................................................................................................101  Chapter 4: Eunuchs and Scholar-officials: Shaping Buddhism ..........................................103 4.1 Social Analysis of Patrons of Buddhism .......................................................................................................103 4.2 Eunuchs in Beijing: from Buddhism to Daoism ...........................................................................................107 4.2.1 Eunuchs and Buddhism in the Jiajing Era..............................................................................................108 4.2.2 Eunuchs, Cisheng and Buddhism in the Early Wanli Era ...................................................................... 110 4.2.3 Eunuchs, Wanli, Buddhism and Daoism in the Late Wanli Era ............................................................. 113 4.3 Scholar-officials in Jiangnan: From Confucianism to Buddhism .................................................................. 115 iii  4.3.1 Scholar-officials and Buddhism in Jiangnan .......................................................................................... 116 4.3.2 A Case Study of Feng Mengzhen 馮夢禎 (1548-1608) ........................................................................122 4.4 Concluding Remarks .....................................................................................................................................130  PART II  Echoes within the saMgha .....................................................................................132  Chapter 5: Monks: Wandering between the saMgha and Political World ..........................133 5.1 Hanshan Deqing‘s 憨山德清 (1546-1623) Exile .........................................................................................134 5.1.1 The Wutai Dharma Assembly ................................................................................................................134 5.1.2 An Exile to Leizhou ...............................................................................................................................142 5.2 Zibo Zhenke‘s 紫柏真可 (1543-1603) Death in Prison ..............................................................................150 5.2.1 Zhenke, Daokai, and the Inner Court .....................................................................................................150 5.2.2 Zhenke‘s Death in Prison .......................................................................................................................152 5.3 Miaofeng Fudeng 妙峰福登 (1540-1612) ..................................................................................................158 5.3.1 Fudeng, Deqing, and Zhenke .................................................................................................................158 5.3.2 Cisheng, Wanli, and Fudeng ..................................................................................................................161 5.3.3 Kongyin Zhencheng 空印鎮澄 (1547-1617) .......................................................................................164 5.4 Concluding Remarks .....................................................................................................................................165  Chapter 6: Temples: Dancing with Local Society .................................................................169 6.1 Beijing Temples in the mid- and Late Ming ..................................................................................................169 6.1.1 Chongfu Si 崇福孝 ...............................................................................................................................170 6.1.2 Tanzhe Si 潭柘孝 ..................................................................................................................................174 6.1.3 The Relationships between Patrons .......................................................................................................176 6.2 Jiangnan Temples in the Jiajing-Wanli Transition .........................................................................................177 6.2.1 Shixing Si 實性孝 in Shaoxing ............................................................................................................177 6.2.2 Puhui Si 普惠孝 in Jiaxing ..................................................................................................................182 6.3 South China Temples in the Late Wanli Era ..................................................................................................184 6.3.1 The promotion of Ciguang si 慈光孝 at Mount Huang ........................................................................184 6.3.2 Ciguan Si in the Historical Context .......................................................................................................191 6.4 Concluding Remarks .....................................................................................................................................195  Chapter 7: 1600: The Buddhist Centre Shifts .......................................................................197 7.1 Mobility of Eminent Monks ..........................................................................................................................197 7.1.1 Temporal Distribution of Eminent Monks .............................................................................................198 7.1.2 Patterns of Mobility of Eminent Monks in Beijing/North China and Jiangnan .....................................201 7.2 Fluctuations in the Buddhist Infrastructure ...................................................................................................206 7.3 The Mobility of Monks, Temple Building, and Contemporary Politics ........................................................212 7.4 A shift from Beijing/ North China to Jiangnan .............................................................................................214 7.5 Concluding Remarks .....................................................................................................................................220  Conclusion ................................................................................................................................222 References .................................................................................................................................233 Appendices ...............................................................................................................................265 Appendix A: Cisheng‘s Connection with Daoist Temples ..................................................................................265 Appendix B: Buddhist Temples with Cisheng‘s Financial Support ....................................................................266 Appendix C: Bestowal of the Northern Canon in the Wanli era .........................................................................268 Appendix D: Cisheng‘s Connection with Monks ................................................................................................273 Appendix E: A Reexamination of the Wutai Dharma Assembly .........................................................................275  iv  List of Tables Table 1: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of Cisheng‘s Monastery Projects .............................................................86 Table 2: The Spatiotemporal Feature of the Northern Canon Distribution in the Wanli era .............................89 Table 3: Cisheng‘s Connection with Monks .....................................................................................................93 Table 4: Social and Temporal Analysis of Patrons in Beijing Area ................................................................ 104 Table 5: Social and Temporal Analysis of Patrons in Suzhou Prefecture ....................................................... 105 Table 6: Temporal Distribution of Eminent Monks, 1522–1662 .................................................................... 199 Table 7: Mobility of Monks in Beijing/North China during the Wanli and T-S periods ................................. 203 Table 8: Mobility of Jiangnan Monks during the Wanli and T-S periods ....................................................... 203 Table 9: Temporal Distribution of Eminent Monks in Beijing during the Wanli Period ................................ 204 Table 10: Index of Eminent Monks‘ Influence on Different Areas ................................................................. 205 Table 11: Temple Construction Projects in the Beijing Area .......................................................................... 208 Table 12: Temple Construction Projects in Hangzhou Prefecture .................................................................. 209 Table 13: Temple Construction Projects in Suzhou Prefecture ....................................................................... 210 Table 14: Temple Construction Projects in Songjiang Prefecture................................................................... 210 Table 15: Native Eminent Monks in Different Periods and Places ................................................................. 215 Table 16: Beijing as a Choice: To Stay or To Leave? ..................................................................................... 218  v  Abbreviations Used in the Notes and Bibliography CHC  Cambridge History of China  FCZ  Ge Yinliang 葛寅亮, Jinling fan cha zhi 金陵梵刹志  HSMY  Hanshan Deqing 憨山德清, Hanshan dashi mengyou ji 憨山大師夢遊集  HSNP  Fuzheng 福徵, Hanshan dashi nianpu shuzhu 憨山大師年譜疏注  JJSL  Ming shizong shilu 明世宗實錄  KXT  Feng Mengzhen 馮夢楨, Kuaixue tang ji 快雪堂集*  RXJW  Zhu Yizun 朱彜尊, Rixia jiuwen kao 日下舊聞攷  SKHB  Beijing tushuguan cang zhongguo lidai shike taben huibian 北京圖書館藏中國歷代石刻拓 本彙編  SZSL  Ming shenzong shilu 明神宗實錄  T  Takakusu Junjirō 高楠順次郞 et al. eds., Taishō Shinshu Daizōkyō 大正新修大藏經  WLYH  Shen Defu 沈德符, Wanli yehuo bian 萬曆野獲編  XZJ  Xu zangjing 續藏經  ZBQJ  Zibo Zhenke 紫柏真可, Zibo zunze quanji 紫柏尊者全集  *The original page numbers of some old books are retained when they are reprinted and also given new page numbers in the modern versions, as we find with the Kuaixue tang ji. For convenience, I will give the citation information in the form of ―p. a (b)‖, ―a‖ referring to the old page number and ―b‖ to the new one.  vi  Acknowledgements I would like to first express particular thanks to my thesis advisor Professor Jinhua Chen who has given me sufficient freedom to shape my own academic style, but never forgotten to remind me of those most important issues. I also offer my deep gratitude to the other two committee members. Professor Timothy Brook has set a formidable academic standard for me with his careful and insightful review of my ideas, just like his own advisor to him many years ago. He even generously shared his research notes with me. Professor Leo Shin has warmed my life at UBC with his patience and shining smile, but has at the same time insisted on training me step by step in the strictest way. I appreciate Professor Chün-fang Yüat Columbia University, Professor Paul Crowe at Simon Fraser University, and Professor Francesca L. Harlow at UBC. They as external and university examiners have given me detailed and insightful suggestions to improve my dissertation, among which I have benefited particularly from Professor Yü‘s reminder of keeping balance between different opinions and methodologies. I offer my gratitude to the following professors for their help with my research in different ways: Funayama Toru 船山徹 at Kyoto University in Japan, Chen Yunü陳玉女 at Chenggong University in Taiwan, James Benn at McMaster University, and Daniel L. Overmyer and Josephine Chiu-Duke at UBC. When I started writing my dissertation, Professor Chen sent me her articles and books, including her unpublished dissertation, which is really helpful. I appreciate Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (BDK) 仏教伝道協会 (Society for the Promotion of Buddhism) for their financial support of my research in Japan for one year, which has proved a very important experience in my academic life. I thank my friends, Tim Sedo, Robban Toleno, Desmond Cheung, David Luesink, Casper Wits, Eric Greene, Van Phan, Yang Zeng 楊增, Yu Zhansui 余展綏, Dai Lianbin 戴聯斌, Huang Jinghua 黃靜華, and other friends in Wangshe (望社) at UBC for their generous assistance with this thesis and my daily life. Another friend has given me tremendous help but would like not to be named here. Also I wish to express my gratitude to the faculty, staff, and librarians at UBC and Kyoto University who have helped me in various ways. Special thanks are owed to my parents and my wife Lingyun Zhao 趙淩雲 who have supported me without reservation throughout my years of education and research. Without their  vii  indulgence, it is simply impossible for me to arrive at this point, let alone the completion of this thesis. I would like to dedicate this thesis to my grandfather. His wisdom has kept me warm deep in my heart and encouraged me to keep moving even in the hardest time. An African proverb says that it takes the whole village to educate a child. This cast a light on the pathway of my growth and, more importantly, reveals a secret in the development of human civilization. After having benefited so much from others, it is my turn to do something good for society.  viii  Dedication  To my grandfather  ix  Introduction  The sixteenth day of the first month of Jiajing 44 (February 16, 1565) was an ordinary day for most people in China of the age, but a sad one for the monks of the great Baoen monastery 大報恩孝 in Nanjing. Its abbot, Xilin Yongning 西林永寧 (1483-1565), died that day at the age of eighty two. Serving as the abbot of this monastery for thirty-four years and concurrently as a top monastic official in the Nanjing Central Buddhist Registry (senglu si 僧錄司) for twenty-five years, Yongning was highly esteemed not only by the Baoensi community but by the entire Buddhist world in the Jiangnan region. These monks also felt disturbed by Yongning‘s prediction about the monastery‘s coming decline. To their surprise, his solution was to entrust them to a young monk eventually known as Hanshan Deqing 憨山德清 (1546-1623). It took the Baoensi monks little time to realize that their leader‘s prophecy was not empty talk. Ironically, the first major challenge the monastery had to battle was actually generated by Yongning himself - to be more precise, by the deceased Yongning: three hundred taels of silver were estimated necessary for his funeral. Since Yongning left behind only about thirty taels, the difference had to be met by a loan at a very high interest rate. When the funeral was over, the Baoensi monks began to worry about the debt. A meeting was convened, but no good idea was put forth. Finally, Deqing suggested the sale of Yongning‘s belongings and a part of the monastic land property as a means to defray the debt. This was accepted, and the debt was taken care of. One year later, much more severe challenges emerged as a lightening-caused conflagration destroyed the main body of this monastery. Since this was an imperially sponsored monastery, its ruin led as many as fifteen superintendent monks to be thrown into the prison. Rumours had it that they would be facing the death sentence. It was said that Baoensi monks started to flee in panic, with the exception of Deqing, who was preoccupied with taking care of his imprisoned colleagues and attempting to overcome the crisis. Those persecuted monks were eventually set free with relatively minor punishments. Subsequently, spurred by the dilapidated state of the monastery, Deqing and a fellow monk named Xuelang Hong‘en 雪 浪洪恩 (1545-1607) vowed to rebuild the monastery at any cost. Five years later, at the turn of the Wanli era (1573), in spite of the opposition of Hong‘en, Deqing set off to North China in search of the Dharma and support for the monastery. In time, he would spend most of his life 1  outside Nanjing and even become the mentor to the reigning emperor‘s mother. Unlike Deqing, Hong‘en chose to stay on and was active in the Jiangnan region. Deqing arranged the bestowal of a Buddhist canon from the inner court to this monastery in Wanli 17 (1589), and Hong‘en managed to reconstruct the Baoen stupa, a landmark of the monastery, with support from local society in the Jiangnan region. Nevertheless, neither of them was successful in fulfilling their vow to restore the great Baoen monastery. Finally, this monastery was rebuilt in Kangxi 38 (1699) with government money. The above narrative is based mainly on Deqing‘s autobiography, and it includes many puzzling points. Built by the Yongle emperor (r.1403-1424) in memory of his mother, the Great Baoen monastery was one of the largest monasteries of the time supported by a large amount of imperially bestowed land. Why did it then become so financially strapped in the last years of the Jiajing era that it could not even afford the funeral of its abbot? Was it legal for the resident monks to sell the monastic property? What would have happened to those arrested monks had Jiajing lived a bit longer? Turning to Deqing‘s departure from the Jiangnan region, why did it happen at the turn of the Wanli era? And why did he head for North China? As for the restoration of the monastery, what was the key to the decision-making process? And of all the forces involved - the inner court, the local society, the government, and etc. - which were the most decisive for the growth of Buddhism in the Ming and Qing periods? More intriguing is the question of whether this was a story about only one individual monastery or it was typical of what happened to most if not all of the monasteries at that time. These puzzles concern important problems in the history of Buddhism in Ming- and Qing-dynasty China, and more studies are needed in order to get satisfactory answers. This study is a renewed effort to answer some of the most important questions by focusing on the mid- and late Ming. This period witnessed a Buddhist revival and thus constituted the most important part in the entire Buddhist history of the Ming and Qing periods. I will examine the fluctuation that the Baoen monastery experienced by putting it in a wider historical context with particular emphasis on the remarkable and complicated interactions between the saMgha and politics. The aim of this dissertation is thus twofold. It will examine how the late Ming Buddhist revival took place at different social levels in different regions over the one hundred years of the Jiajing-Wanli era (1522-1620). The more theoretical portion of this project seeks to understand how, why, and to what extent this revival was a reaction and adjustment to the contemporary political environment by referring to the relevant social, economic, religious, cultural, and regional backgrounds. Not only is it aimed at a thorough explication of one of the 2  most significant phases in the history of Chinese Buddhism, but it also attempts to shed light on other related socio-political, economic, cultural, regional, and religious aspects. Before formally turning to this study, however, it is necessary that we first conduct a cursory survey of recent research on Ming Buddhism in general and on late Ming Buddhist revival in particular. 1) Studies on Ming Buddhism Ming Buddhism is an understudied field which was not studied by modern academic approaches until the 1920s and which, since then, has kept changing in both its subject of research and methodology. It was Japanese scholars who constituted the mainstream in this field from the 1920s to 1960s. They first tried to clarify the policies related to Buddhism and the historical context in which they were made.1 Roughly beginning from the 1940s, they shifted their attention from the early to the middle Ming. At the same time, the Chinese scholar Chen Yuan led his Chinese colleagues with two exemplary books both on the study of Buddhism in the late Ming and early Qing, with one characterized by the regional approach which is currently becoming popular.2 In the 1970s, with a growing interest in the intellectual history of the mid- and late- Ming period,3 scholars invested more energy in Ming Buddhism, especially late Ming Buddhism. Centered on several eminent Buddhist masters, their studies attempted to reconstruct these monks‘ systems of thought and discern their theoretical creativity. This trend was carried into the 1980s, resulting in the publishing of several monographs, mostly about a single master but a few about a group.4 With these studies as a basis, we can now 1  See, for example, Ryūchi Kiyoshi 龍池清, ―Min no Taiso no bukkyō seisaku‖ 明の太祖の仏教政策, Bukkyō shisō kōza 仏  教思想講座, no.8 (1939), pp.83-112; idem., ―Mindai no yūga kyōsō‖ 明付の瑜佒教僧, Tōhōgakuhō 東方學報 11.1 (1940), pp. 405-13; idem. ―Mindai no sōkan‖ 明付の僧官, Shina bukkyō shigaku 支那仏教史學 4.3 (1945), pp. 405-13. Shimizu Taiji 清水泰次, ―Mindai ni okeru butsudō no torishimari‖ 明付における佛道の取締, Shigaku zasshi 史學雜誌 40. 3, pp. 263-310; idem. ―Mindai Butsudō tōsei kō‖ 明付佛道統制考, Tōyō shikai kiyō 東洋史會紀要 (Tōkyō), no. 2 (1937), pp. 1-19. 2  Chen Yuan 陳垣, Ming ji dianqian fojiao kao 明季滇黔佛教攷 (Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 1959); idem., Qing chu seng  zheng ji 清初僧諍記 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1962). 3  See, for instance, Araki Kengo 荒木見悟, Bukkyō to Jukyō 仏教と儒教 (Tōkyō: Kenbun shuppan, 1963); idem., Mindai  shisō kenkyū: mindai ni okeru jukyō to bukkyō no koryū 明付思想研究: 明付における儒敎と佛敎の交流 (Tōkyō: Sobunsha, 1972); idem., Yōmeigaku no kaiten to bukkyō 陽明學の開展と仏教 (Tōkyō: Kenbun Shuppan, 1984). William Theodore De Bary, Self and Society in Ming Thought (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970). 4  See, for example, Chang Sheng-yen 張罯嚴, Minmatsu chūgoku bukkyō no kenkyū: tokuni Chigyoku o chūshin to shite 明末  中國佛教の研究: 特に智旭を中心として (Tōkyō: Sankibō Busshorin, 1975); Guoxiang 果祥, Zibo dashi yanjiu 紫柏大師  3  appreciate the sophistication in the thoughts of these major Ming-Qing monks and the relationship between their theories and China‘s other traditions, especially Confucianism. Chün-fang Yü‘s book on Yunqi Zhuhong 雲棲祩宏 (1535-1615) deserves particular attention because it lay a solid foundation for the study of late Ming Buddhist revival. The 1980s saw a major innovation in methodology. On the one hand, following the line of intellectual history study, the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity sparked interest among scholars. On the other hand, no longer exclusively devoted to doctrinal issues, scholars began to consider the expansion of Buddhism in its own light and take it as evidence that Buddhism had already found its way into the lives of people across time, space, and social classes. Subsequently, issues related to the ―popularization‖ of different religious traditions gradually caught more attention. Chün-fang Yü‘s research on Zhuhong demonstrates this shift in methodology. The cult of Three-in-One teaching (sanyi jiao 三一教) as a good topic related to both the study of intellectual history and of popularization has also become a hot point of debate since then.5 In addition, Masaaki Chikusa‘s book and Timothy Brook‘s dissertation, which was finished in 1982 but published in 1993, formed the first systematic effort to introduce the approach of sociology into this field.6 Their extensive use of local gazetteers and monastic gazetteers brought to light an abundant but underused source of research material. Since the 1990s, study of Ming Buddhism continues to flourish both in terms of the proliferation of topics and the refinement of methods. In methodology, the effectiveness of the  研究 (Taibei: Dong chu chu ban she, 1987); Jonathan Christopher Cleary, ―Zibo Zhenke: A Buddhist Leader in Late Ming China‖ (Ph.D. disser., University Microfilms International, 1985); Chün-fang Yü, The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-Hung and the Late Ming Synthesis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981). 5  For example, see Judith A. Berling, The Syncretic Religion of Lin Chao-En (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980);  Timothy Brook, ―Rethinking Syncretism: The Unity of the Three Teachings and Their Joint Worship in Late-Imperial China,‖ Journal of Chinese Religions, no. 21 (1993b), pp.13-44. 6  Chikusa Masaaki 竺沙雅章, Chūgoku bukkyō shakaishi kenkyū 中國仏教社會史研究 (Tōkyō: Dōhōsha Shuppan, 1982);  Timothy Brook, Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993). In fact, it seems that scholars studying Chinese popular religion have studied Chinese society through the lens of religion even earlier than scholars in this field. See, for example, Daniel Overymyer, Folk Buddhist Religion: Dissenting Sects in Late Traditional China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976); Susan Naquin, Millenarian Rebellion in China: the Eight Trigrams Uprising of 1813 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976); idem. Shantung Rebellion: the Wang Lun Uprising of 1774 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981). A most recent progress in this field is Daniel L. Overmyer, Local Religion in North China in the Twentieth Century: The Structure and Organization of Community Rituals and Beliefs (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2009). 4  sociological approach has been fully appreciated.7 The regional approach has also been widely exercised. Scholars have treated at different lengths Buddhism in areas like Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Beijing.8 Noticeably, scholars have started to employ various methods heavily informed by political perspectives, particularly in the early Ming. Hoong Teik Toh is the first to deal with the relationship between the early Ming government and Tibetan Buddhism in a monograph length work.9 Zhou Qi examines how China‘s political culture left its mark on the policy choice relevant to Buddhism in the early Ming.10 Timothy Brook‘s studies deserve special attention for his ground-breaking discovery that restrictions on Buddhism during this period were nearly equal to suppression and thus left profound impact on the development of Buddhism thereafter.11 Chen Yunüpays special attention to the political influence on Buddhism in the early Jiajing era and Longqing period.12 In addition, two general studies have come out. Du Changshun has made a sweeping examination on the relationship between the Ming court and Buddhism. Thornton chronologically surveys the history of Buddhism in Hangzhou, with the conclusion that during the Ming and the early Qing dynasties Buddhist monasteries in this area were fundamentally dictated by their position vis-à-vis the state.13 7  In addition to Praying for Power, also see Brook, ―At the Margin of Public Authority: The Ming State and Buddhism,‖ in  Culture, and State in Chinese History: Conventions, Accommodations, and Critiques (Stanford, Cali.: Stanford University Press, 1997), pp. 161-81; Susan Naquin and Chün-fang Yü, Pilgrims and Sites in China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Chün-fang Yü, Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000); Chen Yunü 陳玉女, ―Mindai Bukkyō shakai no chiikiteki kenkyū: Kasei Banreki Nenkan o Chūshin Toshite‖ 明付仏教社會 の地域的研究-嘉靖萬曆年間(1522-1620)を中心として (Ph.D. disser., Kyūshū University, 1995). 8  For studies on Nanjing, see He Xiaorong 何孝榮, Mingdai Nanjing siyuan yanjiu 明付南京孝院研究 (Beijing: Zhongguo  shehui kexue chubanshe, 2000); For studies on Hangzhou, see Susanna Thornton, ―Buddhist Monasteries in Hangzhou in the Ming and Early Qing‖ (Ph.D. disser, London University, 1996). For studies on Beijing Buddhism, see He Xiaorong, Mingdai Beijing fojiao siyuan xiujian yanjiu 明付北京佛教孝院修建研究 (Tianjin: Nankai daxue chubanshe, 2007); Susan Naquin, Peking: Temples and City Life, 1400-1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). 9  Hoong Teik Toh 卓鴻澤, ―Tibetan Buddhism in Ming China‖ (Ph.D. disser., Harvard University, 2004).  10  Zhou Qi 周齊, Mingdai fojiao yu zhengzhi wenhua 明付佛教與政治文化 (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2005).  11  Timothy Brook, The Chinese State in Ming Society (London, New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005); idem., ―At the Margin of  Public Authority: The Ming State and Buddhism.‖ 12  See Chen Yunü, ―Ming Wanli shiqi Cisheng huangtaihou de chongfo-jian lun fo, dao liang shili de duizhi‖ 明萬曆時期慈罯  皇太后的崇佛─兼論佛、道兩勢力的對峙, Chengong daxue lishi xuebao 戎功大學歷史學報, no. 23 (1997), pp. 195-245; idem., ―Ming Huayanzong pai Bianrong Hesang ruyu Kao-Jianshu Long, Wan Nianjian Fojiao Yu Jingshi Quanguide Wanglai‖ 明華嚴宗派遍融和尚入獄攷-兼述隆、萬年間佛教與京師權貴的往來, Lishi Xuebao 歷史學報, no. 24 (1998), pp. 215-58. 13  See Du Changshun 杒常順, ―Mingdai gongting yu fojiao guanxi yanjiu‖ 明付宮廷與佛教關系研究 (Ph. D. disser., Jinan  University, 2005); Thornton, ―Buddhist Monasteries in Hangzhou in the Ming and Early Qing.‖ 5  Old topics have been refreshed as new ones were introduced. Here are several remarkable indicators. First, new progress has been made on the study of Buddhist canons,14 with the book coauthored by Li & He as the most comprehensive and useful. Second, new light has been thrown onto Buddhism‘s ties with eunuchs.15 Chen‘s study uncovers the economic nature of their cooperation. Third, the study of Buddhism and folk religions appears to be so full-fledged that some theoretical approaches have been gradually sophisticated.16 Ma and Seiwert both demonstrate how complex the relationship between Buddhism and folk religions sometimes was, for which they offer convincing explanations. Fourth, individual monks and Buddhist traditions (like the Chan, Pure Land, and Vinaya) have been further studied.17 Finally, institutional reforms within the saMgha that occurred in the late Ming have been studied by Jiang Canteng, Hasebe Yūkei, and Chen Yunü.18 14  See Lianbin Dai, ―The Economics of the Jiaxing Edition of the Buddhist Tripitaka,‖ T’oung Pao, 94. 5 (2008), pp. 306-59;  Hasebe Yūkei 長谷部幽蹊, ―Mindai ikō ni okeru zōkyō no kaichō‖ 明付以降における蔵経の開雕, Aichigakuin daigaku ronsō, ippan kyōiku kenkyū 愛知學院大學論叢 一般教育研究 31. 1 (1983-84), pp. 3-28; Li Fuhua 李富華 and He Mei 何 梅, Hanwen Fojiao Dazingjing Yanjiu 漢文佛教大藏經研究 (Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2003); Nozawa Yoshimi 野沢佳美, Mindai daizōkyō shi no kenkyū: nanzō no rekishigakuteki kiso kenkyū 明付大藏經の研究: 南蔵の歴史學的基礎 研究 (Tōkyō: Kyuko Shoin, 1998). 15  See Chen Yunü, ―Ming dai zhongye yiqian huanguang, sengguan yu tingchen de lianjie guanxi-tongguo dui ‗fen si‘ yu  ‗diyuan‘ wenti de tantao‖ 明付中葉以前宦官、僧官與廷臣的連結關係─透過對‖墳孝‖與‖地緣‖問題的探討, Chengong daxue lishi xuebao, no. 22 (1996), pp. 283-304; Idem., Mingdai ershi si yamen huanguan yu beijing fojiao 明付二十四衙門宦 官與北京佛教 (Taibei: Ruwen chubanshe, 2001). He Xiaorong, ―Mingdai huanguan yu fojiao‖ 明付宦官與佛教, Nankai xuebao 南開學報, no. 1 (2000), pp. 18-27. 16  See, for example, Ma Xisha 馬西沙 and Han Bingfang 韓秉方, Zhongguo minjian zongjiao shi 中國民間宗教史  (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1992); Hubert M. Seiwert, Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003); Kwang-Ching Liu and Richard Hon-Chun Shek, eds., Heterodoxy in Late Imperial China (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2004); Richard Hon-Chun Shek, ―Religion and Society in Late Ming: Sectarianism and Popular Thought in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century China‖ (Ph.D., disser, University of California, Berkeley, 1984); Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion: Dissenting Sects in Late Traditional China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976). 17  For several noteworthy examples, see Jiang Wu, Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in  Seventeenth-Century China (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Chen Songbai 陳松柏, ―Hanshan chanxue zhi yanjiu: yi zixing wei zhongxin‖ 憨山禪學之研究: 以自性爲中心 (Gaoxiong: Foguangshan wenjiao jijinhui, 2004); Shengyen 罯嚴, Mingmo fojiao yanjiu 明末佛教研究 (Taibei: Dongchu chubanshe, 1993). 18  See Jiang Canteng 江燦虅, Wan Ming fojiao conglin gaige yu foxue zhengbian zhi yanjiu: Yi Hanshan Deqing de gaige  shengya wei zhongxin 晚明佛教叢林改革與佛學諍辯之研究: 以憨山德清的改革生涯為中心 (Taibei: Xin wenfeng chuban gongsi, 1990); Hasebe Yūkei, Ming Qing fojiao shi yanjiu xushuo 明清佛教史研究序說 (Taibei: Xin wenfeng chuban gongsi, 1979). 6  The emerging interest in Ming-Early Qing Buddhism since 1990s has much to do with a ―revolution in paradigm‖ in the study of Buddhism in late imperial China which had long been viewed as a story of continuous decline. Such an understanding was largely derived from what might be called ―Sui-Tang centrism‖ in the sense that it takes Sui-Tang (581-907) Buddhism as a universal standard to gauge Chinese Buddhism for all ages.19 Recently, this stereotype has been forcefully challenged, with the ―glory‖ of the Sui-Tang Buddhism brought into question. Largely due to these challenges, scholars have steadily come to recognize the value of Buddhism in other ages,20 which has led scholars to approach them in their own light. Working on the basis of this new paradigm, scholars have uncovered a remarkable Buddhist revival in late Ming China.21 2) Studies on Late Ming Buddhist Revival This Buddhist revival was important not only in China but also in the entire East Asia.22 As shown by the survey above, however, a systematic endeavour has yet to be undertaken to explore the whole history of this fascinating phenomenon. Further, the current scholarship on this issue is flawed in several regards. With the exception of Chen Yunü, few if any scholars have attempted to relate Buddhism in this period with Buddhism under the previous periods, making this revival appear both abrupt and mysterious. In fact, right before the revival there were Emperor Jiajing‘s policy and practice that were much discriminating against Buddhism. Further, although nearly thirty years has passed since sociological approaches were systematically introduced into this field, local elites/ scholar-officials remain the sole object of focus, with the exception of Chen who has studied women.23 As a result, in sharp contrast to the study of folk religion, the spiritual world of commoner Buddhists has been left out of the 19  See Albert Welter, ―Review of Cultural Intersections in Later Chinese Buddhism,‖ China Review International, no. 11  (2004), pp. 193-98. However, Helen Josephine Baroni, Ōbaku Zen: The Emergence of the Third Sect of Zen in Tokugawa, Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2000), also argued that such a ―centrism‖ was not simply due to lack of knowledge about Buddhism in late imperial China, but also partly resulted from some Japanese scholars‘ efforts to advocate the autonomy and superiority of Japanese Buddhism. 20  See Peter N. Gregory and Daniel A. Getz, eds, Buddhism in the Sung (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999), p.14;  Brook, Praying for Power, p.31, and the preface to Jiang, Wan Ming fojiao conglin gaige yu foxue zhengbian zhi yanjiu. 21  See Yü, The Renewal of Buddhism in China; Brook, Praying for power; Wu, Enlightenment in Dispute.  22  For instance, the Buddhist monk Yinyuan Longqi kanji  隱元隆琦 (1592-1673) migrated to Japan from Southeast China  and founded the Ōbaku Chan tradition in Japan, which has become the third largest of its kind see Baroni, Ōbaku Zen. 23  Chen Yunü, ―Mingdai funü xin fo de shehui jinzhi yu zhizhu kongjian‖ 明付婦女信佛的社會禁制與自主空間, Chengong  daxue lishi xuebao 戎功大學歷史學報, no. 29 (2005), pp. 121-64; no. 30(2006), pp. 43-90.  7  sphere of scholarly attention. Moreover, although recognized as the key to comprehending the development of Ming Buddhism, only sporadic studies have been attempted on the Ming monastic economy.24 This is a serious omission, considering that it was during this period that China‘s economy boomed at an unprecedented pace. To compound the situation, significant as it is, the regional approach has not been widely used in this field of study. When concentrating on Buddhism in a given area, scholars have, more often than not, succumbed to two tendencies: the first is to compartmentalize different areas, overlooking their possible interactions, and thus failing to understand them in a national context. The second is that scholars are prone to apply conclusions derived from their study of a given region to other areas without sufficient justification. Last but not least, although popularization seemed to be a sweeping feature of late Ming Buddhism, it is still unclear to what extent the commoners were religiously driven to Buddhism. I would like to further discuss current scholarship in this field, with more reference to Timothy Brook‘s book on Buddhism and late Ming gentry society, which is actually a standard source for students interested in Chinese Buddhism.25 The application of Brook‘s study might be constrained by the space and time he chose to study. In terms of region, although he tried to cover as widely as possible, as evidenced by his case studies, his focus is on areas south of the Yellow River and east of Guangxi, which had a higher economic and cultural level compared to North China.26 Such options are open to question in the perspectives of Buddhist and political realms. Yunnan was a case in point. This is not the place go into details, but a few words are in 24  For monastic economy in the Ming dynasty, cf. Chikusa Masaaki, ―Mindai jiden no fueki‖ 明付孝田の賦役, in Min Shin  jidai no seiji to shakai 明清時付の政治と社会, ed. Ono Kazuko 小野和子 (Kyōto: Kyōto Daigaku Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo), pp. 487-512 ; Noguchi Tetsurō 野口鉄郎, ―Jiso shiroku no hō o megutte‖ 孝租四六の法をめぐって, in Yamane Yukio kyōju taikyū kinen mindaishi ronsō 山根幸夫教授退休記念明付史論叢 (eds. Yamane Yukio 山根幸夫 and Okuzaki Hiroshi 奥崎裕司; Tōkyō: Kyūko Shoin, 1990), pp. 903-26; Ishida Tokuyuki 石田德行, ―Min dai Nankin no jishō ni tsuitetoku ni jishō no zeieki futan o chūshin to shite-‖ 明付南京の孝荘について―特に孝荘の稅役負擔を中心として, Zengaku Kenkyū 禪學研究 no. 2 (1966), pp. 79-97. 25  This excellent study is aimed at an understanding not so much of the history of Chinese Buddhism as that of late Ming  society, which Brook believed can be studied by analyzing the interplays between local gentry and Buddhism. Moreover, the author felt more interested in the gentry patronage of Buddhism as a characteristic of the age, rather than in Buddhism‘s step by step evolution over time. The specific purpose of his study meant that the author has made different choices of material and reached different conclusions than more Buddhism-oriented historians. These differences further imply some significant but oft-neglected limitations in applying the conclusions reached in this work to the history of Buddhism. 26  For the regional study of Chinese society in late imperial China, see William. Skinner, ed., The City in Late Imperial China  (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1977). 8  order. The growth of Ming Buddhism in Yunnan was unique in that with the substantial support from local authorities it flourished during the Jiajing era when Buddhism in other areas was suffering from harsh political intervention.27 Beijing was another missing piece of the puzzle with much more significance. In medieval China when Buddhism enjoyed its glory in cosmopolitan cities like Chang‘an, Luoyang, Nanjing, and Hangzhou, Buddhism in Beijing, which was mostly a frontier, had little to boast except for the stone canon in Fangshan 房山. However, after it was made the middle capital 中都 of the Jin dynasty (1115-1234) and the Grand Capital 大都 in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), various Buddhist monasteries were built in the area. Beijing lost this status as another city was designated the imperial capital of the Ming dynasty in its early years; but fortunately for the Beijing-based Buddhist community, such a status was restored in 1418. In addition to its political status, Beijing was unique also because its social, economic, and cultural features made it so distinct from the regions south of the Yellow River. For example, we can hardly find the Jiangnan type of local gentry active in this area. In contrast, the imperial family, eunuchs, military officials of Imperial Bodyguard (jinyiwei 錦衣衛), and the ―incense association‖ (xianghui 香會) which organized common people loosely constituted the major driving force of the religious life therein.28 All of these factors, as we shall see in Chapters Four and Seven, helped establish Beijing‘s leading position in the Buddhist society on a national level in the middle Ming dynasty. Therefore, taking Beijing into account would add a significant part to the picture of Buddhism depicted by Brook and other scholars. Time is another problem. It is difficult for any scholars to precisely track the growth of Buddhism‘s presence and growth in society over time. Nevertheless, Brook still suggests that the sixteenth century, particularly its middle decades, was the starting point of the interaction of gentry and clergy, which then expanded rapidly until the opening decades of the Qing dynasty.29 27  Chen Yuan has made so far the best study about Buddhism in Yunnan. See his Ming ji dian qian fo jiao kao. For a recent  study on Buddhism in this area, see Lan Jifu 藍卲富, Yunnan dali fojiao lunwen ji 雲南大理佛教論文集 (Gaoxiong: Foguang chubanshe, 1991); Hou Chong 侯沖, Yunnan yu Ba Shu fojiao yanjiu lungao 雲南與巴蜀佛教研究論稿 (Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2006). 28  Chen, ―Mindai bukkyō shakai no chiiki teki kenkyū: kajō manreki nenkan wo chūshin toshite,‖ pp.195-225.  29  Brook, Praying for Power, pp. 91-96. He loosely refers to this period as the late Ming. However, it seems that he was not  very sure about the starting point. For example, for Gui Youguang‘s (1506-1571) boast that as late as the middle of the sixteenth century ―the popularity of Buddhism among the people constantly declining.‖ Brook comments that ―he did not seems to realize, or else chose to ignore, that monasteries were beginning to receive substantial support from the local gentry, and the gentry were taking up all manner of Buddhist practices.‖ (p. 33) If Buddhist monasteries had already received substantial support by 9  Therefore, he naturally puts emphasis on one hundred years starting with the Wanli era when these interactions prevailed everywhere in Jiangnan. To a historian of late Ming Buddhism, however, this unit of time might appear unwieldy. For example, Wu Jiang clearly split it into two parts along the 1630s, referring to one as the late Ming Buddhist revival and the other as the Chan revitalization.30 More importantly, if this ambiguous starting point, that is, ―the middle decades of the sixteenth century‖, is acceptable for Brook‘s study of late Ming society, it should not be easily adopted by scholars of Buddhist history because it was exactly during this short period that many things happened which would largely decide the development of Buddhism, as we shall see. In this sense, that Chen Yunüadvanced the starting point of the study to the Jiajing period had the advantage of allowing us to observe the change in saMgha more carefully. Even within the topics Brook addresses, there are questions that remain unsolved. The separation of the state and society forms the foundation for Brook‘s arguments.31 With regard to the reasons for its appearance, his explanation primarily depends on the economic boom which not only dramatically reduced the chance for a candidate to get a post through the civil service exam after the 1550s but also enabled local gentry to afford to be more independent of the state. He was right in this respect, but he left some important questions to other scholars to explore. Therefore, when he noticed that such patronage declined after the 1680s but there was no marked alteration in the socioeconomic conditions of gentry life from the 1680s forward, he the middle of this century, the starting point of the interactions under discussion should be put earlier. 30  Wu, Enlightenment in Dispute, pp.22-45.  31  Roughly speaking, Brook‘s line of thinking is as follows: beginning from the start of sixteenth century, an economic boom  made education much more affordable than before, particularly in the Jiangnan region, which in turn made candidates overwhelmingly outnumber the available civil-service posts. Well aware of this increased instability in obtaining and maintaining power in the bureaucracy, gentry families were forced to conserve economic resources to prevent the family from being forced out of the competition for degrees. Sociologically, on the other hand, ―this competition made the realm of most aspirants limited in the local society‖ and accordingly made them local gentry. More importantly for Brook, the awareness of such limits in their influence, together with the contemporary cultural and intellectual current, prompted local gentry to act much differently from their counterparts prior to and after the late Ming. Separation between the state and locality was thus triggered and took form. On the part of local gentry, supported by their growing wealth and cognisant of the difficulty in the civil career competition, they were able to afford and even were contented with this separation. Further, they tried to act according to their own agendas which were sometimes different from or even contrary to that established by the state and by Neo-Confucian ideology, and the ―public realm‖ was thus needed. Buddhist monasteries, which were excluded from the public realm defined by the state but at the same time constituted an open public space in local society, came to the fore. Against this background, Brook employed four distinct but related tensions in late-Ming society- Confucianism versus Buddhism, political versus economic power, state versus locality, and public versus private-as the backbone in his analysis of the gentry‘s generous patronage to Buddhist monasteries which boomed in late Ming in various forms. 10  cannot help but ask why it could happen as such?32 We can also ask in other words: What made the ever disrupted relationship between the state and the gentry return to normalcy even when socioeconomic conditions basically remained unchanged? Because it was outside of his main focus, Brook left this problem to other scholars, but this remains unsolved in Wu Jiang‘s more recent book. It is from here that I will introduce politics as a significant, if not always the most important factor, to explore the growth of late Ming Buddhism. It will become evident that without considering the political role, not only will we miss a crucial dimension to understand gentry‘s standing apart of the state, but we will also remain in dark about the general dynamics behind the late Ming Buddhist revival. 3) The Late Ming Buddhist Revival and Contemporary Politics To solve these problems which seem unsolvable with current approaches and methods, in this project I will approach this Buddhist revival mainly from the traditionally political perspective. In fact, Buddhism had a close relationship with politics in imperial China so that its growth was profoundly influenced by the latter. Unlike Christianity in Europe, Buddhism in imperial China, with a few possible exceptions (as that in the Northern Wei dynasty [386-534]), was not an integral part of the political hegemony, nor was it a state structure in its own right. Thus, on the one hand there was a natural gap between Buddhism and the state; and on the other, Buddhism was subject to the impact from the state. The heated controversy about whether a Buddhist monk should pay respect to a secular king in medieval China and Śākyamuni‘s reported wish that kings and ministers should serve as the protector of Buddhism reflect such a dilemma. In reality, although it was repeatedly stressed that Buddhism should keep away from politics, Buddhism was often found to be deeply entangled with politics.33 This was also true during late Ming Buddhist revival. So far mid- and late Ming Buddhism has occasionaly been approached from the political perspective, but many problems remain. Thornton concluded in her study on Buddhism in 32  Brook, Praying for Power, p. 353.  33  For the relationship between Buddhism and the state in the Sui Buddhism, see Tonami Mamoru 礪波護, Zui-Tō no bukkyō  to kokka 隋唐の佛教と國家 (Tōkyō: Chūō kōronsha, 1999); in the Tang dynasty, see Stanley Weinstein, Buddhism under the T’ang (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Antonino Forte, Political Propaganda and Ideology in China at the End of the Seventh Century: Inquiry into the Nature, Author, and Function of the Tunhuang Document S. 6502, Followed by an Annotated Translation (Kyoto: Italian School of East Asian Studies, 2005); in the Song dynasty, see Huang Chi-chiang 黃啟江, ―Imperial Rulership and Buddhism in the Early Northern Sung,‖ in Imperial Rulership and Cultural Change in Traditional China, ed. Frederick P. Brandauer and Chun-chieh Huang (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), pp.144-87. 11  Hangzhou that ―until the 1570s, without obvious support from any emperor, Buddhist monasteries at the local level were shunned by the elite, starved of investment, and taxed almost to extinction.‖34 This point about the indifference of local elite to the Buddhist affairs is somewhat in conflict with Brook‘s suggestion, and if true it is no doubt an important point. Unfortunately, it is not easy to apply this conclusion to other regions because Thornton collected her data mainly from Hangzhou. Although Chen Yunü‘s work deserves special attention for its concentration on the political influence on Buddhism in the early Jiajing era and Longqing period,35 she assumed that Daoism always had an overwhelming predominance at the court in the mid- and late Jiajing era and ignored an increase in patronage of Buddhism by eunuchs taking place at that time. Du Changshun surveyed the development of Ming Buddhism under the influence of court politics, but he seems more interested in simply recounting the events of the time than in analyzing what happened.36 Given the fragmentary nature of these studies, a comprehensive study of this revival from the political perspective is thus needed, just like what Timothy Brook has done from the social perspective. I will address these issues in this project. That Chinese Buddhism covered the whole distance from decay to flourishing during the Jiajing-Wanli period suggests a widespread expansion of Buddhist belief and practice in a particular historical period. I deem the rise and fall of Buddhism as another expression of its diffusion and reception in society. To understand the ―rediscovery‖ of the attraction of Buddhism during the period under discussion, I have also used the insights of structural functionalism. In this theory, societies are seen as coherent, bounded and fundamentally relational constructs that function like organisms, with their various parts (or social institutions) working together in an unconscious, quasi-automatic fashion toward achieving an overall social equilibrium. When changes happen, individuals in interaction with changing situations adapt through a process of ―role bargaining.‖ Once the roles are established, they create norms that guide further action and are thus institutionalized, creating stability across social interactions. Where the adaptation process cannot adjust, due to sharp shocks or immediate radical change, structural dissolution occurs, and either new structures (and therefore a new system) are formed or society dies.37 34  Thornton, ―Buddhist Monasteries in Hangzhou in the Ming and Early Qing,‖ p.183.  35  See her ―Mindai bukkyō shakai no chiiki teki kenkyū.‖  36  Du, ―Mingdai gongting yu fojiao guanxi yanjiu.‖  37  See Talcott Parsons and Leon H. Mayhew, Talcott Parsons on Institutions and Social Evolution: Selected Writings (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1982). 12  More importantly, I will attempt to explain why the late Ming revival evolved as such. As I will demonstrate later, politics surely placed tremendous effects on the development of Buddhism of the age. However, political figures did not always exert influence on society simply as political figures and through the political channel. Instead, even if they had quit their political careers, the fame established accordingly will keep them influential enough to lead the public opinion. For that reason, I have been inspired by the theories of communication studies. Communication studies concern the process of communication which is usually defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. I will rely in particular on two concepts in this field. One is the notion of an ―opinion leader.‖ Opinion leaders are agents who are active media users and who interpret and communicate their messages to a primary group, thereby influencing the attitudes and changing the behaviour of their followers. Typically opinion leaders are held in high esteem by those that accept their opinions, but there are different levels within themselves, which means some of them are influenced by others. The other is the notion of ―agenda setting.‖ Simply put, this refers to the large influence that the opinion leaders have on audiences by their choice of what stories to consider valuable and how much prominence and space to give them.38 With the help of communication studies, I will examine how the people on the top end of hierarchy affected others under and trace the expansion of Buddhist belief happened in different social group of different regions. I will thus take it as my assumption that religious belief is not only a personal choice but also a socio-political and economic act subject to outside influence. Accordingly, the increasing appeal of Buddhism for people in the late Ming and early Qing will be seen as part of people‘s response to a society where they increasingly felt dislocated because of the tremendous recent changes in politics, society, economy, and culture. In content, this project consists of seven chapters plus an introduction and a conclusion. I will first examine the basic framework of the Ming administration, which regulated the relationship between different social groups and their stances towards Buddhism. I will also study the structural problems inherent in this system and the problems that resulted, mainly in the form of ―the Great Ritual Controversy‖ (daliyi 大禮議) in the Jiajing era and the naming of the crown prince in the Wanli era. In doing so, I intend not only to uncover the political backdrop for my entire project, but also to reveal that in many cases the seemingly personal 38  For the opinion leader, see Elihu Katz, and Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, Personal Influence; the Part Played by People in the Flow  of Mass Communications (Glencoe, Ill: Free press, 1955). As for the agenda-setting, see Walte Lippmann, Public Opinion (New York: Free press, 1966). 13  choices of people in the Jiajing-Wanli period were ultimately regulated, if not decided, by the fundamental problem of the age. Chapters Two to Four constitute a relatively independent section. I will examine how people outside the saMgha adjusted their relationships with Buddhism in response to varying political winds. These people were from different walks of society, ranging from the royal family down to eunuchs, scholars-officials, and commoners. And their actions will be understood in relation to their own particularized socioeconomic, cultural, and regional situations and their interactions with each other. In doing so, I aim to disclose how the material, human, and intellectual resources accessible to the Buddhist society fluctuated in quality and quantity in response to variations in the political climate. Specifically, the subject of Chapter Two is Emperor Jiajing‘s (r.1522-1566) discrimination against Buddhism which lasted throughout his reign of forty five years. Chronologically, I seek to understand to what extent Jiajing‘s treatment with Buddhism was not only a problem of personal religious belief but also a result influenced by the general political climate, especially his relationship with his ministers. I will also examine what influence that this emperor and his minister placed on the development of Buddhism. In Chapter Three I will move to Wanli (r.1573-1620) and his mother Empress Dowager Cisheng 慈聖 (1545-1614), who was well known for lavish patronage of Buddhism. I will first examine how a cleavage in the inner court became increasingly deep in the Wanli era, which in turn caused growing tension between the mother and son. Then I will trace variations in Cisheng‘s patronage of Buddhism and analyze the spatio-temporal feature in it. By doing so, I hope to reveal precisely how Cisheng‘s support of Buddhism was controlled by her position in the power structure, especially in relation to her son the emperor. Finally, I conduct a few small case studies to demonstrate their direct influence on Buddhism. In Chapter Four I will go down from the central governmental level to the local level and examine eunuchs and scholar-officials as the major supporting forces of Buddhism in Beijing and the Jiangnan region, respectively. Ming eunuchs were the extension of the inner court into local society. As a group they were also a generous and rather reliable sustaining force to Buddhism in Beijing, but I will chart the fluctuations in their support of Buddhist societies over the course of one hundred years. I will further reveal how these vacillations reflect their judgements about the political wind and at the same time suggest changes in their positions in relation both to the ruler and court officials. As the eunuchs‘ counterpart in the Jiangnan region, scholar-officials were increasingly active in local society during the mid- and late Ming. I will 14  explore how they kept adjusting their relationship with Buddhism in distinct ways and at different paces which cannot be fully understood without considering their social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. I will also conduct a case study on Feng Mengzhen 馮夢楨 (1548-1608). Chapter Five through seven form another section of this dissertation, in which I will study how political changes in the secular world affected the Buddhist community and how the latter responded to the former. I will also examine the eventual effect of this interaction between the secular world and the saMgha on the late Ming Buddhism as a whole. Monks and monasteries, which I consider as the foremost indicators of the state of Buddhism at the time, will be the major subject of study. To be specific, in Chapter Five I will cover four cases, those of Hanshan Deqing, Zibo Zhenke 紫柏真可 (1543-1603), and Miaofeng Fudeng 妙峰福登 (1531-1604) as well as Kongyin Zhencheng 空印鎮澄 (1547-1617), who were among the most influential Buddhist masters in the Wanli era. Befriending one another, they had close ties with the inner court and many scholar-officials, although they lived distinct lives. The stress of this chapter is laid on how and to what extent these personal and political ties had impact not only on their personal lives but also, due to their high status, on the evolution of contemporary Buddhism as a whole. Similarly, Chapter Six consists in case studies, but about the histories of Buddhist temples in North and South China. In doing so, I intend to reveal the dynamics behind the development of Buddhist temples in different regions at different phases of the Jiajing-Wanli period, though a scarcity of material about temples in North China limits my ability to form a complete account of this question. Chapter Seven is a regional study with an ultimate aim at a national level. Employing quantitative methods, I will first research the activities of eminent monks and monasteries in the North China/Beijing and the Jiangnan region— two thousands of miles apart but both pivotal to Buddhism. I will then reveal how the late Ming Buddhist revival evolved over time at a national level by looking at interactions between Buddhism in these two regions. Finally I will try to explain why it happened as such by reference not only to contemporary political milieu but also to local social, economic, and cultural context. Regarding materials, not only will I examine all relevant textual sources, but I will also make extensive use of epigraphic sources, some of which have been recently made available and have not yet been adequately exploited by historians. In this project I will make use of  15  several hundred kinds of primary sources. In addition to regular material like the veritable records of the Ming (Ming shilu 明實錄), the Ming history, and collected works, I will heavily depend on biographies of eminent monks, local and monastic gazetteers, epitaphs and inscriptions, rubbings, and miscellaneous notes (biji 筆記). All available sources, textual and epigraphic, monastic and secular, will be subjected to a close reading and critical analysis. In addition, quantitative analysis, regional approach, and cases studies are employed consistently in the mode of the French Annals School. The Annals School tends to view history as an interaction of diverse factors and emphasizes the advantages of studying a manageable region during a relatively longer period of time. Thus, inspired by their ―long duree‖ theory,39 rather than start at the immediate beginning of the revival during the Wanli era, this study looks far into the Jiajing era by examining the roots of what would eventually grow into a full scale revival. This ―long duree‖ approach hopes to carve out a much more coherent picture and time frame of the overall revival. I also take inspiration from the Annals School‘s blending of quantitative analysis with particularized case and regional studies. I have been fortunate to locate a diversity of sources that allow me to explore both the dynamics of this revival in larger realm-wide quantitative terms, as well as the more intimate and particularized qualitative levels found in personal and regional case studies. Partly because of the relatively ambitious scope of this project, its results should not only be of interest to Buddhologists, but also to those more generally interested in historic church-state relations, Daoism, folk religion, comparative religion, and Chinese social and economic history.  39  For the ―long duree‖ theory, see Fernand Braudel and Sarah Matthews, On History (The University of Chicago Press, 1982),  Chapter One. 16  Chapter 1 The Religious Legacy and Political Context  Like other world religions, the development of Buddhism in a given period is based on the legacy it has inherited and the society in which it exists and with which it interacts. In this chapter I will first examine the legacy that mid- and late Ming Buddhism inherited by examining government policy towards Buddhism and its enforcement at the local level. Then I will move to reconstruct the political context where it was active. Instead of simply putting important events together and thinking that they happened by chance, I take these events mostly as results of the structural problem inherent in the framework of power. I thus trace the basic political structure of this dynasty back to the early Ming and examine its modifications in the subsequent periods, revealing a wide gap between the ideal design and its actual operation. In the last part I will examine how these structural problems broke out during the Jiajing-Wanli period, with an emphasis on the deadlock in the Wanli court.  1.1 Policies Relevant to Buddhism in the Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋 (r.1368-1398), the Hongwu emperor who founded the Ming dynasty, spent dozens of years designing institutional and legal systems to administer Buddhism. After having been further modified by his son Yongle (r. 1403-1424), this system became the basic policy throughout the Ming.1 ` 1  In the early years of his reign Hongwu was more supportive of than strict with Buddhism. For Zhu Yuanzhang‘s policy related to Buddhism, see Ryūchi Kiyoshi, ―Min no taisō no bukkyō seisaku‖; He Xiaorong, ―Lun  Ming Taizu De Zongjiao Shixiang jiqi Yingxiang‖ 論明太祖的宗教思想及其影響, Lishi jiaoxue 歷史教學, no. 6 (2008), pp. 83-112; Kageki Motohiro 蔭木原洋, ―Kōbutei no bukkyō seisaku -Sō Ren to Kitan Shūroku ni shōten o atete 洪武帝の仏教 政策 - 宋濂と季潭宗泐に焦點を當てて, Tōyō shiho 東洋史訪 5 (1999), pp. 13-24; 6 (2000), pp. 1-16; Kawakatsu Kenryō 川勝賢亮, ―Min taisō no sōrin seido ni kansuru ichi kōsatsu minshin bukkyō no kihonteki seikaku wo megutte‖ 明太祖の叢林 制度に関する一考察: 明清仏教の基本性格をめぐって, in Sato seijun hakushi koki kinen ronbunshu: tōyō no rekishi to bunka 佐藤戎順博士古稀記念論文集: 東洋の歴史と文化, ed. Satō Seijun Hakushi Koki Kinen Ronbunshū Kankōkai 佐藤 戎順博士古稀記念論文集刊行会 (Kyoto: Sankibō busshorin 山喜房仏書林, 2004), pp. 53-70.  17  He had spent some time in a temple as a monk before joining the rebellion in the late Yuan dynasty,2 and it is not surprising that he gave generous support to Buddhism when he ascended to the throne. He set up the Bureau of Buddhist Patriarch (shanshi yuan 善世院) to administer the saMgha in Hongwu 1 (1368), giving its director the rank of 2b.3 He summoned many eminent monks to the imperial capital, where he discussed Buddhist teachings with them. He held the Dharma assembly (fahui 法會) annually in the first five years of his reign, and even knelt before a Buddha statue.4 In Hongwu 5 (1372), he ordered the compilation a new version of Buddhist canon, which was finally finished in 1401.5 In the same year, he ordered officials to count Buddhist and Daoist monks all over the country and to give them ordination certificates (dudie 度牒), whose number was up to 57,000, for free. He selected some monks as officials, and sent others to foreign countries as envoys. In addition, he allowed monks to travel everywhere to preach Buddhist teachings. As for Tibetan Buddhism, his main strategy was to confer important monks with titles in a hope to get their cooperation to keep the frontier peaceful. On the other hand, Hongwu did place some restrictions on Buddhism in this period. In Hongwu 5 (1373), he ordered a register book called zhouzhi ce 周知冊 (a register known everywhere) to be made and circulated all over the country so that fake monks could be found easily. One year later, alarmed by a rapid increase of Buddhist and Daoist monks from 57,000 in the twelve month of Hongwu 5 to 96,000 in the eighth month of next year, he ordered that novice monks (xingtong 行童) be denied full ordination until they passed relevant exams and that women be prohibited from becoming nuns until reaching the age of forty. He also required that ―only one temple be permitted to exist in each prefecture, sub-prefecture, and county‖ and that monks all live there together, which clearly aimed at reducing the number of Buddhist 2  Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋, Ming Taizu yuzhi wenji 明太祖禦制文集 (Taibei: Xuesheng shuju, 1965) 16, p. 2a (435).  3  For the Bureau of Buddhist Patriarch, see Chen, ―Mindai bukkyō shakai no chiiki teki kenkyū,‖ pp. 21-27; He Xiaorong,  ―Ming chu shanshi yuan kao‖ 明初善世院考, Xi’nan daxue xuebao 西南大學學報 35. 2 (2009), pp. 46-50. 4  For the Dharma Assembly in the early Hongwu era, see Shiga Takayoshi 滋賀高罬, ―Minsho no hōe to bukkyō seisaku‖ 明  初の法會と仏教政策, Ōtani Daigaku kenkyū nenpō 大谷大學研究年報, no. 21 (1969), pp. 197-237. 5 For the Hongwu version of the Buddhist canon, see Li & He, Hanwen fojiao da zangjing yanjiu, pp. 375-406; Nozawa Yoshimi 野沢佳美, ―Kōbu nanzō kara Eiraku nanzō e‖ 洪武南蔵から永楽南蔵へ, Komazawa shigaku 駒澤史學 52 (1998), pp. 218-39; idem., ―Minsho ni okeru ‗futatsu no nanzo‘ : ‗kōbu nanzō kara eiraku nanzō e‘ sairon‖ 明初における「二つの南 蔵:「洪武南蔵から永楽南蔵へ」再論, Risshō daigaku jinbunkagaku kenkyūjo nenpō 立正大學人文科學研究所年報 45 (2007), pp. 15-23. 18  temples. Then in Hongwu 10 (1377), he ordered all monks in the country to learn the monk Zongle‘s 宗泐 annotated editions of the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, and the Lankavatara Sutra. Beginning from Hongwu 14 (1381) there was a clear change in Hongwu‘s attitudes towards Buddhism, and in the second phase the emperor paid more attention to reorganizing and restricting the saMgha. In the sixth month of Hongwu 14 (1381), the Central Buddhist Registry (senglu si 僧錄司) was instituted to replace the Bureau of Buddhist Patriarch. Its responsibility included registering and supervising monks, organizing exams necessary for ordination, and recommending candidates for vacant abbacies.6 Compared with the Bureau of Buddhist Patriarch, the rank of the head of the Central Buddhist Registry was lowered from 2a to 6a. Also it was given less independence, for it was not allowed to make important decisions without cooperation with the Ministry of Rites.7 On the other hand it had branches at prefectural, sub-prefectural, and county levels so that its influence could be extended to every corner of the country. In the fourth month of the following year, this system of registry was established and would persist throughout this dynasty. One month later, Hongwu further instituted a classification of Buddhist temples into three groups of the Chan, doctrine (jiang 講), and esoteric ritual (jiao 教). Both the Chan and the doctrinal schools had long traditions in China, while the esoteric ritual school was Hongwu‘s invention which allowed monks belonging to it to pray for blessings and perform funeral rituals at a reasonable fee.8 In Hongwu 17 (1384), Hongwu approved a suggestion by the Ministry of Rites that monks be  6  Ge Yinliang 葛寅亮, Jinling fan cha zhi 金陵梵刹志 (Taibei: Mingwen shuju, 1980) (Cited as FCZ hereafter) 2, p.4b (210).  For the change in the management bureau of Buddhism in the early Ming, see Nogami Shunjō 野上俊靜, ―Minsho no sōdō gamon‖ 明初の僧道衙門, Ōtani gakuhō 大谷學報 98 (26-1/2) (1946), pp. 8-15; Ryūchi Kiyoshi, ―Mindai no sōkan 明付の僧 官,