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The politics of Buddhist organizations in Taiwan, 1989-1997 Laliberte, Andre 1999

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T H E POLITICS OF B U D D H I S T O R G A N I Z A T I O N S I N T A I W A N , 1989-1997 by A N D R E L A L I B E R T E B . A . , Universite du Quebec a Montreal M . A . , The University of British Columbia A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF D O C T O R OF P H I L O S O P H Y in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S Department of Political Science We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A 27 September 1999 © Andre Laliberte, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of POUT'Cf l -L £ C ( E N S C £ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date Is* 0Ct08£t^ l^q DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T This dissertation looks at the political behavior of three Taiwanese Buddhist organizations since 1989: the Buddhist Association of the Republic of China ( B A R O C ) , the Buddha Light Mountain monastic order (or Foguangshan) and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Association (or Cij i) . It concentrates on trying to understand the rationale behind the different strategies that each of them has adopted in its interaction with the government. The B A R O C has adopted a strategy of lobbying in an attempt to remedy the steady decline of its status throughout the 1990s: it has tried to sway the government to adopt a law that would restore the authority over Buddhists the association held before 1989. Foguangshan has resorted to a strategy of remonstrance to advance its religious ideals between 1995 and 1997: its founder Xingyun supported the bid of his lay disciple Chen Li i ' an for the presidency of the Republic of China (ROC) and launched large public demonstrations critical of the government that followed that election. During the same period of time, Ci j i has steered away from the controversies over the law on religion and conspicuously avoided supporting Chen, while continuing to grow to become the largest organization of its kind in Taiwan. The theological views of the three organizations' leaders are examined as key factors explaining the rationale behind the political strategies these organizations have adopted. Other factors such as availability of material resources, lay support, congruence between leaders and their followers on the dimension of ethnicity and gender are explored as possible sources of constraints on the leaders. ii T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S A B S T R A C T ii T A B L E OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF APPENDIXES viii A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS xi Chapter One. THE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF TAIWANESE BUDDHIST ORGANIZATIONS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 1 Introduction 1 Buddhist Organizations and Politics in Contemporary Taiwan 5 Buddhism in contemporary Taiwan 6 The political environment of Taiwan 11 Defining political participation 15 Explaining the Political Participation of Buddhists 17 The implication of theology 18 The impact of culture 22 The relevance of state structure and state policy 29 Buddhists in East Asian Marxist regimes 30 Buddhists in East Asian non-Marxist regimes 35 Understanding the Politics of Taiwanese Buddhist Organizations 42 The case studies 43 The political behavior of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations 44 Explanatory variables 48 The catalyst of leadership 51 Mediating theology 52 iii Mediating culture 54 Relating to state policy 55 Organizational characteristics and their influence 56 Scarcity or abundance of material resources 56 Lay support 57 Congruence on the dimension of ethnicity 59 Congruence on the dimension of gender 61 Organization of the Thesis 62 Conclusion 63 Chapter Two. T A I W A N E S E B U D D H I S T O R G A N I Z A T I O N S A N D POLITICS IN H I S T O R I C A L P E R S P E C T I V E 65 Introduction 65 Buddhists and Politics in China Before 1949 67 Buddhists and politics in Traditional China 67 The adaptability of Buddhist theology 68 The ever-present challenge of Confucian cultural resistance 72 The ambivalent impact of state policy 75 The different responses of the Sangha and the laity to state policy 79 Buddhism in modern China 86 The involvement of lay Buddhists 87 Organizing Buddhism 90 Surviving the circumstances of war 95 Summary of the findings 97 Buddhism and Politics in Taiwan Prior to 1989 100 Buddhists and politics in Taiwan before the arrival of the K M T 100 Buddhists and politics under Qing rule 101 Buddhists and politics under Japanese rule 103 The politics of Buddhists in Taiwan from retrocession to 1987 105 The shadow of the ethnic divide 106 The shadow of the threat from China 109 Taiwan under siege and Buddhism under control 112 iy The 'Taiwan miracle' and the gradual expansion of Buddhism 115 Towards liberalization and the flourishing of Buddhism 118 Summary of the period 120 Buddhists and politics after 1987 122 Conclusion 125 Chapter Three. T H E B A R O C A N D T H E S A F E G U A R D I N G OF T H E R E L I G I O N T H R O U G H L O B B Y I N G 128 Introduction 128 The Current Status of the B A R O C 130 Reasons for the declining support by Taiwanese Buddhists for the B A R O C 132 The Goals of the B A R O C 141 Religious goals 141 Political goals 145 Support on the domestic front 146 Support o f R O C foreign policy 148 The Structure of the B A R O C 150 The Political Behavior of the B A R O C 153 Lobbying for the protection of Buddhist interests: achievements 154 The B A R O C and the law on religion 157 Religious controversies 158 The law and religion in the R O C 161 The B A R O C ' s demands for the legislation of religion and Buddhism 166 Explaining the Political Behavior of the B A R O C 169 Grounds for agreement with the K M T 170 The views of B A R O C leaders 172 Upholding the theology of Yuanying 173 Constraints on B A R O C leaders 176 The limited resources of the B A R O C 177 The absence of lay support 179 The lack of congruence on the dimension of ethnicity 180 The lack of congruence on the dimension of gender 182 Conclusion 183 Chapter Four. F O G U A N G S H A N ' S H U M A N I S T I C B U D D H I S M A N D T H E D U T Y OF R E M O N S T R A N C E 186 Introduction 186 Xingyun and the Development of Foguangshan 188 The Goals of Foguangshan 191 The Structure of Foguangshan 196 The Political Behavior of Foguangshan 200 The presidential campaign of 1996 203 Chen Lu 'an 206 Xingyun's support of Chen Li i 'an 's campaign 210 The aftermath of the campaign 216 Explaining the Political Behavior of Foguangshan 219 The theological rationale of Xingyun for Buddhist political participation 219 The religious ideal of Xingyun 220 The political implications of Xingyun's religious ideals 225 Organizational resources and constraints 229 Abundance of resources 229 Sangha initiative and lay support 231 Near congruence on the dimension of ethnicity 237 Near congruence on the dimension of gender 239 Conclusion 241 Chapter Five. C U T S H U M A N I S T I C B U D D H I S M A N D T H E A V O I D A N C E OF POLITICS 243 Introduction 243 The Goals of Ci j i 245 The religious goals of Ci j i 246 The realization o f Ci j i ' s religious goals in the social-political arena 249 The Structure of Ci j i 254 vi The Political Behavior of Ci j i 261 The apoliticism of Ci j i 262 The political connections of C i j i 265 Ci j i and the K M T health care policy 267 Health care issues and policies 268 The acquiescence to government directives 272 Explaining the Political Behavior of Ci j i 275 Ci j i as humanistic Buddhism in action 276 The thought of Zhengyan: the legacy of Taixu seen through Yinshun 277 The influence of resources, lay support and congruence 282 The predominance of the laity 286 Congruence on the dimension of ethnicity 291 Congruence on the dimension of gender 292 Conclusion 293 Chapter Six. C O N C L U S I O N S 296 Introduction 296 Summary of the Findings and their Relevance 297 Explaining the different strategies adopted by Buddhist organizations 299 The political views of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations 306 Theologically conservative and reformist Buddhists 307 Leadership succession and organizations' political participation 311 Conclusion 313 S E L E C T E D B I B L I O G R A P H Y 314 A P P E N D I X E S 334 vii LIST O F A P P E N D I X E S Appendix One. N A M E S OF P E R S O N S C I T E D 334 Appendix Two. N A M E S OF P L A C E S I N T A I W A N C I T E D 337 Appendix Three. LIST OF B U D D H I S T O R G A N I Z A T I O N S A N D T E M P L E S C I T E D 338 Appendix Four. LIST OF P O L I T I C A L PARTIES, R O C G O V E R N M E N T A N D K M T O R G A N S C I T E D 340 viii A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S It is not possible to list all the people whose help and time made this research possible, but a few stand out as having given assistance at critical points in time. I wish to thank the monks and nuns in the B A R O C offices in Taipei, and in particular Ven. Ruhui #P \% for providing me with timely and useful information on the association. Chang Zhaofu 5flBi=rU, as representative of the K M T Central Committee Bureau for Social Affairs, has also provided me useful addresses and contacts for Taiwanese religious organizations. I also wish to thank the nuns, monks and lay people of the Foguangshan monastery for their hospitality and making my visits there an unforgettable experience. I am grateful to Ven. Miao Yu [Miaoyu tyMUl], at the B L I A headquarters in Taipei for helping me in approaching the people at the Foguangshan Temple in Kaoshiung county. Among the latter, I am indebted to Ven. Y i Kung [Yikong f^ c^ g] for her patience in answering my questions, Lee Chin-ching [Li Jijing for helping me gain access to the archives of the Foguangshan monastery, and Ven. M a n Hua [Manhua for her help with "perplexities" and arranging for an interview with Chen Li i ' an . The lay people and the nuns and monks of Ci j i also deserve special mention for their assistance. I am especially grateful to L i u King-pong [Liu Jingpeng M ^ I i ] , Steve L i n Sen-shou [Lin Shengshou and Chen Yueyun [^F^ff] at the Ci j i Cultural Center in Taipei, for their collaboration, their willingness to answer my numerous questions and to allow me to spend days examining the archives of their organization. I also want to thank Eileen L iou Shiou-huei [LiuXiuhui W$?M~\, Mariana Wu [WuXunzhi ^|43j££], and Zachary Tse [XieYinggui ^ § f ; ] at the Ci j i headquarters, in Hualien, for their hospitality and helping me arrange interviews with Ven. Zhengyan and Dr. Tseng Wen-ping [Ceng Wenbin^SCfk], director of the Tzu-Chi General Hospital. Many thanks to Dr. L i n Pen-hsuan [Lin Benxuan ^ ^ g ] , then at the Institute for National Policy Research in Taipei, for sharing with me the fascinating research he has done on religion and politics, and to Jiang Canteng XLMM, for offering me his insights on Taiwanese Buddhism. I also want to express my gratitude to Yun Chaocheng fjfMM, at the Ziyou Shibao, and Liang Yufang | ^ 3 S 5 J , at the Lianhebao, for generously providing me with their insights on Taiwan. I must also thank the teachers at the Taiwan National Normal University's Mandarin Training Center: they made learning Mandarin such a pleasant experience. ix I have also benefited greatly from interactions with other Western scholars of religion in Taiwan. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Drs. Philip Clart at Missouri University, Charles Brewer Jones at the Catholic University of America, and Randall Nadeau at Trinity University, for giving me the opportunity to discuss my findings at earlier stage of the research and for their extremely useful suggestions. I am also grateful for the numerous clarifications on Taiwanese Buddhism provided by Dr. Marcus Giinzel of Gottingen University. Frs. Poulet-Mathis and Benoit Vermander at the Ricc i Institute in Taipei also deserve my appreciation for providing me with useful sources that greatly helped put my research in the context of Taiwanese politics. I also want to thank Frs. Dominique Tyl and Michel Masson, and Dr. Kuan Ping-yin [Guan Bingyin Iflfltjll], at the Socio-cultural Research Center of Furen University's College of Law, who have provided me with insights on the social context of Buddhist organizations in Taiwan. It goes without saying, however, that none of the people mentioned above is responsible for any omission or mistakes in this thesis. Financial assistance came from many sources when I undertook language training, did research and wrote the dissertation. M y Mandarin instruction was supported by a grant jointly administered by the R O C Ministry of Education and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada for the year 1993-94, and a Grant for Language Training from the Canadian Department of National Defense in 1994-95. The research has been financed by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Barton Awards for Research on Peace and Security in 1993-94, a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council o f Canada in 1994-96, and a Doctoral Fellowship for Doctoral Research from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation in 1996-97. During the last stages of the phase of writing, I was supported through the International Relations Institute at U B C in 1998-1999. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Drs. Diana Lary, Brian Job, Michael D. Wallace and Samuel Ho at U B C , who, through their advice and many other forms of support, have provided me with helpful opportunities and a very congenial environment for the completion of the thesis. Finally, I am extremely grateful to the members of my thesis committee, Drs. Nina Halpern, Diane Mauzy, and my thesis supervisor, Dr. Pete Chamberlain. They really went beyond the call of duty in their sustained encouragement, their constructive criticisms and their thorough review of my work as it progressed. Finalement, je tiens a exprimer ma plus profonde reconaissance envers les membres de ma famille pour leur crucial support, materiel et moral, durant les moments difficiles. LIST O F A B B R E V I A T I O N S A A C L Asian anti-Communist League B A C Buddhist Association of China, Beijing, 1953 B A R O C Buddhist Association of the Republic of China, Shanghai, 1929 B C A Bureau for C i v i l Affairs B F A Buddhist Federation of Associations B L I A Buddha Light International Association B S A Bureau for Social Affairs B Y A Buddhist Youth Association of the R O C C B A Chinese Buddhist Association, Nanj ing, 1912 C B A P S Chinese Buddhist Association for the Protection of the Sangha C B L A Chinese Buddhist Lay Association C B L P S Chinese Buddhist Lay Proselytizing Society C B S A Chinese Buddhist Sangha Association C B T A Chinese Buddhist Temple Association C C Central Committee xi C C P Chinese Communist Party C L A Council for Labor Affairs C S A Commission for Social Affairs C S C Central Standing Committee D O H Department of Health DPP Democratic Progressive Party D P R K Democratic People's Republic of Korea D R V Democratic Republic of Vietnam GIO Government Information Office IBPS International Buddhist Progress Society K M T Kuomintang, Nationalist Party K W P Korean Workers' Party M N D Ministry of National Defense M O E Ministry of Education M O I Ministry of Interior M T A C Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission N C S E National Commission on Science and Education xii N L F National Liberation Front N P New Party O C A C Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission O W C Organization Work Commission P R C People's Republic of China R O C Republic of China R O K Republic of Korea S S B A South Sea Buddhist Association TAIP Taiwanese Independence Party T P B A Taiwan Province Buddhist Association V C P Vietnamese Communist Party W B S C World Buddhist Sangha Council Y M B A Young M e n Buddhist Association xiii Chapter One T H E P O L I T I C A L P A R T I C I P A T I O N O F T A I W A N E S E B U D D H I S T O R G A N I Z A T I O N S I N C O M P A R A T I V E P E R S P E C T I V E Introduction The political participation of religious organizations of different denominations and in different cultures is a major phenomenon in contemporary global politics. 1 Although we are 1 See the contributions to Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and James P. Piscatori, eds., Transnational Religions and Failed States (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997); Sabrina Petra Ramet and Donald W. Treadgold, eds., Render Unto Caesar: The Religious Sphere in World Politics (Washington, D.C: The American University Press, 1995); Bernadette Hayes, "The Impact of Religious Identification on Political Attitudes: An International Comparison," Sociology of Religion 56, no. 2 (1995), 177-194; N.J. Demerath, III, "The Moth and the Flame: Religion and Power in Comparative Blur," Sociology of Religion 55, no. 2 (1994), 105-117; William H. Swatos, Jr., ed., A Future for Religion? New Paradigms for Social Analysis (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993); Said Amir Arjomand, ed., The Political Dimensions of Religion (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993); Bertrand Badie, "Democracy and Religion: Logics of Culture and Logics of Action," International Social Science Journal no. 129 (August 1991), 511 -521; Matthew C. Moen and Lowell S. Gustafson, eds., The Religious Challenge to the State (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992); George Moyser, ed., Politics and Religion in the Modern World (London: Routledge, 1991); Roland Robertson and William R. Garrett, eds., Religion and Global Order (New York: Paragon House, 1991); Wade Clark Roof, ed., World Order and Religion (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991); William H. Swatos, Jr., ed., Religious Politics in Global and Comparative Perspective (New York: 1 starting to understand the politics of religious organizations identified with Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikfiism around the world, 2 we know much less about the politics of religious organizations in the Chinese cultural area, especially those that are not identified with Christianity or Islam. 3 This thesis attempts to augment our knowledge of this relatively unexplored topic by looking into the multifarious involvement of Buddhist organizations in the politics of a society that is unquestionably part of the Chinese cultural area, the Republic of China (ROC) established in Taiwan. 4 In particular, it examines the factors that can best explain the variations observed in the range of political behaviors adopted by these organizations. The quietism of these organizations has long contrasted Greenwood Press, 1989); Richard T. Antoun and Mary Elaine Hegland, eds., Religious Resurgence: Contemporary Cases in Islam, Christianity and Judaism (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1987); Jeffrey K. Hadden and Anson Shupe, eds., Prophetic Religions and Politics, Vol. 1: Religion and the Political Order (New York: Paragon House, 1986); Myron J. Aronoff, ed., Religion and Politics, Political Anthropology Series Vol. 3 (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1984); Donald Eugene Smith, ed., Religion and Political Modernization (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974). 2 On the relevance of Protestantism and Catholicism in European politics, see the seminal studies of Richard Rose, Electoral Behavior: A Comparative Handbook (London: Collier-Macmillan, 1974); Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, eds., Party Systems and Voter Alignment (New York: Free Press, 1967). On Islam and politics, see the contributions to Joel Beinin and Joe Stork, eds., Political Islam: Essays from Middle East Report (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997); Bernard Lewis, Le langage politique del'Islam (Paris: Gallimard, 1988). On Hindu organizations and their involvement in politics, see Lise McKean, Divine Enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement (The University of Chicago Press, 1996); Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle, The Brotherhood in Saffron: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak and Hindu Revivalism (Boulder, Co: Westview Press, 1987). 3 On Islam and politics in China, see Dru C. Gladney, Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic, Harvard East Asian Monograph, no. 149 (Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1991). Among the few studies on sectarian Chinese religions and politics, see Robert P. Weiler, "Sectarian Religion and Political Action in China," Modern China 8, no. 4 (October 1982), 463-483. 4 Taiwan and the Republic of China (ROC) are used interchangeably in this dissertation. 2 with the boldness of the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which has been calling for the islanders' right of self-determination for more than two decades. During the presidential election of 1996, however, Ven. Xingyun [Xingyun Fashi MftSfelW] the leader of a well-known Taiwanese Buddhist organization, the Buddha Light Mountain monastic order [Foguangshan Si f^3fell|xF] (hereafter Foguangshan), broke ranks with his co-religionists' previous practice, when he publicly endorsed a candidate from the opposition, Chen Lu 'an WWiiC- One year later, Xingyun joined a campaign pushing for the removal of then-Premier Lian Zhan ^ I l t Since then, the interplay of Buddhism with politics in Taiwan has not been limited to supporting government policy. This does not mean, however, that a Buddhist political alternative to the Kuomintang [Guomindang \%^M\, ( K M T ) or the Democratic Progressive Party [Minjindang i | ] (DPP) comparable to Christian Democracy is emerging in Taiwan. 5 There is no organization that can claim credibly to represent the views of most Taiwanese Buddhists. Furthermore, the many Buddhist organizations found in Taiwan adopt a wide range of 5 On European Christian Democracy, see Kees van Kersbergen, Social Capitalism: A Study of Christian Democracy and the Welfare State (London: Routledge, 1995); and the contributions to David Hanley, ed., The Christian Democratic Parties: A Comparative Perspective (London: Pinter, 1994). About the diversity within Christian-Democracy in Latin America, see Edward A. Lynch, Latin America's Christian Democratic Parties: A Political Economy (New York: Praeger, 1993); Religion and Politics in Latin America: 3 behaviors that makes it difficult to determine on which grounds an eventual consensus could emerge. Their behaviors range from indifference to politics, as is the case with the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Ch i Association [Ciji Gongdehui W^^JjW^] (hereafter Ciji) , to cooperation with the government, as is usually the case with the Buddhist Association of the Republic of China [Zhongguo Fojiaohui ^W\%Wi^il] ( B A R O C ) , to political opposition, as demonstrated by Foguangshan. The inability of Taiwanese Buddhists to constitute so far a viable alternative to the current government was made clear in 1996, when both the B A R O C and Ci j i refused to endorse the candidacy of Chen Lu 'an for the R O C presidency. This dissertation seeks to identify the factors that might explain the differences in the political behaviors these organizations adopt. It questions macro explanations according to which Buddhist theology, East Asian political culture or state policies can determine the political behavior of Buddhist organizations in Taiwan. These explanations fail in particular to shed light on the different ways these organizations get involved in politics, not only in different countries, but even within a single polity. In order to explain the Liberation Theology and Christian Democracy (New York: Praeger, 1991). 4 variations that are observed in the political behavior of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations, this thesis focuses on organizational characteristics, exploring whether the views of organizations' leaders or the nature of their membership are more important. Buddhist Organizations and Politics in Contemporary Taiwan The relative importance o f Buddhism among religions in Taiwan and the favorable political conditions that currently prevail in the R O C after a decade of democratization provide Taiwanese Buddhist organizations the opportunity for direct or indirect political involvement. Most Buddhist groups, however, do not behave like the Presbyterian Church and the other civic organizations on the island that have pressured the authorities for political and social reform. Even when their corporate interests are challenged by state actions, most Taiwanese Buddhist organizations are not very assertive. They tend to get involved in the political process only sporadically or to withdraw entirely from public debates. Some important exceptions to that rule, however, have emerged in the 1990s. 5 Organizations such as Foguangshan and individuals such as Xingyun have started to take advantage of political liberalization to mobilize Buddhists. This new phenomenon indicates that Taiwanese Buddhists are not always apolitical and that some of them do not uncritically support the government. A look at the place occupied by Buddhist institutions in contemporary Taiwanese society helps to illuminate the importance of these recent trends. Buddhism in contemporary Taiwan Buddhism in Taiwan is undergoing a remarkable revival. 6 Prominent members of the Sangha [Sengjia f^fijU], the ecclesiastical community within Taiwanese Buddhism, are media icons with the same visibility as pop stars.7 Bookstores display a plethora of titles on Buddhist studies; one television channel is devoted entirely to the broadcast of lectures 6 "Fojiao Fuxing yu Taiwan Sushi {^WMM^aWiQW [Buddhist Renaissance and the Secularization of Taiwan]," Zhongguo Shibao "^SBf^ls [China Times], September 27, 1995, 11; "Fojiao Faguang Fare Zai Taiwan {ftW&ft^kWi&n^ [Buddhism Thrives in Taiwan]," Lianhebao [United Daily News], June 6, 1995, 34; Eugenia Yun, "Religious Renaissance," Free China Review, December 1994,4-23. 7 The Sangha (or Samgha) in Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit languages, means "multitude" or "assemblage." In the wider sense, it consists in four assemblies: monks [Skt, bhiksu], nuns [bhiksuni], male lay followers [upasaka], and female lay followers [upasika]. In this dissertation, 1 use the Sangha in its more restricted sense to designate only monks and nuns. See Heinz Bechert, "The Buddhist Sangha," in Buddhism in Asian History, eds. Joseph M . Kitagawa and Mark D. Cummings (New York: Macmillan, 1987), 289-296. In Taiwan, bhiksu [biqiu fctJx] and bhiksuni [biqiuni tbJxJb] are known as "those who leaves the home [chujia tBlc]," and lay people are simply known as those who remain at home [jushi Jghfc]. 6 by several Buddhist Masters; huge temples have been built throughout the country. In 1992, according to statistics issued by the Interior Ministry, 48% of the population that claimed to believe in one or more religions identified themselves as Buddhists. 8 The reliability of these figures is routinely questioned on the grounds that self-declared Buddhists are not necessarily considered genuine adherents of the faith by clerics and scholars.9 Nonetheless, these numbers are highly significant in one respect, especially when they are compared with figures from scientific surveys using more rigorous 8 Figures from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) indicated 4,856,000 Buddhists in 1993. See Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Minzhengsi ^ I p K H l ^ l K n l S K I I & W I [ROC, MOI, Bureau for Civil Affairs], Zongjiao Jianjie ^WlMiY [Introduction to Religion], edited by Zhong Fushan HlI[JL| (Taipei: Minghe Yinshua Youliang Gongsi 1993), 582-586. For chronological series , see Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Tongjichu M f f JS [Department of Statistics], Zhonghua Minguo Bashisan Nian Neizheng Tongji Tiyao ^ ^ K H A + H ^ f t i & M I f $ 1 H [MOI Statistical Abstract, 1994] (Taipei: Neizhengbu, Tongjichu, 1994). For detailed figures on the official religions and their activities, see Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Tongjichu, Zongjiao Tuanti Diaocha Baogao: Zhonghua Minguo Bashiyi Nian Taiwan Diqu ^ i x ^ H f f f l i £ f J s c f ^ l ^ l l l A " ! — • ^ • M M ^ M [Survey on Religious Organizations: Taiwan area, 1992] (Taipei: Guangheng ftU, 1993). 9 Many of the practices observed by self-declared Buddhists could appropriately be described as belonging to the realm of "folk religion or beliefs [minjian zongjiao &f$tt$kor xinyang^jfii]." This study adopts a more inclusive definition of Buddhism, and therefore considers as adherents of Buddhism people who may be considered by sociologists as adherents of popular religions. This choice is made on the grounds that many of the people who support the Buddhist organizations examined in this study financially, or otherwise, may not always be Buddhists in the more narrow sense. The results of a study done by sociologists Zhang Maogui and Lin Benxuan gives us an indication of the difficulties inherent to the collection of statistics on religion in Taiwan. Zhang and Lin note that 38.6% of their representative sample of the Taiwanese population say that they "believe [xin {ff]" in Buddhism, and that an additional 16.8 % of their sample, who say that they "don't believe in any religion [wuxinjiao Mis$k]" nonetheless "believe in the existence of some supernatural forces [xinshen f a |$ ] , " which they define as belonging to the Buddhist pantheon. See "Zongjiao de Shehui Yixiang: Yige Zhishi Shehuixue de Geti M^L^K'iMMM-—M^W,i±^^ff3MM [The Social Representation of Religion: A Question for the Sociology of Knowledge]," Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Minzuxue Yanjiusuo Jikan ^ ^ W ^ H S SM^fflfuffiM^} [Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica] 74 (Autumn 1992), 102. 7 definitions of belief in Buddhism and practice of the religion. Investigations carried out in the late 1980s by Academia Sinica sociologist Qu Haiyuan WMM, about observance of Buddhist beliefs and practices, for example, suggested that only between 7 and 15% of the Taiwanese population could be considered "real Buddhist devotees."1 0 The enormous discrepancy between these numbers suggests that the label "Buddhism" is prestigious in Taiwan. In other words, relatively few people actually practice Buddhism but many profess belief. Some observers of religion in Taiwan argue that the stature of Buddhism as a transnational ethical system, in contrast to "superstitions (mixin *^ fff)," and its roots in Asia , in contrast to "Western" Christianity, are central parts of people's growing appreciation of the religion." Other figures help provide an idea about the importance of Buddhism in Taiwan. For example, statistics about the distribution of temples in the country combined with 1 0 From "Taiwan Diqu Minzhong de Zongjiao Xinyang yu Zongjiao Taidu £ } f iiMS^^tfcfsfffllSl^fft SIS [Religious Beliefs and Religious Attitudes in the Taiwan Area]," in Taiwan Bianqianzhong de Shehui uMWM^P'tft&il' [Taiwan Society in Transition], eds. Yang Guoshu #§SflM and Qu Haiyuan (Taipei: Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Minzuxue Yanjiusuo, 1988). See also Yang Guoshu and Qu Haiyuan, "Taiwan Diqu Shehui Bianqian Jiben Tiaocha Diyiqi • , ^i teEl±#SMS4 ; f ] ISI^ — IS [First Survey on Social Change in the Taiwan Area]" (Taibei, Guokehui Weituo Yanjiu Jihua Hf4#3l!rlM^fiiI [National Science Council, Research Planning Commission], 1984); Qu Haiyuan, "Taiwan Diqu Shehui Bianqian Jiben Tiaocha Di'erqi [Second Survey on Social Change in the Taiwan Area]" (Taibei, Guokehui Weituo Yanjiu Jihua, 1990). 11 "Religions in Taiwan Today," China News Analysis 1538-39 (July 1-15, 1995), 3. 8 demographic data indicate that Buddhism is practiced all around the country.1 2 In 1995, the R O C government noted that Buddhists had registered about 4,000 temples and a clergy of more than 9,000. In the domain of education, they administered twenty-four seminaries, two universities, two colleges, eight high schools and seventy kindergartens. In the area of social services, they operated ten nurseries and five orphanages. In the realm of health care, they owned fifty retirement homes, seven hospitals, and three clinics. Finally, in the area of culture, they administered forty-eight publishing houses.'3 The associations (hui "H"), foundations (jijinhui l i t ) , societies (xiehui ti* and research institutes (xuehui UMI") that claim to represent the Buddhist tradition in Taiwan possess considerable resources and exercise significant influence in society. That influence, however, seldom goes as far as intervention in politics by Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. Most of them are engaged in proselytizing activities and charity work, and there are no associations in Taiwan comparable to the Japanese Soka Gakkai (Society for the Creation of Value) and its political arm, the Buddhist political party Komeito (the Party 1 2 Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Minzhengsi, Zongjiao Jianjie, 563-566. 1 3 ROC, Government Information Office (GIO), Republic of China Yearbook, 1997 (Taipei: GIO, 1997), 468. 9 for Clean Politics). 1 4 When members of the Sangha seek to demonstrate their opposition to specific policies, most of them prefer to use informal means to influence the government. Whenever Buddhist leaders, whether clerical or lay, want to promote Buddhist interests, they do not mobilize their followers, but rather make representations to members of the executive, legislators, or civi l servants in meetings or conferences. On these occasions, representatives of Buddhist organizations inform government officials about their concerns, and, as the chapter on the B A R O C documents, may push for the adoption of laws serving their interests. Many other Buddhist organizations, however, go further than avoiding open confrontation with the government by encouraging abstention from political participation altogether. They may even refuse to endorse any politician, even a respected lay Buddhist, as was the case when Ci j i refused in 1996 to support Chen Lu 'an for the R O C presidency. These organizations not only refuse to sponsor any opposition, but they also want to avoid giving the impression that they sanction the government. In sum, even though Buddhists 1 4 See Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994), 49-56. 10 are numerous and organized enough to be politically assertive, most of their leaders behave cautiously: they either cooperate with the government or profess indifference to politics. Recently, however, a third trend has emerged, as some Buddhist leaders have become critical of government policies and have been wil l ing to express publicly their disagreements with state officials. A s previously mentioned, Xingyun, although a member of the K M T Central Committee, openly supported in 1996 the candidacy of a politician belonging to the party's non-mainstream faction for the presidency of the R O C . A s w i l l be documented in chapter four, Xingyun and the organizations he has founded have since repeatedly adopted forms of political behavior and attitude that are more assertive than those preferred by the leaders of the B A R O C and Ci j i . The political environment of Taiwan The current political attitudes of Buddhist organizations need to be put in the context of the more open environment in which they can articulate their own sets of concerns. Unti l 1986, the R O C was under the regime of martial law, and political participation by actors outside of the K M T was repressed by a security apparatus that arrested, tried, 11 imprisoned and even executed individuals who were considered threats to the regime.' 5 Under its corporatist structure of governance, the ruling party also extended its control over different sectors of society by influencing the choice of leadership and providing financial support to key strategic organizations in business, labor and finance.16 In 1970, the Defense Ministry went further and issued a decree enlarging the powers of the Garrison Command, the organ charged with the implementation of martial law, to restrict c ivi l rights, including the right to practice religion. 1 7 A s the next chapter w i l l document in greater detail, a combination of other factors also dampened the political participation of Buddhist organizations when Taiwan was under martial law. The point to note is that independent political participation outside of the K M T until the 1980s was severely restrained, and criticism of the regime by the Sangha, let alone the emergence of a Buddhist political party, was fraught with enormous difficulties. 1 5 Although martial law was abolished in 1986, a few individuals were arrested on charges of sedition for advocating an independent Republic of Taiwan, until the revision of the Article 100 in 1992 ended that practice. See Linda Chao and Ramon H. Myers, The First Chinese Democracy: Political Life in the Republic of China on Taiwan (Baltimore: the John Hopkins University Press, 1998), 52-56; 224-226. 1 6 Hung-mao Tien, The Great Transition: Political Change and Social Change in the Republic of China (Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1989), 43-54. "Ibid, 111. 12 Buddhist organizations no longer face such limitations in the current climate of democratization in Taiwan: as of 1996, 82 political parties have been registered in Taiwan. 1 8 Opportunities currently available to Buddhist organizations are the result of decades of effort by a few K M T liberals and many independent activists, who, despite government repression, pushed for more accountability from authorities. Thomas B . Gold has counted close to 2,900 demonstrations between 1983 and 1988 by social movements for a large variety of causes, from opposition to the building of a dioxide plant near the traditional city of Lugang ftl$£, to rallies for the rights of teachers.19 Movements for environmental protection, women, workers, aboriginal people, and veterans' rights, anti-nuclear activism, and the removal of partisan (read K M T ) influence on the school curriculum have proliferated since the lifting of martial law. 2 0 1 8 ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1997, 99. 1 9 "Civil Society and Taiwan's Quest for Identity," in Cultural Change in Postwar Taiwan, ed. Stevan Harrell and Huang Chun-chieh (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994), 47-68. Hung-mao Tien indicated that during the 1970s, despite the regime of martial law, the KMT allowed a considerable number of interest groups to emerge. In 1987, the ROC had a total of 11,306 civic organizations. Of these, the 302 farmers associations, fifteen irrigation associations, over 2,300 trade unions and 1,799 associations involved in commerce and industry were quasi-government associations having close relations with the government. A "thousand" of professional associations and public interest groups; as well as the 80 religious associations registered in 1985, operated with minimum intervention from the government. See The Great Transition, 45-54. 2 0 For a survey of these movements, see Xu Zhengguang ^JETTJ and Song Wenli , eds., Taiwan Xinxing Shehui Yundong ^iffStt^MKl [Newly Emerging Social Movements in Taiwan] (Taipei: Juliu M$L 1994). 13 Buddhist organizations, however, do not figure as leaders in these movements. Taiwanese Buddhists lack an alternative program on domestic issues on which they could build an organization distinguishing them from the K M T and the DPP. Even though most of them pose as impartial bystanders in the central debate of R O C politics between partisans of Taiwanese independence and supporters of reunification with China, 2 1 they do not agree among themselves on many other issues. This emerged clearly in 1995-1996, when the lay Buddhist candidate Chen Li i ' an ran for the R O C presidency but failed to gain the endorsement of many prominent Buddhist organizations in the country. These divisions surfaced again when the B A R O C proposed a law on Buddhism in 1996 against the wishes of most Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. 2 1 It is clear that the extreme positions of Taiwanese independence and reunification with China, represented respectively by the Jianguodang H S U [the Taiwanese Independence Party] (TAIP) and the Xin Dang §f M [the New Party] (NP), have been relegated to the margins of politics. Meanwhile, the centrist factions of the two major parties, the KMT's zhuliupai 3i5uM (mainstream faction, led by President Lee Teng-hui ^ Jfrfli) and the DPP's Meilidao paixi ^ H t f t M ^ (Formosa faction, led by Xu Xinliang fHi f i l , are converging ideologically in order to gain the votes of a majority. See Chu Yun-han and Lin Tse-min, "The Process of Democratic Consolidation in Taiwan: Social Cleavage, Electoral Competition, and the Emerging Party System," in Taiwan's Electoral Politics and Democratic Transition: Riding the Third Wave, ed. Hung-14 D e f i n i n g p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n A t this point, it is important to clarify the dependent variable of this study, the political participation of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. The political behavior of religious organizations can take extreme forms, ranging from quietist withdrawal from politics, on the one hand, to the waging of "holy war" for the establishment of a "purified" polity, on the other hand. 2 2 Taiwanese Buddhist organizations during the 1990s have displayed behaviors ranging from the more quietist at one end of the spectrum to moderate at the other, and none has adopted an attitude that can be described as militant. Therefore, the findings of this thesis do not relate directly to the growing body of literature dealing with fundamentalism, religious nationalism, and other radical movements based on religious values. 2 3 George Moyser has indicated nine ways in which religious organizations, as institutionalized pressure groups, can get involved in politics. They can address their concerns to the executive, lobby the legislature, rely on the judiciary, use links with mao Tien (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996), 79-104. 2 2 On the extremist potential of religion in all traditions, see Gunther Lewy, Religion and Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974). 2 3 Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993). For case studies from almost all cultures, see the contributions to 15 political parties, jo in with other pressure groups, sensitize public opinion through the media, mobilize their adherents, sponsor their leader for government position, or form religiously-inspired political parties.2 4 The leaders of the B A R O C , Ci j i and Foguangshan have all , to some degree, used their personal connections with members of the executive and legislators to gain a hearing. Their relations with political parties remain limited to the K M T , and none of the three organizations, in contrast with the Presbyterian Church, has any known links with the DPP. The organizations examined in this study do not seek the help of the courts to address issues of concern to them. However, similarities in the political behavior of the three Taiwanese Buddhist organizations examined in this dissertation stop there. Foguangshan and Ci j i rely much more than the B A R O C on the media to sensitize public opinion to their views. Only Foguangshan has demonstrated its willingness to join ranks with other pressure groups and to mobilize its adherents politically. Although it did not sponsor its founder Xingyun for government position, Foguangshan came close by supporting one of his lay disciples for the presidency of the R O C . Ci j i stands out from both the B A R O C and Foguangshan in Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalism Observed (Chicago University Press, 1991). 2 4 "Politics and Religion in the Modern World: An Overview," in Politics and Religion in the Modern World, 16 adopting a critical stance towards political participation by its members. Although none of the three organizations has formed a religiously inspired political party, the situation of Foguangshan and Ci j i , on one hand, differs remarkably from that of the B A R O C , on the other. In terms of resources, the organizations established by Xingyun and Ven. Zhengyan Hit both have the potential to establish political parties, but the B A R O C lacks this capacity, even though it occupied before 1989 a more favorable position than that of other organizations in Taiwanese politics. What are the factors explaining these differences? Expla in ing the Pol i t ical Part ic ipat ion of Buddhists This section examines three explanations often advanced for the attitude of Buddhists, both in Taiwan and elsewhere, towards politics. Although each of these explanations sheds light on particular aspects of Buddhist political behavior, none of them is fully adequate. First is the argument that Buddhists are not likely to become involved in 7. 17 politics because of their theology, which is based on the central tenet that the world is impermanent and does not value this-worldly matters. Second are the culturalist claims that in countries influenced by Confucianism, only a small political elite participates, and that Buddhists are unlikely to become involved in politics. Third is the argument that the religious policy of the government determines the political participation of Buddhist organizations. In evaluating these arguments, I employ a comparative perspective describing data on the behavior of Buddhist organizations elsewhere in Asia . The impl icat ion of theology There exists a widespread perception that Buddhists do not concern themselves with worldly matters and that they have no interest in politics. 2 5 Buddhist religious organizations, with the exception of Tibetan Buddhists to be sure, do not generate the kind of media attention that is granted to Islamist movements, Hindu nationalists, or American Evangelists. Donald Eugene Smith, in his study about the political implications of religion in South Asia , has proposed an explanation for the relatively apolitical behavior on 2 5 This perception derives from one of the central tenets of Buddhism, according to which the self is illusion. On the implication of this belief for the notion of human rights, see the contributions to Buddhism and Human 18 the part of Buddhists. The only factor within Buddhism that could facilitate the political mobilization of the laity, he indicates, is the organizational capacity of the ecclesiastical order. He argues that a lack of concern for history, religious tolerance, and a theological tradition emphasizing the separation between religious and secular authority, however, do not provide Buddhists with enough incentives to become politically involved. Furthermore, he notes that contrary to Islam and Hinduism, Buddhism has never developed an elaborate system of laws to regulate society. There is no equivalent to the shari 'ah (Islamic law) and Hindu law in Buddhism, and therefore no interest in using the state to enforce a religiously-sanctioned jurisprudence. 2 6 Evidence from countries where Buddhists are politically active suggests that Smith's conclusion needs to be modified. Monks and lay members of the Y M B A (Young Men's Buddhist Association), for instance, provided early leaders with techniques and ideologies for anti-colonial resistance in Burma. 2 7 The political participation of Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka during the first decade of independence has decisively shaped Rights, ed. Damien V. Keown, Charles Prebish, and Wayne R. Husted (Richmond, UK: Curzon, 1998). 2 6 "The Political Implications of Asian Religions;" "Emerging Patterns of Religion and Politics," in South Asian Politics and Religion, ed. Donald E. Smith (Princeton University Press, 1966), 3-20; 21-48. 2 7 Trevor Ling, Buddhism, Imperialism, and War: Burma and Thailand in Modern History (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979), 81. 19 developments on the island. 2 8 The involvement of Buddhists in politics can also take many forms within a single polity. For instance, even i f the Sangha is closely associated with the governing elites in Thailand, 2 9 where Buddhism is the state religion, this has not prevented the emergence of a movement of reformist monks who promote a program known as Dhammic socialism. 3 0 This diversity certainly casts doubts on the argument that Buddhist theology predisposes its adherents to an indifference towards politics. The above appears to suggest, as Stanley J. Tambiah points out, that there are no "unambiguous prescriptions nor value orientations [...] from which can be deduced behavioral correlates that bear an intrinsic and inherent relation to the [Buddhist] religion [.. . ] . " 3 1 A s Bruce Matthews indicates in his own work comparing Thailand and Burma, two countries sharing the same Theravada Buddhist tradition, the diversity of Buddhist 2 8 Donald E. Smith, "The Sinhalese Buddhist Revolution;" "The Political Monks and Monastic Reform;" A. Jeyaratnam Wilson, "Buddhism in Ceylon Politics, 1960-1965," in South Asian Politics and Religion, 453-488; 489-509;510-530; Stanley J. Tambiah, Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, Politics and Violence in Sri Lanka (University of Chicago Press, 1992). 2 9 Peter A. Jackson, Buddhism, Legitimation, and Conflict: The Political Functions of Urban Thai Buddhism (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia, 1989), 222-225. 3 0 Santikaro Bhikku, "Buddhadasa Bhikku: Life and Society through the Natural Eyes of Voidness;" Donald K. Swearer, "Sulak Sivaraksa's Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society," in Engaged Buddhism, eds. Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), 147-194; 195-236; Sulak Sivaraksa, Siam in Crisis: A Collection of Articles, 2nd edition (Bangkok: Thai-Inter-Religious Commission for Development (TICD), 1990). 31 World Conqueror and World Renouncer (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 402. 20 responses points to the flexibility of the religion and its capacity to respond legitimately in different ways to the challenges associated with change.3 2 A variant of Smith's perspective on the constraint of tradition on political participation by religious organizations emphasizes differences between schools or doctrines within Buddhism. For instance, Hajime Nakamura argues that the Mahay ana (Great Vehicle) tradition that prevails in East As ia is more likely to encourage intervention in politics because historically, it has paid greater attention to social and political matters than the Theravada tradition prevalent in Southeast A s i a . 3 3 When one observes the activist movements in Thailand and Sri Lanka that belong to the Theravada tradition, the analysis of Nakamura does not appear to explain contemporary Buddhist behavior. Could the diversity of behavior among Buddhists in South and Southeast As ia be attributed to the cultural diversity found in that part of the world? If culture matters, we should expect to find similar patterns of political behavior among Buddhist organizations in East Asia , since societies in that region share a common cultural heritage. 3 2 "Buddhist Attitudes Toward Social Change in Burma and Thailand," in Southeast Asia: Women, Changing Social Structure and Cultural Continuity, Selected proceedings, Ninth Annual Conference Canadian Council for South East Asian Studies, ed. Geoffrey B. Hainsworth (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1981), 135-149. 3 3 "Mahayana Buddhism," in Buddhism and Asian History, 237-238. 21 The impact of culture Taiwan shares many cultural traits with China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea, notably the legacy of the ethical teachings known as Confucianism. 5 Peter Moody and others have made the case that this common Confucian heritage shapes political developments in ways that are specific to East A s i a . 3 6 Lucian W. Pye, in particular, has identified as the foundation of Confucian culture the view that the family provides the proper model of government, with the result that patriotism has a sacred dimension in East Asian countries.3 7 Critical to this discussion, however, is Pye's point that contrary to what is observed in the Middle East and Western Europe, religion is not supposed to play an important role in the politics of countries influenced by Confucianism: 3 4 In the context of this discussion, "China" means both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the ROC, and "Korea" both the Republic of Korea (ROK), or South Korea, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). 350n the impact of Confucianism in Japan, Korea and Vietnam over centuries, see contributions to Yuzo Mizoguchi and L6on Vandermeersch, eds., Confucianisme et Societes Asiatiques, Recherches Asiatiques (Paris: L'harmattan, and Tokyo: Sophia University, 1991). 3 6 Peter R. Moody believes that politics in the PRC and other socialist states are still inspired by the legacy of Confucianism. See Political Opposition in Post-Confucian Society (New York: Praeger, 1988). Lucian W. Pye, however, is much more ambiguous. See Asian Powers and Politics: The Cultural Dimension of Authority (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985). Samuel P. Huntington agrees with Moody that the Confucian legacy is alive, but disagrees with him and Pye, on the grounds that he considers Japan as a civilization distinct from the Sinic civilization. He also notes, correctly, that the latter, which includes China, Vietnam and Korea, "is more than Confucianism." See The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 45. 3 7 See Asian Powers and Politics, 61-62. 22 The Confucian principle that political power resided only in formal government [...] meant that religion did not generally provide an alternative center of power. [...] A s a consequence of treating formal government as the only proper arena of political power, the Confucian cultures never experienced the clash between church and state that took place in Europe, nor did they extensively exploit religious mysticism in order to generate greater authority for their secular power holders, as was the case in South and Southeast A s i a . " 3 8 To be sure, all East Asian societies have been influenced by Confucian ethics at some point in their history, and there was never anything comparable to the European Papacy of medieval times that in China could have exerted a political influence above the state. The presence of that legacy, however, does not necessarily lead to a lack of political participation on the part of Buddhist organizations. The historical record in China, as the next chapter w i l l document, shows that the Sangha and Buddhist lay people were politically involved during the traditional period when Confucianism was the state ideology. In addition, despite the existence of a common Confucian legacy, Buddhists in Japan, Korea and Vietnam have approached politics differently since the nineteenth century. In colonial Vietnam, the attitude of Buddhists has been very different from that of their Chinese co-religionists of the late Qing period. Local movements of resistance to Ibid, 88. 23 French colonialism were inspired by a heterodox Buddhist whose teachings would later motivate the creation of a major millenarian sect, the Hoa Hao.39 Active in the resistance against France after 1945, it joined forces with the Cao Dai against the National Liberation Front ( N L F ) , 4 0 and four of its members even joined the first cabinet of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1955. 4 1 These former movements were admittedly different from mainstream Buddhism, but as the country experienced political division and foreign intervention, even monks belonging to more orthodox Buddhist schools became involved politically. Some of them were instrumental in the overthrow of the Diem regime and led demonstrations against the American intervention during the war of 1965 -1973. 4 2 Although these groups did not create any formal political parties, their dramatic demonstrations, through acts such as self-immolation, contrasted with the absence of similar gestures on the part of Chinese 3 9 Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Millenarianism and Peasant Politics in Vietnam (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 3. 40 Ibid., 130-131. 4 1 I.Milton Sacks, "Some Religious Components in Vietnamese Politics," in Religion and Change in Contemporary Asia, ed. Robert F. Spencer (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971), 60. 4 2 Three Buddhist factions were engaged politically during that period. The most visible was led by monks affiliated with the An Quang pagoda, and was able to shore up and bring down governments in South Vietnam. The United Buddhist Church (UBC), close to the famous monk Thich Nhat Hanh, was opposed to the Saigon regimes and American intervention. A third group was not only opposed to the Saigon regimes, but was also openly pro- NLF. See Sallie B. King, "Thich Nhat Hanh and the Unified Church of Vietnam," in Engaged Buddhism, 326. 24 Buddhists, who also experienced the circumstances of foreign intervention, national division and dictatorship. While Buddhists were involved in anti-colonial resistance and advocated a policy of neutrality in Vietnam, their co-religionists on the Korean peninsula were not as active. The attitude of Korean Buddhists can be compared to that of their Chinese co-religionists. After the Japanese achieved control of the Korean peninsula in 1910 and attempted to implant their own form of Buddhism, 4 3 the Sangha did not react like their Vietnamese counterparts and only a few monks participated in the Korean independence movement of 1919. 4 4 This lack of political participation on the part of Buddhists contrasted markedly with that of their Christian compatriots during and after the colonial period. 4 5 In the R O K , there is no record of Buddhist institutions opposing military regimes, as did some Christian churches.4 6 South Korean Buddhists are likely to have passively supported the 4 3 James Huntley Grayson, Korea: A Religious History (London: Clarendon Press, 1989), 221-222. 4 4 Wi Jo Kang, Religion and Politics in Korea Under Japanese Rule, Studies in Asian Thought and Religion (Lewiston, NY.: Edwin Meller Press, 1987), 50. 4 5 On the political activism of Christians in Korea since the nineteenth century and on both sides of the 38th parallel, see Wi Jo Kang, Christ and Caesar in Modern Korea: A History of Christianity and Politics (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997). 4 6 On the ambiguous attitude of Christian churches, see Kim Kwang-ok , "Rituals of Resistance," in Asian Visions of Authority: Religion and the Modern States of East and Southeast Asia, eds. Charles F. Keyes, Laurel Kendall and Helen Hardacre, (Honolulu: University of Hawai Press, 1994), 204-207. 25 government because of its opposition to the atheist authorities of the D P R K . In the current climate of democratization, they have yet to get involved politically and remain divided by serious factional infighting. 4 8 In Japan, Buddhists became involved with political parties early on during the nineteenth century. In 1882, a Buddhist intellectual founded the Eastern Socialist Party; others joined pacifist movements and progressive circles. 4 9 The most radical among these individuals, such as Takagi Kemmyo, worked at the turn of the century for the liberation of the Burakumin (outcastes).50 A majority of Buddhists, however, leaned towards more conservative positions and adopted strategies of accommodation with the government in exchange for state protection of their institutions.5 1 The most important Buddhist movement involved in political activism in Japan remains the Soka Gakkai, a major lay Buddhist organization founded in 1930 and persecuted for its refusal to collaborate with the 4 7 Korean Buddhists were certainly not on record as opponents of the military regime: after his successor Roh Tae Woo was inaugurated president in 1988, General Chun Doo Hwan took up residence in a Buddhist temple. 4 8 See "Buddhist Order Erupts into Bloody Factional Clashes," Korea Herald (online edition), December 2, 1998. 1202/m 1202105.html. 4 9 The most important of these movements, the New Buddhist Movement, was founded in 1894 and criticized the militarist policy of the government in 1909. Winston Davis, Japanese Religion and Society: Paradigms of Structure and Change (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992), 168. 50 Ibid, 169. 5 1 Brian A. Victoria documents that prominent Zen monks went even as far as condone the militarist regime. See Zen at War (New York: Weatherhill, 1996). 26 militarist regime. In 1964, the Soka Gakkai sponsored the creation of the Komeito to promote a policy of pacifism and "humanistic socialism." 5 3 In 1993, the party joined the government on the strength of the fifty-one seats it had won in the Diet (parliament), and four Komeito leaders, all Soka Gakkai members, served in the Hosokawa cabinet.5 4 Although this government was short-lived, it demonstrated that many Buddhists were keen to join the mainstream of Japanese politics. Can we attribute greater political participation by Buddhists in Japan to the fact that the indigenous culture of the latter is less permeated with Confucian influence; or, as the theorists of the Nihonjinron assert, does it reflect the exceptional nature of Japanese civilization? 5 5 This argument could not apply to Vietnam, a country that has been deeply influenced by Confucian ethics and other aspects of Chinese civilization. Political 5 2 More exactly, the Soka Gakkai supported the war policy but refused to join the official Buddhist organization set up by the regime. The Soka Gakkai claimed in 1992 a membership of 8 million people. It is affiliated with the Nichiren Soshu sect, the only major native school of Japanese Buddhism. The Nichiren Soshu stands out among others for its concern about material welfare and the requirement that devotees must seek to convert others. That activist attitude, in turn, results from the teachings of the sect founder, Nichiren, a Japanese monk noted for his theological innovations and political activism in the thirteenth century. See Daniel A. Metraux, "The Soka Gakkai: Buddhism and the Creation of an Harmonious and Peaceful Society," in Engaged Buddhism, 366-367. 5 3 In 1970, after a controversy involving attempts to prevent the publication of a book critical of the Soka Gakkai, the Komeito formally split from the Soka Gakkai. However, both organizations remain very close. See Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution, 49-56. 5 4 Daniel A. Metraux, "The Soka Gakkai," 395. 5 5 For a critical discussion on that issue with bibliographical indications, see Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt, Japanese Civilization: A Comparative View (Chicago University Press, 1994), 1-19. 27 participation by Buddhist organizations, especially before the reunification of the country, was more important than in China or Korea. In sum, the variations in the behavior of Buddhist organizations in East As ia call into question the argument that Confucianism causes Buddhist organizations to be less politically assertive. Another factor also limits the utility of Confucianism as an explanatory variable. This is the erosion of Confucianism itself, either through forced eradication, or through other, more benign, influences. That is, political processes of nation building, modernization and secularization that have been underway since the late nineteenth century accelerated throughout the region after the end of World War Two. They have culminated in the establishment of states that have sought to prevent the manifestation of traditional cultural characteristics, including those of Confucian ethics and Buddhist teachings. This suggests the need to examine a third possible explanation for the quietist political behavior of Buddhist organizations in Taiwan: the impact of government policies. 28 The relevance of state structure and state policy The constitution of each country in East As ia since the end of World War Two proclaims that the state is secular, and, contrary to what has occurred in the Middle East or South Asia , none of the countries in the region has established a specific faith as the state religion. 5 6 Since the revolutionary upheavals of the mid-Twentieth Century, however, important differences have emerged among East Asian states with respect to their policies towards religion. On the one hand, the P R C , the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and the D P R K , as states governed by Marxist-Leninist parties, assert tight control over religious activities. On the other hand, the polities of Japan, the R O K and the R O C have all adopted constitutions enshrining freedom of conscience, making it legitimate for Buddhists to become involved politically. 5 6 For a comparative discussion on freedom of religion from a Taiwanese perspective, see Wu Yaofeng ^IfH Zongjiao Fagui Shijiang Wtk^feM-YiM [Ten Lectures on Religion and the Law], (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe \%yt\&W&, 1992), 55-67. See also Don Baker, "World Religions and National States: Competing Claims in East Asia," in Transnational Religions and Failed States, 144-172. 29 Buddhists in East Asian Marxist regimes In Marxist countries, religious institutions are not only highly regulated, but they face governments whose ideologies are premised on the theory that religion is bound to disappear. The record of religious revival in countries that have emerged from the former Soviet Union shows that Marxist regimes have been unsuccessful at achieving that goal. 5 7 Some partial evidence from the P R C suggests that this is even the case in countries where the communist party still rules. 5 8 The fact remains, however, that as long as they rule, Marxist-Leninist parties have the ability to monitor and repress, i f not entirely prevent, any political activity on the part of religious organizations. In China, the state seeks to restrict religious activity within the confines of five recognized religious organizations that are overseen by the Religious Affairs Bureau. 5 9 In Vietnam, religious organizations have to 5 7 John Anderson, Religion, State and Politics in the Soviet Union and the Successor States (Cambridge University Press, 1994). 5 8 For an example of the state's inability to displace traditional beliefs and practices see Ole Bruun on the revival of Chinese geomancy: "The Fengshui Resurgence in China: Conflicting Cosmologies Between State and Peasantry," The China Journal 36 (July 1996), 47-65. 5 9 The Bureau is under the jurisdiction of the State Council of the National People's Congress. The five organizations represents Chinese Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Protestant and Catholics. On religious policy in the PRC, see Luo Shufeng, Religion under Socialism in China, Chinese Studies on China, translated by Donald Mclnnis and Zheng Xi'an, (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991). This book suggests a more tolerant attitude towards religion is emerging in China, especially when its author argues that "believers and non-believers today march forward hand-in-hand along the road of four modernizations." For a different look at the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) policy towards religion in the PRC pointing to the suppression of underground Catholics, cults, evangelists and "feudal superstitions," as well as repression in Tibet and Xinjiang, see Human Rights Watch/Asia, China: State Control of Religion (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1997). 30 jo in officially sanctioned mass organizations such as the Vietnam Fatherland Front. In North Korea, the local variant of Marxist ideology, the Juche, functions as a quasi-state religion that is even less tolerant of independent political activities on the part of religious organizations than the more orthodox brands of socialism practiced in China and Vietnam. 6 1 It is entirely reasonable to expect that in countries ruled by Marxist-Leninist parties, Buddhists would not attempt to participate in the politics of their country, even less to criticize government authorities. However, as evidence from contemporary China and Vietnam demonstrates, this is not always the case. Since 1949, the activities of the Sangha and the laity in the P R C have been closely supervised. There is no evidence of dissident political activity on the part of Chinese Buddhists. 6 2 This is understandable in light of what Buddhists have experienced in China 6 0 See Gareth Porter, Vietnam: The Politics of Bureaucratic Socialism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993), 89-90, 176-184. See also Stephen Denney, "Religion and State in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam," in Render Unto Caesar, 355-372. 6 1 Evidence on the situation in North Korea is difficult to come by and whatever information is available results from testimony by North Koreans who have defected to South Korea. These informants claim that Shamanist practices are increasing and that attempts by the authorities to eliminate them have been unsuccessful insofar as many high ranking officials are said themselves to consult fortune-tellers. See Sung Chull Lim, Young Tai Jeung, Seung-yul Oh, Hun Kyung Lee and Gee Dong Lee, North Korea in Crisis: An Assessment of Regime Stability (Seoul: Institute for National Unification, 1997), 100-101. 6 2 One exception, to be sure, is Tibetan Buddhism. Many monks belonging to that sect have been and remain very active politically. However, their involvement in Chinese politics should be put in perspective: altogether, adherents of that school of Buddhism (distinct from both the Mahay ana and the Theravada schools) numbered 10 millions in 1990 (less than 1% of the PRC population), and among them, half are Mongols and are not involved in politics. Source: Colin Mackerras, Donald McMillen and Andrew Watson, Dictionary of the Politics of the People's Republic of China (London: Routledge, 1998), 30. 31 over the last five decades.6 3 Even though the Sangha adopted early on a policy of collaboration with the CCP, this did not prevent monks, nuns and lay people from becoming targets of persecution during the Cultural Revolution. Members of the clergy, reports Holmes Welch, were humiliated and had to return to lay life, and lay people themselves had to worship in hiding. The activities of the Buddhist Association of China [Zhongguo Fojiao Xiehui ^ Hf^i^lS^'] ( B A C ) , to quote the euphemism used then by Guo Moruo MW%5, w e r e " m a state of suspension."6 4 Although Deng Xiaoping §P/h2? allowed religious organizations to resume their activities in 1979, Buddhists have remained cautious in their politics. Their interventions are limited to issues that concern them directly, and about which they can speak more frankly. In 1992, for instance, Zhao Puchu the B A C President, criticized party cadres who had adopted a "leftist" approach in the implementation of religious policy. 6 5 However, it is difficult to conceive that the Chinese Sangha wi l l represent a source of opposition to the regime in the foreseeable future.66 6 3 The account of Holmes Welch on that issue may be dated, but it provides nonetheless an excellent background on the constraints faced by the Sangha in the PRC. See Buddhism Under Mao (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972). 64 Ibid., 362. 6 5 Philip L. Wickeri, "Reinterpreting Religion in China," China News Analysis 1485 (May 15, 1993), 7. 6 6 The most serious source of concern for the CPC in 1999 is the Falungong [also known as the Falundafa Sfmy'vfe and known in English as the Buddha Law]. Despite what its name suggests, this organization, which claims a membership of 100 million members, is not a Buddhist sect. Its scriptures 32 The Vietnamese Sangha is more restive than its Chinese counterpart. A s Sallie B . K i n g reports, after the reunification of Vietnam in 1975, South Vietnamese orthodox monks who were affiliated with the Unified Buddhist Church ( U B C ) sought to cooperate with the new regime. The heads of the U B C argued that they had been critical o f the Saigon regime before reunification and therefore the regime had no reason to question their loyalty. The Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) , however, fearing challenges to its legitimacy, sought to suppress any Buddhist activity independent of the mass organizations it had previously brought under its authority. Consequently, after it achieved control in the Southern part of the country in 1975, the V C P banned all independent activities on the part of the U B C . 6 7 It is all the more remarkable, however, that despite the persecutions they still endure, South Vietnamese dissident monks affiliated with the U B C , either in exile or under house arrest, continue to assert the right of their organization to resume its activities. 6 8 make references to Buddhism, but also to Taoism and the specific teachings of its leader, Li Hongzhi 2^$t;g. See the organization's website, 6 7 "Thich Nhat Hanh and the Unified Church of Vietnam," 355-356. 68 Ibid., 356. 33 Korean Buddhists, politically inactive before the partition of the peninsula, did not get involved in anti-government activities in the D P R K after 1948. This is not surprising, in view of the fact that the current regime, guided by its quasi-religious Juche ideology, is even more determined than its Chinese and Vietnamese counterparts to prevent any form of political activism outside of the Korean Workers Party ( K W P ) . 6 9 The only possible outlet for political participation offered to North Korean Buddhists is membership in the national Buddhist Federation, an organization that is designed to win friends for the regime among co-religionists abroad. 7 0 The silence of North Korean Buddhists regarding a regime that is clearly hostile to their values clearly confirms that the D P R K regime's repression is effective. However, as discussed above, the quietist attitude of Korean Buddhists before the division of the Korean peninsula between the D P R K and R O K regimes suggest that other factors than the K W P policy should be considered. To sum up, the similarities in the religious policies and state structures of the Marxist-Leninist regimes of the P R C , D R V and 6 9 The official ideology of the Juche enforced by the Korean Workers Party (KWP), with its emphasis on the mastery of man over nature, contrasts radically with Buddhist doctrines and therefore precludes any mutual accommodation. For a sample of writings spelling out the Juche ideology, see Donald Stone Macdonald, The Koreans: Contemporary Politics and Society, Second edition (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990), 169-171. 7 0 For reference in the Korean language on the Buddhist Federation, see Don Baker, "World Religions and National States," 170, fn 23. 34 D P R K , led to similar outcomes in the three countries. In these three cases, the political participation of Buddhists was limited to two options: supporting the regime or altogether avoiding any involvement in politics. State policy, however, does not represent a sufficient explanation because, in at least one instance, indifference to politics existed before the Marxist-Leninist regime was established. Buddhists in East Asian non-Marxist regimes Buddhists in Japan, the R O K and the R O C enjoy more opportunities for political participation than their co-religionists in the P R C , the D R V and the D P R K . No religion in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan receives preferential treatment from the government, and none of these three countries proclaims any faith as a state religion. That said, in all three countries, religious organizations must register as branches of one of the denominations officially recognized by government agencies i f they want to operate legally. 7 1 7 1 In Japan, every religious organization must register with an office of the Agency for Cultural Affairs within the Ministry of Education. Each South Korean religious organization must register with the appropriate bureau in the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Taiwanese religious organizations have to register with the Religion and Temples section of the Bureau for Civil Affairs and the Bureau for Social Affairs of the MOI. For the ways in which these agencies have at times limited the activities of indigenous religions, new religions or some international organizations, see Don Baker, "World Religions and National States," 152-156. 35 Between themselves, the R O C and the R O K have a few additional features in common. Both countries have experienced four decades of military dictatorship in which religious activities were constrained, despite the liberal provisions of their respective constitutions. It is only since the late 1980s that actual government practices in South Korea and Taiwan, as opposed to mere official religious policies, have come to parallel those of Japan. However, there remains one major difference between the religious policies of the R O K and the R O C , on the one hand, and those of Japan, on the other. The former two states have institutions that are unambiguously secular, while a divinely sanctioned head of state, the Tenno (the Emperor, literally Son of Heaven), represents the latter.72 Do the similarities and differences between the Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese states' religious policies correlate with certain patterns of behavior on the part of Buddhist organizations in these three countries? Political participation by Buddhists in Japan and South Korea has already been discussed above. The salient point to note is that 7 2 For a concise discussion on the implicit sacralization of the state and the Tenno associated with the Shinto ceremonies connected with the enthronement and death of the emperor, see Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt, Japanese Civilization, 40-41. On the ongoing ambiguity of this situation and its impact on Japanese domestic politics and foreign relations, see Helen Hardacre, Shinto and the State 1868-1988 (Princeton University Press, 1989). 36 Japanese Buddhists, especially those identified with the Nichiren Soshu sect, are more assertive than their co-religionists in the R O K . Buddhists in Taiwan are also more quietist than their Japanese counterparts, including the organizations that belong to the Taiwanese branch of the Nichiren Soshu, known in the R O C as the Rilianjiao HWML-13 While it is possible that state policies towards religion in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan may cause differences in the behavior of Buddhist organizations, it is rather difficult to make this case here. On the other hand, the fact that the political liberalization process in the latter two countries has occurred more recently than in Japan could perhaps explain the difference between the activist behavior of Buddhists in Japan, and that of their more quietist counterparts in the R O K and the R O C . This is especially true in Taiwan, where martial law was lifted only in 1987, six years after its abolition in the R O K . It is only recently that Taiwanese and South Korean Buddhists have benefited from the provisions of their 7 3 When Taiwan was under martial law, the provincial police harassed Taiwanese Nichirenists on the basis of the Japanese Nichirenists affiliation to the Soka Gakkai and the Komeito. The KMT feared that the sect would take the same direction as its Japanese counterpart, but never found evidence of that intention. Today, the three Taiwanese Nichirenist organizations can operate legally in the ROC. See Ho Fang-jiau [He Fengjiao fqfJUM], Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian: Minsu Zongjiao Pian aM^Wf^^m^^M'S: mMWM [Documentary Collection of Taiwan's Police Administration: Folklore and Religion] (Hsintien [Xindian f f j£], Taipei County: Academia Historica, 1996), 359-479. I am grateful to Philip Clart for pointing out this source to me. 37 respective constitutions on religious freedom, a right that the Japanese have enjoyed since 1945. Unt i l the late 1980s, both countries had been ruled by authoritarian regimes using emergency decrees to overrule the liberal provisions of their respective constitutions. Under martial law, the participation of religious organizations outside state-sponsored or state-controlled organizations was not impossible, but permissible only within the limits defined by the government.7 4 The relatively recent liberalization of the R O K and the R O C may explain the quietism of Buddhists in these two countries compared to the assertiveness of Japanese Buddhists, but it does not explain the high level of activism of the adherents of other religions in both countries. In my discussions with Buddhist individuals about the quietist behavior of their organizations when Taiwan was under martial law, they justified their cooperation with the government on the grounds of their fear of the regime's repression.7 5 Although the concern of Buddhist organizations for their self-preservation is entirely understandable, this answer appears unsatisfactory in light of the more assertive attitude of other organizations 7 4 Religious organizations had to register with the government in order to operate legally. Failing to do so, they ran the risk of being subjected to government surveillance and oppression. 7 5 Interview of a lay Buddhist heading a charity foundation, Taipei, spring of 1997. Xingyun also reiterates this affirmation in his hagiography. See Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light: The Biography of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, translated by Amy Lui-ma (Hacienda Heights, CA: Hsi Lai University Press, 1996), 247. 38 that did become politically involved in the decades when the Emergency Decrees were enforced. Christians were especially active in both government and opposition in both the R O K and the R O C . 7 6 The activism of Christians appears all the more remarkable in Taiwan when one considers the fact that adherents o f that religion are far less numerous than Buddhists. 7 7 South Korean and Taiwanese Christians have, however, benefited from the strategic position of their countries in a way that put them at a distinct advantage over Buddhists. Don Baker argues that the highly activist attitude of Christian organizations, relative to that of other religious organizations in both the R O K and the R O C can be attributed to the fact that South Korean and Taiwanese Christians belong to international denominations based predominantly in the United States. Because the governments of both countries have depended on Washington for their security, they have been reluctant to clamp down too harshly on Christian organizations since that could have alienated American public opinion 7 6 Kim Dae Jung, the current President of the ROK and a former major dissident himself, is a Roman Catholic layman. He succeeds Kim Young Sam, a member of the Korean Presbyterian Church. Two of the four candidates for the presidential election of 1996 in the ROC, the incumbent Lee Teng-hui and the DPP runner-up, Peng Mingmin a^HSJ, belong to the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church. 7 7 In 1995, more than 26% of all Koreans were Christians of all persuasion, while they numbered only 3.4% of the population in Taiwan. Sources: Republic of Korea, Korean Overseas Information Service, Facts About Korea (Seoul: KOIS, 1998), 158; ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1997, 466. 39 and jeopardized their main source of foreign support. A s a result, Christian pastors and priests in both Korea and Taiwan have been more outspoken in their criticism of governments than their compatriots who were adherents of religions that did not have a significant international presence.7 8 In other words, different religious denominations have reacted differently to state policies towards religion. In particular, the greater the internationalization of a religious organization, the more likely it was to become politically assertive. However, the fact remains that Korean and Taiwanese Buddhists could also have benefited from international networks with co-religionists from Japan, a country whose political and economic support their governments also needed. This is becoming even more the case in recent years, as the Buddha Light International Association [Zhongguo Foguanghui ^ f f l f^Tfe l l t ] (BLIA) , the lay branch of Foguangshan, and Ci j i are now developing an international membership reaching to North America, Western Europe and Japan. The question about the factors behind the more quietist behavior of South Korean and Taiwanese Buddhists, compared to their Japanese - not to mention Vietnamese - co-7 8 Don Baker, "World Religions and National States," 163. 40 religionists, remains unanswered. Only ten years after the end of the militarist regime in Japan, a major Buddhist lay organization, the Soka Gakkai, successfully ran 53 (out of 54) candidates as independents in the local elections of 1955. 7 9 That precedent in turn paved the way for the creation of a full-fledged Buddhist political party, the Komeito, in 1964. So far, no comparable developments can be discerned in the R O K or Taiwan even though liberalization in both countries was more than ten years old at the time of writing. Having so far pointed to differences between Buddhist organizations in different countries, it is now necessary to shift the focus of attention to variations among Buddhist organizations in Taiwan. In particular, the nascent activism of Foguangshan observed in 1995-1996 and 1997 suggests that the diversity observed in the political behavior of Buddhists across East As ia to some extent parallels variance in the political behavior of Taiwanese Buddhists. This leads us into the central question raised at the beginning of the chapter: What explains the variations in the political behavior of different Buddhist organizations within a single country? Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution, 53. 41 The approaches reviewed above have in common the limitation of looking at Buddhism and culture as reified sociological categories. That is, these approaches adopt a holistic view of religion and culture. The following section adopts a different approach that views religions as institutions affected by their environment; and the units of analysis, instead of religious traditions taken as undifferentiated wholes, are specific religious organizations. U n d e r s t a n d i n g the Po l i t i c s o f T a i w a n e s e B u d d h i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n s In 1994, thirty-six Buddhist organizations were registered under the M O I as associations [shehui tuanti Jjtt#HHf] or legal corporations [caituan faren MB& A l m the National registry for religious organizations [quanguoxing zongjiao tuanti minglu organizations or federations of temples [sixiehui ^fWilk], groups of lay devotees [jushihui 8 0 For details, see Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu [Registry of Religious Organizations across the Country], compiled by Zhong Fushan M||[JL| (Taipei: Neizhengbu, The registry includes individual temples registered as national 42 © i l l ' ] , societies for the defense of the Sangha [huseng xiehui jM^tWoilt], youth organizations [qingnianhui W F^-H'] etc. Specific schools and sects, such as the Taiwan branch of the Nichiren Soshu, and adherents of Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism, have their own organizations.8 1 The case studies This dissertation has selected Foguangshan and Ci j i as case studies because they both stand out as the largest Buddhist organizations in the country: in number of lay adherents, they together comprise half of the self-declared Buddhists in the country. A s such, they are representative of the prevailing trends within Taiwanese Buddhism since the late 1960s, when both were founded. Scholars studying contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism also write more often on Foguangshan and Ci j i than on any other organizations as representatives of trends within that religion. 8 2 8 1 This registry, however, is not representative of the entire population of Buddhist organizations in Taiwan. It does not include Ciji, a large charity organization, or the Dharma Drum Mountain [Fagushan SgJU-fJ, a monastic order that is widely considered as the northern equivalent to Foguangshan. 8 2 Jiang Canteng tTjglt has also studied Fagushan and Zhongtaichan cpciipf along with Foguangshan and Ciji in his Taiwan Dangdai Fojiao •i|#ft'f!&ifc [Buddhism in Contemporary Taiwan] (Taipei: Nantian ^ 1997). Charles Brewer Jones has written the first western-language work on the institutional history of Chinese Buddhism. He has provided a survey on the BAROC, Foguangshan and Ciji in "Buddhism in 1994). 43 For an understanding of Buddhism in Taiwan, however, it is also necessary to look at the BAROC, even if that organization currently has fewer adherents and much less prestige and influence than Foguangshan or Ciji. This is because the current decline of this organization, which used to hold a monopoly of representation for all Buddhists in Taiwan from 1952 to 1987, is an illustration of important shifts within the Sangha and the lay community at large in the 1990s.83 The political behavior of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations As discussed earlier, the pattern of political behavior adopted by Taiwanese Buddhist organizations has not been uniform. These various forms of behavior can be described by borrowing from and modifying the taxonomy of Christine Oliver, who has argued that organizations in general acquiesce to, compromise with, seek to manipulate, defy, or avoid Taiwan: A Historical Survey" (PhD dissertation, University of Virginia, 1996). This thesis has been published as a monograph but unfortunately it became available only as this thesis was being completed. See Buddhism in Taiwan: Religion and the State: 1660-1990 (Honolulu: University of Hawai' i Press, 1999). The following authors have written on both Foguangshan and Ciji. Kang Le and Jian Huimei ffillH, Xinyangyu Shehui fWfCPIIfd:H" [Belief and Society] (Panchiao [Banqiao $ft$t], Taipei County: Taipei County cultural center publishing, 1995); Chen Zailai |5^ p?3fc, Zongjiao yu Guanli ^ t ^ l t S [Religion and Administration], research report for the Management Science Research Institute (Hsinchu [Xinzhu §ftt ] : Chiaotung [Jiaodong 3c"3t] University, 1994), photocopied. 8 3 Charles Brewer Jones is to my knowledge the only scholar that has written in English about the BAROC during that period. 44 their external environment.8 4 While the three religious organizations being studied in this dissertation are similar in pursuing strategies of acquiescence and compromise, they differ from one another in their readiness to adopt strategies of lobbying, remonstrance, and avoidance. During the period of martial law, the few Buddhist organizations that were authorized to operate legally adopted a strategy of acquiescence to government directives. 8 5 Since 1989, no organization has faced pressure or threat compelling it to acquiesce to K M T directives, as the current government has adopted a non-interventionist policy towards religious organizations. In the current context of liberalization, in which Taiwanese Buddhist organizations can express their concerns more directly and frankly, they generally pursue a strategy of compromise with the government in trying to achieve their goals. In cases where Buddhist organizations' interests and those of the governments differ significantly, however, they have adopted varying strategies. 8 4 This taxonomy is from Christine Oliver, "Strategic Responses to Institutional Processes," Academy of Management Review 16 (1991), 145-179. In the context of this discussion, the external environment refers to the political environment. 8 5 As suggested earlier, they could have adopted other strategies. The Presbyterian Church and the New Testament Church, after all, adopted an attitude of defiance vis-a-vis the government. On the latter, see Murray A. Rubinstein, "The New Testament Church and the Taiwanese Community," in The Other Taiwan: 1945 to the Present, ed. Murray A. Rubinstein (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994), 445-474. 45 A number of organizations participate in politics in one of two contrasting ways. On throne hand, organizations such as the B A R O C and the Chinese Buddhist Sangha Association [Zhonghua Fojiao Sengjia Hui tW'&D'^ "] ( C B S A ) prefer a variant to the strategy of manipulation, or lobbying. "Manipulation," which describes the attempt by an organization to protect itself and improve its bargaining position by gaining access to important sources of power, 8 6 is not entirely appropriate for B A R O C . "Lobbying" more accurately describes the strategy pursued by organizations such as the B A R O C which build on their already well-developed relations with state officials. During the mid-1990s, the B A R O C adopted such a strategy when it tried to convince the government to pass laws on religious organizations and Buddhism that would have granted it more power over the Sangha and lay Buddhists. On the other hand, there are organizations, such as Foguangshan and the Chinese Buddhist Temple Association [Zhonghua FosiXiehui ^Wi%^fWi^] (CBTA) , which use more assertive methods to achieve their goals, including censure of the ruling party. The 8 6 W. Richard Scott, Institutions and Organizations (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995), 131. For research on the manipulative strategies of organizations, see Jeffrey Pfeffer and Gerald Salancik, The External Control of Organizations (New York: Harper & Row, 1978); Kimberly D. Elsbach and Robert I. Sutton, "Acquiring Organizational Legitimacy Through Illegitimate Actions: A Marriage of Institutional and Impression Management Theories," Academy of Management Journal 35 (1992), 699-738. 46 strategy of defiance is pursued by organizations when their norms and interests diverge from those promoted by government policies. 8 7 Because the term "defiance" implies an attempt to establish an alternative source of power outside of the structure established by the ruling party, it is an inappropriate way to describe the strategy and the more modest goals adopted by Foguangshan. "Remonstrance," which refers to a rebuke or a censure, but not necessarily to an attempt to overthrow a regime, more closely describes the political behavior of Foguangshan. The latter adopted that approach in 1995-1996, after years of acquiescence to K M T supervision, when it supported Chen for the Presidency of the R O C . Many other Buddhist organizations, such as Ci j i , Fagushan and Zhongtaichan, however, do not get involved in politics. They adopt a strategy that can be best described as avoidance™ Organizations adopting that approach publicly state their refusal to encourage political participation. This strategy differs from acquiescence to the extent 8 7 W. Richard Scott, Institutions and Organizations, 130. For a study on the strategy of defiance in a very different context, see Mark A. Covaleski and Mark W. Dirsmith, "An Institutional Perspective on the Rise, Social Transformation and Fall of a University Budget Category," Administrative Science Quarterly 33 (1988), 562-587. 8 8 Sociologists of organizations would define "avoidance" as an attempt by organizations to protect themselves or some of their parts from the effects of institutional demands on them. I use however a different definition. For sociologists' definitions, see W. Richard Scott, Institutions and Organizations, 128. For a study on the strategy of avoidance, see John W. Meyer and Brian Rowan, "Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony," American Journal of Sociology 83 (1977), 340-363. 47 that in instances such as elections, the incumbent government is explicitly denied support. The organization also refrains from lobbying the government to change its policies. Why has the B A R O C tried to lobby the government into passing legislation limiting the autonomy of the Sangha? Why has Foguangshan adopted a strategy of remonstrance towards K M T representatives in the executive branch of government? Why has Ci j i refused to get engaged in politics, even though such an involvement could help it achieve its goals? Do differences in the leadership and membership of these three Taiwanese Buddhist organizations explain differences in their political participation? Do changes in these variables bring about changes in the propensity of these organizations to adopt specific forms of political behavior? Explanatory variables A s the focus of analysis in this thesis has shifted from religious traditions as holistic categories to specific religious organizations, the literature on the politics of religious organizations in the United States w i l l prove helpful. 8 9 This literature proposes two 8 9 Among the most useful sources for the study of religious organizations and politics: the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, the American Sociological Review, and Sociological 48 contrasting explanations for variations in the political involvement of religious organizations. In his analysis of religion and politics among Protestants, Catholics and Jews, Robert Booth Fowler has noted four factors likely to influence the involvement of religious interest groups in politics: theology, opposition from forces in the environment, strategic location, and internal strength. Among these factors, the last-named stands out as particularly appropriate for an understanding of the factors behind variations in the political behavior of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations.9 0 Significant variations exist among the Buddhist organizations studied in this thesis along three of the five dimensions of internal strength and unity outlined by Fowler: financial wealth, lay support, and membership numbers.9 1 Fowler's findings suggest that lay support represents a critical factor of political behavior, Analysis. These journals sometimes publish cross-national empirical studies, but they seldom address issues related to Chinese religions and politics. 9 0 With respect to theological belief, the discussion above has already questioned its relevance to explain the diversity of political behavior from diverse organizations belonging to the same religion. The "opposition from the environment" refers to disagreement among co-religionists, opposition from some secular groups in society, and pressures to respect the principle of separation between church and state. This variable does not differ much from the exogenous variable of "culture," also discussed above as inadequate. Finally, the Taiwanese Buddhist organizations studied in this thesis also occupy the same strategic location: each of them has access to government officials, and each equally benefits - or suffers- from a political culture that seeks the sanction of religious organizations. A third dimension of strategic location, the religious views of the judiciary, matters in the United States but does not relate to the ROC situation. Religion and Politics in America, ATLA Monograph Series, No. 21 (Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1985), 168-170, 174-175. 91 Ibid., 170-173. Fowler also mentioned "organization," and "leadership," but he does not expand much on what he means by these terms. 49 while resources and size of membership are only necessary conditions that help an organization to achieve its goals. In his study of churches' social action policies, James R. Wood reaches different conclusions and stresses that the attitudes of religious leaders stand out as a determinant of political behavior of religious organizations.9 2 In developing this argument, he raises an issue that is central to this thesis. Wood seeks to address Robert Michels 's argument that the actions of organizations' leaders are constrained by the interests of their followers. 9 3 The implication of Michels ' view is that organizational constraints have more weight than leadership in governing the behavior of organizations. Wood tested this hypothesis in his study of the involvement of religious organizations in social action policies and reached a different conclusion. According to him, religious leaders are granted a formal legitimacy that allows them to "transcend" the reluctance and resistance of ordinary members. In other words, Wood argues that religious leaders can convince their followers to get involved politically, on the basis of the legitimacy conferred on their leadership by their 9 2 The other findings of this study point to the importance of financial wealth, the attitude of members, and the legitimacy of the leader in explaining variations in churches' social actions. See Leadership in Voluntary Organization: The Controversy Over Social Action in Protestant Churches (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1981), 70-71, 101. 93 Political Parties (New York: Free Press, 1960), quoted by James R. Wood, Leadership in Voluntary 50 own organization. This thesis provides a useful test of the contradictory hypotheses of Wood and Fowler: do leaders lead or are they constrained by their followers? Or, more realistically, to what extent are leaders constrained by their followers and the characteristics of the organizations over which they preside? The next two sections elaborate, in turn, on the potential roles and influence of leadership and other organizational characteristics. The catalyst of leadership The political participation of a religious organization often depends on the vision of its leader, as is the case in American Evangelist movements and in the pontificate of John Paul II. 9 5 The leader who encourages political participation of a religious constituency need not be part of the clergy. Within the Hindu tradition, for instance, politicization of religious organizations has been inspired by lay people such as Ba l Thackeray, leader of the Shiv Sena (Shiva's Army) . 9 6 Figures such as Ikeda Daisaku, the head of Soka Gakkai, Organization, 3-11. 94 Ibid, 88-95. 9 5 On American evangelists, see Matthew C. Moen, "The Christian Right in the United States," in The Religious Challenge to the State, 75-101. On John Paul II, see Donald E. Bain, "Miter Against Missiles: The Papal Challenge to Soviet Regimes in Eastern Europe," in The Religious Challenge to the State, 131-142. On leadership in general, see the contributions to Jeffrey K. Hadden and Anson Shupe, eds., Prophetic Religions and Politics. 9 6 The Shiv Sena, is a regional party in the state of Maharashtra defending the interests of Hindus. It is an 51 demonstrate that Buddhist leaders also have the ability to mobilize believers in ways comparable to B i l l y Graham, Khomeini, and other leaders of Abrahamic religions. 9 7 Evidence from "engaged Buddhist movements" in South and Southeast As i a further suggest that Buddhist leaders can also inspire and organize the laity for the purpose of social and political reform, as well as establish durable institutions. 9 8 The charismatic leadership of nuns and monks such as Zhengyan or Ven. Shengyan H!ft - the head of Fagushan - has yet to stimulate the political participation of Taiwanese Buddhists. However, the involvement of Xingyun in Taiwanese politics suggests that for some individuals within the Sangha, leadership can encourage, rather than dampen, engagement in politics. Mediating theology. Theology is not immutable. The growth of the Soka Gakkai out of the teachings of the monk Nichiren shows that an innovative leader can shape a religious tradition in different ways. Nichiren articulated a nationalistic vision of Buddhism that emphasizes Japan as the land where the religion is predestined to achieve its organization comparable to the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). For a book length study on these organizations, see Lise McKean, Divine Enterprise. For an introduction, see Ian A. Talbott, "Politics and Religion in Contemporary India," in Politics and Religion in the Modern World, 135-161. 9 7 Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution, 147-165. 9 8 See the contributions to Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King, eds., Engaged Buddhism. 52 most perfect form. This example refutes Donald E . Smith's claim that religious tolerance can explain the political quietism of Buddhists." Other examples could be added. The point to note is that under an activist and charismatic leadership, theology can be reinterpreted in many ways. A n account of the philosophy of prominent monks and nuns, therefore, can yield important findings about how theology plays itself out in Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. A s the next chapter w i l l document, the role that Ven. Taixu (1890-1947) and his successor Ven. Yinshun [rPlllft played in shaping the modernization of Chinese Buddhism has been considerable. Both monks have fostered the emergence of a laity devoted to social work, a significant departure for a religion that used to be focused on individual Salvationist practices. The importance of individual leadership is demonstrated by the fact that both Xingyun, the activist leader of Foguangshan, and Zhengyan, the advocate of non-involvement in politics, claim to be the spiritual heirs of Taixu and Yinshun. Despite this common background, however, their organizations have pursued very different paths. 9 9 For an introduction and bibliographical references to the Nichiren Soshu, see Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution, 11 -20. 53 Mediating culture. What has been mentioned above for theology is also true with respect to culture. The administrative structure for each organization examined in this dissertation can be summarily described as illustrative of the influence of Confucian culture. This impact, however, means very different things from one organization to another. The B A R O C is modeled along the lines of the K M T structure, Foguangshan is compared to a military organization, and Ci j i is referred to as an extended family. Should all three organizations be considered "Confucian" because they have in common a structure based on deference to authority? This is missing a central point about Buddhism. Buddhist organizations depend on an institution, the Sangha, comprising individuals who have renounced the performance of their filial duties, a responsibility that is central to Confucianism. It is difficult to determine whether Buddhist renunciation o f the world or Confucian deference to authority determines the reluctance of the members of Ci j i to become politically involved, or whether Buddhist ethics of compassion or Confucian ethics o f responsibility inspire the members o f Foguangshan to jo in a political campaign. Again, culture may explain the political behavior of specific organizations only to the extent that their leaders openly articulate how they interpret it. 54 Relating to state policy. The leaders of Buddhist organizations, finally, respond differently to the same government policy according to their respective views on the appropriate role that they should play in politics. Despite the fact that Buddhism is a monastic religion based on renunciation, many of its leaders do not avoid the pursuit of activities in social welfare and education, and often become entangled with politicians. A s mentioned above, the leaders of "engaged" Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka and Thailand, argue that their religious beliefs enjoin their involvement in politics or social work. The dedication of Buddhist leaders to secular activities related to government policies, such as the provision of relief for the poor, education and health care represents indeed one of the central features of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. These activities matter for some leaders at least as much as their proselytizing activities because they express in a tangible way the religious goals of their leaders. The responses of Buddhist leaders to various government policies of relevance to religious organizations are far from uniform. While some, such as Xingyun, the founder of Foguangshan, believe that a religious leader should offer guidance to politicians and act as counselor, others, such as Zhengyan, the 55 head of C i j i , would argue that spiritual leaders must avoid the corrupting influence of politics. Organizational characteristics and their influence Below we elaborate on how four characteristics of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations - the availability of material resources, lay support for the clergy, and congruence along the dimensions of ethnicity and gender between leaders and their followers - could influence the political choices of their leaders. Scarcity or abundance of material resources. Few religious organizations dispose of a wealth comparable to that of the Catholic Church, which can afford an unrivaled independence from state governments. A s is often the case in Islamic countries, the dependence of the Egyptian Ulama on the Ministry for Religious Endowments for their income ensures that they are subservient to the regime. 1 0 0 Accumulation of wealth from private sources, as was the case in traditional China, brought Buddhist organizations under suspicions of the state, and therefore, made them cautious and eager to demonstrate that 1 0 0 Glenn E. Perry, "The Islamic World," in Politics and Religion in the Modern World, 111. 56 they do not oppose the government.1 0 1 Do the private sources of wealth free religious organizations from government interference in their affairs and embolden them to be more politically assertive, or do they provide them an incentive for prudence? Such a question matters for the leaders of Foguangshan and Ci j i because they manage abundant resources generated by the success of their respective fund-raising activities. Lay support. In Egypt, lay people head the Islamist organizations opposed to the authorities while the state-appointed Ulama support the government. 1 0 2 The Mullah (lower-level Ulama) led the Iranian Islamic revolution because the relationship between clergy and laity differs from that which prevails in Egypt. In these cases, the clergy gains more political influence when it receives support from the laity, and the latter is more likely i f the clergy appears independent from the state.103 In his study on the Sangha in Sri Lanka in the sixties, Donald E . Smith found that the radicalization of Buddhism coincided with the decline of the Sangha and the tenuous link of the monastic orders with an increasingly assertive laity.' 0 4 In his survey of Chinese sects belonging to heterodox or 1 0 1 This issue is discussed in the following chapter. 1 0 2 Glenn E. Perry, "The Islamic World," 110-114. m Ibid., 115-118, 1 0 4 "Political Monks and Monastic Reform," 508-509. 57 folk Buddhist traditions, Daniel L . Overmyer has noted that the groups that were involved in militant political activities were predominantly lay and separate from the orthodox Sangha. 1 0 5 Is it always the case that when the relationship between the clergy and the state is too close, the laity is more likely to become alienated and join dissident political movements? Does the prevalence of the laity in terms of sheer numbers in some organizations necessarily encourage a more activist orientation in politics? Does the preponderance of lay members in Foguangshan and Ci j i make them more politically assertive than the B A R O C ? Above we have elaborated on the fairly straightforward organizational characteristics of resource availability and lay support, and why they might constrain organizations' leaders. However, other variables which emerge from Dankwart A . Rustow's discussion of leadership also potentially influence the nature of the political strategies adopted by religious leaders. In its sociological dimension, he notes, leadership reflects the needs of followers. "Successful leadership," Rustow asserts, "rests on a latent congruence between 105 Folk Buddhist Religion: Dissenting Sects in Late Traditional China, Harvard East Asian Series 83 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976), 2. 58 the psychic needs of the leaders and the social needs of the followers." 1 0 6 The collection of indicators that could point to the existence of such congruence, however, goes well beyond the scope of the research undertaken for this thesis and therefore the discussion of this variable can only be suggestive and tentative. In the absence of data on leaders' psychological needs and their followers' social needs, this study offers therefore as a substitute a survey of congruence between religious leaders and their followers on the dimensions of ethnicity and gender. Admittedly rough indicators with which to evaluate congruence between lay people and clergy, these two dimensions deserve examination because of the centrality of ethnicity in R O C polit ics 1 0 7 and the importance of women in Taiwanese Buddhism. 1 0 8 Congruence between leaders and lay followers on the dimension of ethnicity. Theories of ethnic conflict note that religious cleavages often coincide with ethnic 1 0 6 Dankwart A. Rustow, "The Study of Leadership," in Philosophers and Kings: Studies in Leadership, ed. Dankwart A. Rustow (New York: George Braziller, 1970), 23, 20. 1 0 7 On this issue, see Christopher Hughes, Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism: National Identity and Status in International Society (London: Routledge, 1997); Cheng Tun-jen and Hsu Yung-ming, "Issue Structure, the DPP's Factionalism, and Party Realignment," in Taiwan's Electoral Politics and Democratic Transition, 137-173. 1 0 8 "Daughters of the Buddha," Sinorama December 1997 (online edition: 59 boundaries. 1 0 9 Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans have been fighting wars over ethnic boundaries as much as over the protection of their respective religious values. According to some scholars, Islamism, Jewish fundamentalism, Hindu and Sikh revivalism are seen as struggles for "nation-building" along indigenous, often religious lines, rather than foreign, usually secular, concepts of an abstract nature.1 1 0 With respect to Buddhism, Donald E. Smith long ago noted the interplay of nationalism and religion in Sri Lanka. 1 " Considering the political relevance of the divide between native (bendiren ^ ffeA) and mainlander (waishengren ^H=3 A) Taiwanese, how does ethnicity play itself out in each Taiwanese Buddhist organization? 1 1 2 Do ethnic cleavages within the clergy, or within the laity, influence the political orientation of these organizations? Does the previous policy of corporatist control enforced by the mainlander-dominated K M T and carried on by the leadership of B A R O C , who shared similar backgrounds, explain the deference of this organization to the government? Is the refusal of the bendiren leader Zhengyan to sponsor the Buddhist candidate Chen L i i ' an related to the fact that he is a waishengren? 1 0 9 The research project currently undertaken by Ted Gurr on Minority at Risks at the University of Maryland explicitly uses this framework of analysis. 1 1 0 Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? 11-15. 1 1 1 "The Sinhalese Buddhist Revolution," 467-472. 1 1 2 On this issue, see Christopher Hughes, Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism; Cheng Tun-jen and Hsu Yung-60 Congruence between leaders and lay followers on the dimension of gender. The religious scriptures of most traditions have relegated women to a subordinate status."3 A remarkable phenomenon of the last two centuries, however, has been the emergence of religious lay organizations with a large female membership, often led by women, involved in charitable activities in Western industrialized countries and in Japan. 1 1 4 These organizations offer a striking contrast with exclusively male, militant groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [National Army of Volunteers] (RSS) found in India." 5 Many Taiwanese Buddhist organizations are led by nuns, who outnumber monks by a ratio of five to one in Taiwan," 6 and are involved in charitable activities. Does the predominantly male composition of the B A R O C leadership affect its preference for a more traditional theology that asserts deference to monks? Does the large proportion of women ming, "Issue Structure, the DPP's Factionalism, and Party Realignment," 137-173. 1 1 3 Sabrina Petra Ramet, "Spheres of Religio-Political Interaction: Social Order, Nationalism, and Gender Relations;" Jo Ann McNamara, "Canossa and the Ungendering of the Public Man," in Render Unto Caesar, 59-64; 131-150. 1 1 4 For sources on charity organizations in nineteenth-century Western Europe and North America, see Chien-yu Julia Huang and Robert P. Weller, "Merit and Mothering: Women and Social Welfare in Taiwanese Buddhism," The Journal of Asian Studies 57, No. 2 (May 1998), 392-393. For an introduction to Japanese new religions founded by women such as Tenrikyo, see Shigeyoshi Murakami, Japanese Religion in the Modern Century, translation by H. Byron Earhart (University of Tokyo Press,1980), 13-15. " 5 Walter K. Anderson and Shridhar D. Damle, The Brotherhood in Saffron, 84-85. 116 United Daily News, 1 March 1997, 5. 61 in C i j i influence the strategy of the organization to avoid confrontation with the government? Organization of the Thesis The case studies w i l l explore the B A R O C , Foguangshan, and Ci j i , in order to answer the above questions. In order to provide some background, the next chapter w i l l describe the history of relations between Buddhism and the state in China and Taiwan, and describe the broad influences that have shaped the tradition as a whole. This account w i l l be followed by case studies of the B A R O C , Foguangshan and Ci j i . Each chapter w i l l proceed with a description of organizational goals and structure, and examine the organizations' political behaviors. Each wi l l then explore the leaders' religious and political views. Finally, each w i l l look into the constraints faced by organizations' leaders in terms of resource available, lay membership support, and congruence between leaders and followers on the dimensions of ethnicity and gender. The last chapter w i l l assess the relative importance of leadership and internal constraints as factors influencing the political behaviors of these Buddhist organizations. 62 Conclusion This thesis explores which internal variables of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations have determined the nature o f their involvement in politics. It tries to elucidate why the B A R O C would - alone among Buddhist organizations - lobby the K M T to pass legislation granting the government more authority to regulate religion. It endeavors to understand why the B A R O C and Ci j i have not supported Chen Li i ' an for the R O C Presidency, despite the fact that he was the standard-bearer of values which were in complete harmony with those of these organizations' leaders. It seeks to explore why Xingyun and Zhengyan, who both claim to actualize the theology o f the same individual - Taixu - have ended up promoting modes of political participation that differ markedly from each other. Is the main cause for these discrepancies to be found in the religious, philosophical and/or political beliefs o f individual leaders or in the nature o f the organizations that each of them heads? H o w do these variables affect the political behavior of the three organizations? The exploration of these matters w i l l be the subject of the case studies. First, though, we must examine the history of Buddhism on both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to provide the necessary background for understanding the subsequent case studies. 64 Chapter Two T A I W A N E S E B U D D H I S T O R G A N I Z A T I O N S A N D P O L I T I C S I N H I S T O R I C A L P E R S P E C T I V E Introduction The Chinese Buddhist tradition that the Taiwanese Sangha and laity have inherited is rich in episodes in which adherents of that religion have been politically active, a fact that demonstrates that the generally quietist attitude of contemporary Buddhists in Taiwan is not immutable. The following survey of the Chinese Buddhist tradition in Taiwan first considers its origins in China and brings out the theological and cultural elements that are relevant to understanding the current political behavior of Buddhists in Taiwan. The religious doctrines themselves have not changed much for centuries and some of their 65 effects on political behavior can still be felt today. The Confucian cultural resistance to Buddhism has also been remarkably consistent, although Western influences, manifested in the rationalist, materialist and secularist ideologies of nationalism, socialism and liberalism, have considerably eroded its effects. The second part of this chapter, devoted to Chinese Buddhism in Taiwan, w i l l emphasize the political context in greater detail. The national security imperatives faced by the K M T are singled out to explain its policies towards the Buddhist community and the Taiwanese population in general. During the more recent phase of liberalization, the ethnic cleavage specific to Taiwan emerges as a key dimension of politics influencing Buddhist organizations. This survey pays particular attention to differences in the political attitudes displayed for centuries by the Sangha and the laity respectively, throughout the history of the Buddhist tradition in China. 66 B u d d h i s t s a n d Po l i t i c s i n C h i n a B e f o r e 1949 Taiwanese Buddhism owes much to its antecedents on the continent. Therefore an examination of that tradition in China is deemed necessary. In addition, many of the most prominent monks in contemporary Taiwan arrived on the island as refugees after the founding of the P R C in 1949. Thus, even though the island was not affected directly by the upheavals in China from 1895 to 1945 because of Japanese colonial rule, the state of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism owes much to these members of the Sangha, as they brought with them the institutional memory of Buddhism in China. B u d d h i s t s a n d po l i t i c s i n T r a d i t i o n a l C h i n a The involvement of Buddhism in politics during the traditional era was extremely complex. It varied in response to changes within society and the state. These transformations influenced the different practices that the Buddhist theology sanctioned over centuries. During the early phase of its introduction to China between the first and sixth centuries, the Sangha sought the patronage and the protection of the state to ensure its 67 growth. In time, that association of spiritual and secular authority made expressions of religious dissidence ipso facto political dissidence. The Sangha and the state both had a vested interest in preventing the development of religious heterodoxy. The Buddhist theology was variegated enough to provide both the Sangha and heterodox groups a rationale for different policies. This flexibility also helped the religion adapt to Chinese culture, despite the obstacles raised by proponents of the rival Confucian and Taoist traditions. The adaptability of Buddhist theology. The features of Buddhism mentioned by Smith in his ground-breaking study on the political implications of the religion were relevant to the Theravada tradition practiced in Sri Lanka and South East Asia , but do not relate very much to the Mahayana [Dasheng ^ 1 7 tradition adopted in China. These differences did not originate in religious schisms, but resulted from additions that adherents of the Mahayana school have made to the original beliefs shared by all Buddhists. Believers of all persuasions have borrowed from 1 1 7 Donald Eugene Smith, "The Political Implications of Asian Religions;" 10-15. In Sanskrit, the Great Vehicle for universal salvation. 68 Hindus the belief in the doctrine of the Karma [Yinguo H^],118 which stresses that every act produces a result, and that the rebirths that every being experiences depend on the accumulated Karma of the past. Another fundamental belief shared by all Buddhists is the idea that this cycle of rebirths brings misery and suffering, and salvation can be reached only by stopping transmigration from one rebirth to another, a state known as Nirvana [Niepan ?M |^].119 The earliest tradition of Theravada Buddhism emphasized the practice of a strenuous discipline known as the eightfold path to salvation. Dissatisfaction with the conservative character of the Theravada school and its focus on individual salvation led to the rise of the Mahayana school, which stresses devotion to the Buddha and universal love through compassion, charity and altruism. A n important element of Mahayana Buddhism is the elevation of the historical figure of Sakyamuni [Shijiamoni WM^-ft], or Gautama Siddharta, as only one incarnation among many of the Buddha. According to that belief, the Buddha is an eternal being that appeared on earth countless times and wi l l continue to do so in the future. Another form of the Buddha is Amitabha [Amitofo P5fj$fP'£fj$]5 who presides over the mythical Pure 1 1 8 In Sanskrit, action, fate. In Chinese, H cause, and JH: effect. 1 1 9 In Sanskrit, extinction. In Chinese, g , to blacken, and jJH a wooden tray, describe a candle that has 69 Land, and whose name's evocation suffices to guarantee deliverance in that paradise. A third form of the Buddha is the laughing Buddha, known before as the future Buddha, Maitreya [Milefo ®iJjf$j]. His coming on earth, some devotees believe, w i l l purify the world and restore the Dharma [Fa £fe]. 1 2 0 A fourth form of the Buddha is the deity Avalokitesvara [Guanyin fU H 1 ] , a female deity that stands out as the symbol of compassion. The intensity of the devotion to each deity varies throughout history, according to the particular aspect of the religion that appeared more relevant to the concerns of the faithful at specific times. 1 2 1 In periods of trouble, for instance, worship of Maitreya as the Buddha of the future prevailed and was central to the doctrines of the millenarian movements engaged in anti-dynastic upheavals. 1 2 2 In contemporary Taiwan, the compassionate figure of Guanyin is the most widely revered form of the Buddha, followed by Amitabha. burned out. 1 2 0 In Sanskrit, decree, custom. In Chinese, law, truth, the Buddhist way. 1 2 1 Kenneth Ch'en has documented these changes from the year 500 to 720, from the Northern Wei Dynasty until the Tang. Buddhism in China: A Historical Survey (Princeton University Press, 1964), 172. 1 2 2 Chen Hua M.^, "Zhongguo Lishishang de Mile: Weilaifo yu Jiushizhu ^P'l^M$.±^MWl- %ffl%>^ IfctSi [Maitreya in Chinese History: Buddha of the Future and Universal Savior]," Lishi Yuekan Wt$lF\ f 'J [Historical Monthly], March 1995, 56-60. 70 Another important innovation of the Mahayana tradition, for our purpose, is the religious ideal of the bodhisattvas \pusa jH], individuals qualified to attain Nirvana because of their accumulated merits, but who have chosen instead to remain in the world in order to help all sentient beings attain salvation. 1 2 3 The ideal of the boddhisattva signals a shift from the Theravada religious practice of salvation based on individual practice to the Mahayana religious ideal of striving for the salvation of all through charitable activities. Criticisms expressed by Taixu, which wi l l be reviewed below, about the attitude of aloofness from society adopted by monks, suggest that too many Buddhists did not abide by this aspect of their religion. Current developments in Taiwan demonstrate how much the relative importance of specific elements of theology can change over time. The ideal of the Boddhisattva, as articulated by individuals like Xingyun and Zhengyan, is now the most striking characteristic of contemporary Buddhism on the island. 1 2 4 1 2 3 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 12-13. 1 2 4 Xingyun wrote in his diary: "I embrace the vow of compassion to deliver all beings." Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 446. Zhengyan preaches that everyone can become a Boddhisattva if they perform the right actions. Douglas Shaw, ed., Still Thoughts, Volume One, by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, trans. Lin Chia-hui (Taipei: Still Thoughts Cultural Mission Co., 1996), 24-25. 71 The ever-present challenge of Confucian cultural resistance From the beginning of its introduction to China, Buddhism, as a tradition originating from India, has had to bridge a huge cultural gap. Not only were there major linguistic and psychological differences between the two civilizations, but more importantly, familism and the particularistic ethics inherent to China contrasted markedly with the emphasis on universal salvation of the religion. 1 2 5 After the fall of the Later Han dynasty (25-220), however, Confucian ethics were discredited and experienced an eclipse that would last seven centuries due to their association with the previous regime. This greatly facilitated the spread of Buddhism in the North - previously the heartland of China - by foreign rulers who were reluctant to adopt Confucian ways, and in the South, where Buddhist beliefs either competed or mingled with Taoist practices and spread with the advance of Chinese colonists. 1 2 6 Such progress triggered sporadic reactions from the native traditions. In the South, Confucian scholars condemned Buddhism as alien and criticized it for its allegedly Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History (Stanford University Press, 1959), 33-34. Ibid, 52-57. 72 seditious nature.1 2 7 In the North, controversies instigated by Taoists led to two waves of persecution, one in 446 A . D . and the second from 574 to 577. Buddhist institutions nonetheless weathered these challenges and experienced their greatest period of spiritual and intellectual achievements during the Tang dynasty (618-906), and became completely acculturated to China. Under the Song (960-1279), a new intellectual movement would prove fatal to Buddhist prominence: the synthesis of Buddhist metaphysics with Confucian ethics, known as Neo-Confucianism, rose rapidly as the dominant trend and supplanted the religion. B y the M i n g dynasty (1368-1644), Buddhism had ceased to represent a serious institutional challenge to the Neo-Confucian literati. 1 2 8 The rationale for the criticism of the religion has remained the same over centuries: Buddhism was considered to be alien to traditional Chinese values. When Buddhist monastic orders were prosperous, as was the case from the fifth to the ninth centuries, the monks were blamed for impoverishing society by living off the work of peasants and Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 136-144. Ibid, 439-441. 73 laborers, and for undermining the rearing of new generations through their vow of celibacy. 1 2 9 The Neo-Confucian literati that arose during the Song attacked Buddhism at the level of its ethics and metaphysics: they felt that the religion represented an escape from life and its responsibilities, and they rejected the doctrine that the physical world is empty and illusory. 1 3 0 In contemporary Taiwan, the echoes of traditional Confucian criticism can still be heard. This much was apparent in the controversy surrounding the ordination of university students in the Zhongtaichan temple in 1996, when anguished parents publicly opposed the decisions of their sons and daughters. The parents objected to their children's decisions on the ground that their vow represented a repudiation of the duty of filial piety. 1 3 1 That is, even i f the influence of Western ideas and the repudiation of 1 2 9 C.K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society: A Study of Contemporary Social Functions of Religion and some of their Historical Factors (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991; reprint, Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1994), 121-122,200. Kenneth Ch'en wrote that the religion was criticized on five other grounds. The Buddhist view that life is illusory and full of suffering was opposed to the Confucian and Taoist views that life is to be enjoyed. The monastic ideal of celibacy was in contrast to the traditional stress on family life. Mendicancy was at odds with the emphasis on labor. Life away from the household was incompatible with the ideal of harmonious relationships. Monasticism was seen as tantamount to sedition because it advocated non-observance of the state's laws. See Buddhism in China, 204. 130 Ibid., 396. 1 3 1 "Chujia Rechao ttj^f|&$ [Monk Fever]," Xinxinwen ffffM [The Journalist], 8-14 September 1998, 28-35; "Temple melee prompts debate on religion law," China Post, 6 September 1996, 1, 20; " Tidu, Neizhengbu: Xu Fumuqin Tongyi 1^$^: M3CWM\S\M[(About) Novices, the MOI (Said): Agreement of Parents Necessary]," Ziyou Shibao g f£|H#3z [Liberty Times] 6 September 1996, 3. 74 Confucianism by intellectuals at the beginning of the century have considerably eroded its influence at the level o f state policy, residues o f Confucian values remain in society. The ambivalent impact of state policy During the three centuries that followed the fall o f the Han in 220 A . D . , Chinese governments were weak and the North of the country fell under foreign rule in 316 A . D . Chinese rulers in the South were not powerful enough to control the Buddhist monastic communities, which became wealthy enough to constitute a state within the state. In the North, imperial encouragement of Buddhism under the Wei (386-534) and following dynasties came at a price. The religion depended on the power of the ruler for its survival. This situation made the monastic community vulnerable to persecutions, as was the case in 446 and 574-577. 1 3 2 The religion nonetheless survived these persecutions and during the reign of Emperor Wen, founder of the Sui dynasty (581-618), Buddhism became the unifying faith o f the Empire. 1 3 3 Although the Tang (618-906) rulers rescinded the policy of Buddhism as state religion and favored Taoism, they practiced religious tolerance in 1 3 2 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 147-151, 186-194. 133 Ibid, 200. 75 accordance with their claim that they were ruling a cosmopolitan realm comprising not only Chinese but also "barbarians." 1 3 4 Buddhism benefited enormously from the patronage of some of the Tang rulers, but intrigues in the court led to a third wave of persecution in 843-845. 1 3 5 This repression took several forms: a majority of monks were ordered to defrock and return to the laity; most Buddhist establishments, including monasteries, were destroyed; and land was confiscated. 1 3 6 Although this persecution was short-lived, and the monastic community became more numerous and its economic activities more extensive during the Song dynasty (960-1279) than under the Tang, Buddhists never reclaimed their previous position of dominance in Chinese politics. Although the religion was embraced by the succeeding alien dynasties of Liao, Jin and Yuan (1260-1368), heterodox Buddhist sects, inspired by belief in the imminent return of the Maitreya Buddha, instigated opposition to the government. The Ming (1368-1644) ,i4Ibid, 213. 1 3 5 Jacques Gernet provides an in-depth analysis of some of the underlying factors behind these persecutions. He mentions that the growth of Buddhism created an imbalance between production and consumption, as it diverted resources to the monasteries. In particular, the exemption of monks and nuns from all taxes and corvee service, on the grounds that they had renounced secular life, led over the years to an ever-increasing fiscal deficit. Buddhism in Chinese Society: An Economic History from the Fifth to the Tenth Centuries, translated by Franciscus Verellen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 29-33. 1 3 6 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 231-232. 76 dynasty was established after one of these uprisings. It was inspired by the belief that its leaders were sent by the Buddha Maitreya, and the uprising led to the downfall of the Mongols. The new regime, drawing lessons from these events, quickly turned against heterodox sectarian activities and outlawed these groups, while maintaining the privileges of the Sangha. The attitude of the M i n g rulers was more a function of utilitarian calculations than religious tolerance: they appreciated the values of any religion, including Buddhism, as long as it could promote good order and sanction the regime. 1 3 7 During the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), the ruling Manchus sponsored their own practice of Buddhism, known as Lamaism [lamajiao Df!lifli&]- Considerations about Inner Asian politics also played a role: this tradition originates from Tibet, and Mongols living on the frontier of the empire were also adherents of Lamaism. 1 3 8 However, this ostensible support of the religion could not prevent the recurrence of rebellions instigated by Buddhist heterodox sects such as the White Lotus Society [Bailianjiao E^ SIfJG-B y the end of the Qing, the fortunes of the religion had changed again as orthodox Buddhists faced a new and more serious challenge from the government. In an attempt to 1 3 7 Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History, 100-101. 1 3 8 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 454. 77 respond to Western incursions in China, Qing authorities adopted a reform program which promoted modernization, secularization and mass education, and which had important consequences for Buddhists. One of the most prominent reformers, Kang Youwei JjtW j=|, for example, proposed in his 1898 memorial to the emperor Guangxii that Buddhist and Taoist temples be converted into modern schools.139 Although the modernization program of Guangxii was short-lived, the elements of the reforms that were relevant to Buddhism were soon implemented after the Boxer rebellion, and in 1904, notes C. K. Yang, the government ordered that temple property be used wherever available for the establishment of schools.140 According to Arthur Wright, Buddhist monks and nuns were ill prepared to confront these challenges,141 and, as Holmes Welch documents, many of them came to rely on lay Buddhists to ensure the survival of the tradition.142 In order to understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to focus on the relations of the Sangha and the laity with governments. 1 3 9 Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968), 10-11. 140 Religion in Chinese Society, 325-326. 141 Buddhism in Chinese History, 114-115. 142 The Buddhist Revival in China, 28. 78 The different responses of the Sangha and the laity to state policy From the beginning, Buddhism was primarily a monastic movement whose members could put aside their concerns about material sustenance and relations with family and society. A s mentioned above, this situation left the Sangha open to Confucianist accusations of it being a parasitic institution. But as long as rulers were wil l ing to base their legitimacy partly on Buddhism, the monastic order did not have to fear the wrath of the state. In return, the monastic community tacitly acknowledged the supremacy of the government that granted it patronage.1 4 3 Lay Buddhists, often associated with heterodox traditions, had throughout history a more troubled relation with the state. A distinction was made between the Sangha and lay Buddhists as early as 403, when the monk Huiyuan l§ai l(334-417) wrote that although the clergy did not have to concern itself with worldly affairs, the laity had to pay homage to the secular rulers. 1 4 4 In other words, only the clergy enjoyed an autonomous and privileged status.145 Lay Buddhists did not benefit from the state patronage of their religion and, in 1 4 3 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 257. 144 Ibid., 76. 1 4 5 To be sure, not all monks collaborated at all times with the secular rulers. A few monks did get involved politically, if not led rebellion against the emperor. Yuji Muramatsu mentioned a few monks during the various rebellions in which Buddhist got involved between the year 515 and 1351. See "Some Themes in 79 times of trouble, they were likely to become involved in anti-dynastic politics when their faith led them to believe that the emperor had lost the "mandate of heaven." Early on, the monastic community was very close to political authorities. This was the case during the fourth and early fifth century, when it rendered service to rulers in North China in the form of military and diplomatic counsel. Because conflicts between the various non-Chinese kingdoms had led to permanent strife, the monks needed state support and protection in order to be able to propagate the religion. 1 4 6 The association between monks and warring states failed to satisfy the people who were looking to religion as a refuge from their misery. It is no surprise, then, that associations separate from monasteries, inspired by Buddhist theology, but led by "rebel monks," appeared in that period. 1 4 7 In the South, during the eastern Jin dynasty (280-420), the Sangha managed to assert its independence from the state: it enjoyed extra-territorial rights, monks were governed by their own monastic laws, were exempt from taxation, and received support Chinese Rebel Ideologies," in The Confucian Persuasion, ed. Arthur Wright (Stanford University Press, 1960), 241-267. 1 4 6 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 92-93. 1 4 7 Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 2. The political activism of Buddhist dissenting sects and the importance of lay people in their midst has lead to the conclusion that their religion was simply an ideological excuse for rebellion. The dissenting Buddhist sects considered here were different from the secret societies or "triads," who used religion as a cover for their political, and often subversive, activities. See Daniel L. Overmyer, "Alternatives: Popular 80 from state officials and the aristocracy. Under these favorable conditions, the Sangha was more successful in spreading the faith within the population. 1 4 8 During the Tang dynasty, the Sangha was supported by all elements of society, from the imperial household, the nobility, and wealthy great families to the common people. 1 4 9 This was in part due to the fact that the conception of Buddhism as a religion of compassion aimed at the salvation of all beings led to the development of many welfare activities. 1 5 0 Secular rulers welcomed these social welfare activities, but as a consequence, the Sangha came under the firm control of the court. Before the Tang, entry into the Sangha was an individual act over which the state had no influence, but as the responsibilities of the monks became increasingly important, ordination became regulated by the state.151 A symbol of the complete subordination of the religion to the state can be seen in the fact that c ivi l servants rather than monks undertook supervision of the Sangha. Religious Sects in Chinese Society," Modern China 7, no. 2 (April 1981), 153-190. 1 4 8 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 77. 149 Ibid.,2U. 150 Ibid., 295-296. 151 Ibid., 241. 81 After the Song dynasty, state authority became so complete that the monastic orders had no choice but to come to terms with the supremacy of the secular rulers. 1 5 2 Although monasteries continued to be built and monks continued to be ordained during the Song, the monastic orders went into decline. Two reasons, in particular, brought about that situation. Firstly, in an effort to address its financial problems, the state started selling monk certificates and titles, which led to competition and corruption within the Sangha. 1 5 3 Secondly, the revival of the examination system in the Song diminished the attractiveness of the monastic lifestyle as a path to prosperity. A s the imperial bureaucracy increasingly attracted the best minds of the country, fewer educated people were interested in joining the monastic order. The result was that many adherents of Buddhism preferred to remain laypersons. 1 5 4 There is a consensus among scholars that many of the religious uprisings after 1351 were fomented by heterodox Buddhist societies that were opposed to the orthodox Sangha because of its association with the established regime. 1 5 5 Some of these uprisings had 1 5 2 Kenneth Ch'en, The Chinese Transformation of Buddhism (Princeton University Press, 1973), 124. 1 5 3 Kenneth, Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 393-394. 154 Ibid., AM. 1 5 5 Sects such as the White Lotus, despite heterodox practices such as the worship of the Unbegotten Mother [Wusheng Laomu belonged to Buddhism. C.K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society, 230; Daniel 82 profound political consequences: the establishment of the M i n g Dynasty followed a massive uprising generated by the widespread belief about an enlightened ruler [mingwang HfjzE] announcing the coming of the Future Buddha. 1 5 6 Several motives drove lay people to participate in anti-dynastic upheavals. 1 5 7 The point to note is that while the social-political order based on Confucian orthodoxy and the official Sangha proved its efficacy in times of tranquility and prosperity, it was inevitable that the same institutions would be discredited in times of crisis, and that heterodoxy would have more appeal. 1 5 8 While the Sangha remained generally passive during the five centuries of M i n g and Qing rule, many lay Buddhists, generally pious evangelists, became political rebels when faced by extreme poverty, oppression by officials and other difficult sociopolitical conditions. 1 5 9 L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 2; Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 429-431; Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History, 74. 1 5 6 Kenneth, K.S. Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 434-435. 1 5 7 Sectarian movements were generally apolitical, and only occasionally would they be engaged in opposition to the ruler. Harrell and Perry concluded in their analysis of sectarian beliefs and the social environment of these movements that most of them were strictly pietistic, and when they pursued political activities, it was for purely religious reasons, such as protecting their institutions. Stevan Harrell and Elizabeth J. Perry, "Syncretic Sects in Chinese Society," Modern China 8 no. 3 (July 1982), 283-303. This statement, to be sure, should not downplay the seriousness of the conflicts opposing them to the state: the latter represented a cosmic order encompassing all realms of authority that could not tolerate the challenge implicitly raised by the former. Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 3-4. 1 5 8 C.K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society, 228. 1 5 9 Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 12, 51-52. 83 The harassment of religious institutions during the last decades of Qing rule inspired a series of transformations within the Buddhist community, often interpreted as a revival, but more appropriately described as a modernization of the religion. 1 6 0 This process was triggered by the turmoil of the Taiping rebellion (1851-1865), which sought to eliminate idolatrous worship and inflicted a devastating blow against the property of the Sangha. The physical survival of the religion depended then on the efforts of a few determined lay devotees.1 6 1 Buddhist intellectuals such as Liang Qichao P&f&Mi 1873-1929), Tan Sitong Mwl(n](1865-1898) and Zhang Binglin ^ ' M § t (1869-1936), went further: all critical of Confucianism, they upheld their religion as an ideology of modernization. 1 6 2 However, that specific project was doomed to fail because most Chinese intellectuals, whether they subscribed to the ideologies of Republicanism and nationalism, or later on, liberalism, socialism and anarchism, believed that religion prevents the advance of progress and ought to be eliminated. 1 6 0 Holmes Welch himself, the authority on the topic, is reluctant to describe the process of change within the Buddhist community as a revival. The word secularization is also an imperfect substitute for the French language word "lai'cisation," which referred initially to the growing role played by lay people in the life of the Catholic Church. See The Buddhist Revival in China, 1. 1 6 1 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 448-449. 1 6 2 See Chan Sin-wai, Buddhism in Late Ch 'ing Political Thought (Boulder: Westview Press, 1985); Hao Chang, Chinese Intellectuals in Crisis: Search for Order and Meaning, 1890-1911 (Taipei: SMC, 1987). 84 This review of Buddhism in traditional China reiterates the point made before that theology and culture cannot decisively determine the way Buddhist organizations become involved in politics. Although traditional state policy enormously constrained the ability of Buddhists to become involved, the efficiency of that policy varied according to circumstances. When the government appeared illegitimate and society suffered serious economic crises, lay Buddhists belonging to heterodox sects were more likely to become politically involved. The combination of an ecclesiastical organization concerned with the survival of the tradition with an egalitarian soteriology was bound to generate tension within the religion between support for and opposition to the status quo. The Buddhist monastic order, content with the performance of individual spiritual practice as a response to the problem of human suffering, was generally obedient to secular authorities. However, when they judged secular authorities illegitimate, lay Buddhists were more likely to find in the egalitarian ideals of the religion reasons to oppose them. 1 6 3 In sum, the 1 6 3 1 agree with the view of Daniel L. Overmyer and C.K. Yang about the political activity of Buddhist organizations in traditional China. They found that these activities arose from the visions of the devotees for an ideal world replacing the current order, that the goal of universal deliverance was always present in the religion, and that the political activities of these organizations identified with their Salvationist ideal. Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 50-51; C.K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society, 112, 229-230. 85 Sangha, with its vested interests in state sponsorship, found itself challenged by the laity when state authority was questioned. Buddh ism in modern Ch ina Buddhists did not get involved in politics during the Republican era, despite the efforts of lay intellectuals to make their tradition more responsive to modernity. Three factors explain this situation. Firstly, cultural changes blunted the ability of religion to address the crises faced by China. Secondly, the circumstances of anarchy and division deprived the Sangha of state support. Thirdly, the monastic orders resisted attempts by a handful of reformist individuals to reorganize Buddhism with the help of the laity. The following section is structured chronologically, not thematically, because the Republican period represents a series of upheavals and transformations with different consequences for Buddhists. The first period of fifteen years represents a period of development despite the hostility of a repressive political environment. After tumultuous beginnings, the Nanjing decade (1927-1937) favored the growth of the religion, but the ensuing periods of war with Japan (1937-1945) and the c iv i l war on the Chinese mainland 86 (1945-1949) threatened its very survival. These circumstances set the stage for the escape of a few hundred monks to Taiwan, out of a total of over seven hundred thousand. 1 6 4 The involvement of lay Buddhists during the era of uncertainty (1911-1927) For four years after the outbreak of the Republican Revolution, local administrators in North China perpetuated policies already undertaken between 1902 and 1908 under the Qing dynasty. They sought to appropriate temples and temple property for conversion into schools. 1 6 5 Welch wrote about the excesses of these campaigns: "Confucians, Christians, modernizers, predatory officials, and bandits (the categories are obviously not exclusive) carried on expulsions of monks and destruction of monasteries."1 6 6 Because of political divisions, these policies of expropriation were never fully implemented, but they nonetheless provided lay Buddhists with the incentive to organize. A few monks and local lay people decided to respond with a three-tiered strategy. They sought to build a set of institutions which could serve as a lobby for the Sangha, to establish a strong lay 1 6 4 Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967), 414. 1 6 5 Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity: The Campaigns against Popular Religion in Early Twentieth-Century China," Journal of Asian Studies 50, no. 1 (February 1991), 75-76. 166 The Buddhist Revival in China, 23. 87 movement on which the Sangha could rely for support, and to set up an education system that would train monks on how to spread the faith. 1 6 7 One of the leaders of that movement was Taixu, who would thereafter have considerable influence on the development of Buddhism in Taiwan, even though, notes Welch, during his lifetime his authority was quite l imited. 1 6 8 Taixu, a rather eccentric monk, proposed a greater role for the laity and other reforms that generated the opposition of a majority within the Sangha. 1 6 9 His activities during the first decade and a half of the Republican Period represented a continuation of endeavors he had already undertaken during the last decade of the Qing Dynasty. Most of his lay disciples were socialists, and one of them, Ou Yangjian Hfc^ iff, the founder of the Chinese Buddhist Association [Zhongguo Fojiaohui ^S^finl"- not to be confused with the B A R O C ] was notorious for openly despising the Sangha. 1 7 0 Taixu had befriended the revolutionary monk Ven. Qiyun M l , who had joined the Tongmenghui (The precursor of the K M T ) , and by 1910, 167 Ibid, 28-29. 1 6 8/tod, 71. 1 6 9 The opposition was led by Ven. Yuanying |H5|. Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 71. 1 7 0 On the struggle between Ven. Taixu and his more conservative colleagues, see Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 29-35. 88 he had become intimate with a number of Chinese socialists and anarchists.1 7 1 Most other monks were ambivalent towards Taixu: they acknowledged the value of his ideas, but he did not fit their view of what a monk should be. 1 7 2 Although the Sangha resisted reforms of the monastic order, lay Buddhists actively worked for the preservation, promotion and aggiornamento113 of their faith. The modernization of Buddhism took various forms. New publishing houses were established to propagate Buddhist literature, lay organizations were founded for charitable and social purposes, ecumenical contacts with Buddhists abroad were initiated, and modern education for monks was developed. 1 7 4 These activities were for the most part inspired by lay people, because most monks feared that these humanitarian activities could entangle them in m lbid.,l\. 1 7 2 Taixu participated in the first standing committee of the BAROC in 1929, but in the following years, he squabbled with Yuanying and his disciples, and as a result, he failed to influence the association until 1945. Taixu finally gained control of the association that year, but passed away in 1947, when the BAROC was formally reconstituting itself. For more biographical details, see Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 42-44. In another very ironic development, Yuanying did not follow the BAROC to Taiwan in 1949, and became President of the PRC Buddhist Association of China* in 1953. Like Taixu, Yuanying passed away shortly after assuming the leadership of the association. Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 463. * The translation for the Zhongguo Fojiao Xiehui adopted here is the one that is used by Chinese sources. Du Youliang jtl, ed., A Concise English-Chinese & Chinese-English Dictionary of World Religious Terms (Beijing: Zhongguo Duiwai Fanyi Chuban Gongsi ^MM^MWlUM&^i, 1994), 430. 1 7 3 From Italian, to update. Usually refers to the results of the Vatican II Council, used by Catholic observers to describe the meanings of the reforms proposed by Taixu. See "Religions in Taiwan Today," 13. 1 7 4 Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 1-9, 89 politics and run against their vows of renouncing worldly matters. In their efforts to promote their interests, Buddhists petitioned the government for the protection of their property, and between 1912 and 1929 formed at least eighteen separate Buddhist associations, most of which ceased to exist after a few years. 1 7 6 Organizing Buddhism in response to the state modernizing zeal (1927-1937) A s a result of the Northern Expedition of 1926-1927, the K M T established a government which briefly provided some measure of stability in central China . 1 7 7 In 1928, its authority was limited to only four provinces: Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi. 1 7 8 Incidentally, it was within the first two provinces that proportionally greater populations of Buddhist devotees could be found. 1 7 9 After 1927, Buddhists faced a new challenge from 175 Ibid., 20. 176 Ibid, 26. 1 7 7 The integration of China, to be sure, was limited. Tibet and Xinjiang were only nominally part of the Republic. In China proper, the province of Sichuan was under the control of a warlord until 1935, and temporary warlord regimes were formed in Guangxi in 1929, Henan and Shanxi in 1930, and in Fujian in 1933. See Robert A. Kapp, "Chungking as a Center of Warlord Power, 1926-1937," in The Chinese City Between Two Worlds, ed. Mark Elvin and G. William Skinner (Stanford University Press, 1974), 143-170. On the failure of the KMT to integrate China within the area under effective KMT control, see Chapters VI and VII of James E. Sheridan, China in Disintegration: The Republican Era in Chinese History 1912-1949 (New York: The Free Press, 1975). 1 7 8 Financial difficulties, foreign pressures and internal dissension prevented the government from solving problems in the countryside, but some progress was achieved in the cities. Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1990), 367. 1 7 9 Holmes Welch, using figures from surveys done by branches of the BAROC in 1930, indicates that more than half of all devotees in the entire country were found in those two provinces, and one monastery or 90 the state. The KMT, then under the influence of the radical Anti-Religious Federation and the Great Federation of Non-Religionists, launched a campaign against "superstitions" and institutional religions such as Buddhism,180 which included sporadic attempts to confiscate Buddhist property in various parts of the country.181 Lasting until 1931, this phase of radicalism was in tune with the iconoclastic spirit generated by the May Fourth movement, which was anti-traditionalist in its nationalism. The rationalist policy of the KMT was similar to other anti-religious movements occurring at the same time in countries as different as Mexico, the Soviet Union and Turkey.182 temples out of four were in Jiangsu alone. See The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, 411-419. 1 8 0 KMT leaders at the time saw themselves as inheritors of the May Fourth Movement and its anti-religious views. See Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity," 77. 1 8 1 That campaign was launched by the "Society to Expedite the Promotion of Education with Temple Property." According to Holmes Welch, the confiscation of Buddhist property was concentrated on Eastern Zhejiang, and the adoption of a proposal for nation-wide confiscation was made by the 1928 national conference on education in Nanjing. See The Buddhist Revival in China, 40-41, 44. Prasenjit Duara writes that the campaign extended to the Lower and Central Yangzi plain and was led by KMT activists. See "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity," 75. The archives of the BAROC suggest that the last campaign was limited in scope. They only mention for those years the "Campaign against Buddhism [Fandui Fojiao Dahui ^ Mi^Wck^T sponsored in 1928 by KMT cadres in Cixi MM county, Jiangsu province, and the activities of the "Movement to Destroy Superstition [Pochu Mixin Yundong W^^WM U]" launched by cadres from the provincial branch of the KMT in Guangzhou the following year. See Shi Miaoran Wt&M-, Minguo Fojiao Dashinianji S S # t ^ ^ v V ^ I 2 [Annals of Buddhism in the Republic] (Taipei: Haichaoyin Zazhishe MWsWfclfc., 1995), 129, 139. 1 8 2 To be sure, these three historical watersheds were also distinctive in several respects. Hence, Latin American anti-clericalism did not aimed at destroying religion per se, but sought to curtail the power of the Catholic Church. See David C. Bailey, Viva Cristo Rey! The Cristero Rebellion and the Church-State Conflict in Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1974). With respect to the Kemalist revolution in Turkey, Bernard Lewis has argued its goal was neither irreligious nor anti-Islamic, but laicist. Its primary goal was limited to the desestablishment of Islam. See The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 2nd ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), 412. On the early Soviet policy, see Bohdan Bociurkiw, "The Shaping of Soviet Religious Policy," Problem 91 This second campaign was less successful, however, for two reasons. Firstly, the Buddhist community had become more cohesive. Secondly, as Chiang Kai-shek consolidated his authority within the K M T , he sought to reduce the importance of radical mass movements such as the anti-superstition campaign. 1 8 3 He disapproved of them and sent instructions to stop the implementation of expropriation threats.184 Eventually, Chiang, who himself had converted to Christianity, went further and decided to emphasize the positive dimension of religion in his effort to instill in the citizens of the R O C a sense of discipline. 1 8 5 In 1934, he launched the New Life Movement [Xin Shenghuo Yundong § f ^E^WMi\i a campaign advocating goals that were incompatible with the iconoclast views of the anti-religious activists. 1 8 6 The brief period of anti-religious intolerance within the K M T was not, in the end, likely to endure, because the ideology of that party was not based on a rationalist teleology of Communism (May-June 1973), 37-51. 1 8 3 Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity," 78. 1 8 4 Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 44. 1 8 5 On the positive view of Chiang himself on religion, see China's Destiny, translated by Wang Chung-hui (New York, Macmillan, 1947), 78-79. 1 8 6 The New Culture Movement was a call for moral reformation based on neo-Confucianism and not an endorsement of Buddhism, but nonetheless served the latter to the extent that it was directed against the Communist Party and their allies in the anti-religious movements. On the essentials of that movement, see Theodore Wm. de Bary, Wing-tsit Chan and Burton Watson, Sources of Chinese Tradition, Volume 2 (New York: Columbia University, 1960), 138-144. 92 premised on the eventual disappearance of religion. Rather, its policies toward religion represented the continuation of the perennial concern of the state, prevailing throughout the traditional era, that it have exclusive authority in determining religious orthodoxy. 1 8 7 This may explain why the authoritarian religious policies of successive K M T governments, in tune with indigenous experiences, were never resented as a form of foreign cultural imperialism, as is the case in other societies where states are implementing secular policies seen by many as alien to their own practices. 1 8 8 The most efficient means to protect the Buddhist community, in the end, proved to be the involvement of lay Buddhists in Chinese cities after the twenties. Not only did these groups foster devotion, but, like their Christian counterparts, they also undertook educational and charitable activities, 1 8 9 starting a tradition pursued today in Taiwan by both Foguangshan and Ci j i . Although the endeavors undertaken by lay Buddhists may have 1 8 7 Lu Shih-chiang has argued that although intellectuals of the early Republican period consciously criticized Confucius, his concepts were "quietly and inconspicuously exerting their influences and being accepted as the theoretical basis by the anti-religious intellectuals." See "An Analysis of the Antichristian Thoughts of Chinese Intellectuals in the Early Republican Period," in Symposium on the History of the ROC, August 23-28, 1981, Vol. II. Early Period of the Republic (Taipei: China Cultural Service Compilation Committee of the Symposium, 1981), 142. 1 8 8 On Islamism as a response to the secular state, see Tamara Sonn, Between Qur 'an and Crown: The Challenge of Political Legitimacy in the Arab World (Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1990), 227-228; On the rise of Hindu communalism and its opposition to Western-style secularism, see T.N. Madan, "Secularism in its Place," Journal of Asian Studies 46, no. 4 (November 1987), 747-759. 1 8 9 Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 26-27. 93 helped diminish the impression that Buddhism was a religion aloof from society, most members of the Sangha did not support these trends. One episode in the many attempts by Taixu to establish a Buddhist representative organization uniting lay and clergy in 1928 suggests why most monks and nuns adopted that approach. After Taixu urged the desirability of establishing such an organization to Chiang Kai-shek himself, government officials told him it would be better to establish an association for Buddhist studies [Foxuehui W^Ot] because of the anti-religious movement. 1 9 0 In other words, the monks, more dependent than lay people on donations from the public or state patronage, were made aware of the prevailing mood in society, and told not to provoke non-believers. The advice of Chiang Kai-shek notwithstanding, monks founded the B A R O C in 1929. However, on Chiang's advice, the organization successfully prevented the implementation of Taixu's ideas about the modernization of Buddhism. 1 9 1 , 9 0 Ibid, 64. 1 9 1 Briefly member of the standing committee of the BAROC in 1931, Taixu tried to implement his reforms but conservative monks prevented his endeavors and compelled him to resign. Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 42-44. 94 Surviving the circumstances of war (1937-1949) During the Japanese invasion of China, the K M T did not have the ability, the willingness, or the incentive to pay attention to the needs of the Buddhists. 1 9 2 The existence of a national Buddhist organization was irrelevant considering the fact that China was under the jurisdiction of separate governments. During the war, members of the Buddhist laity and clergy had to deal with the various regimes propped up by the Japanese invaders, the warlords of North China, or the K M T in Chongqing. 1 9 3 From the defeat of the Japanese in 1945 until 1949, China remained divided between the C C P bases in North China and the K M T government, which was trying to establish its authority from the capital Nanjing. During these critical years, the K M T proved unable to consolidate its rule and legitimacy in most of China and, as a result, the regime crumbled after the C C P resumed its military operations in 1948. The war between the K M T and the C C P compelled the Sangha and lay Buddhists to take sides more openly in politics. Even i f critical liberal intellectuals were ready to offer 1 9 2 Charles Jones notes however that during the 1940s, monks were drafted in the War against the Japanese as well as during the Civil War, and had to be willing to do any work in the armed forces. See "Buddhism in Taiwan," 192-193. 1 9 3 Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History, 117. 95 qualified support to the C C P as the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek appeared imminent, 1 9 4 many members of the monastic community were not ready to go that far. Clerical and lay Buddhists knew about the views of the CCP, which criticized all religions as weapons used by the ruling class to subjugate the masses.1 9 5 They may also have been aware that after the establishment of the Chinese Soviet Republic in Southern Jiangxi in 1931, the C C P had advocated confiscation of Buddhist property and deprived the clergy of civic rights. 1 9 6 Out of concern for the survival of their tradition, it is likely that most monks and nuns preferred to link their fate to the Republican regime. In the face of the inevitable, however, most of them had no other choice but to seek accommodation with the CCP. Meanwhile, Taixu, having achieved control of the B A R O C in 1945, had a chance to see his reforms implemented for a short while . 1 9 7 According to Welch, the laity took charge of the B A R O C ; the Sangha became increasingly subordinated to the laity, while the 1 9 4 Suzanne Pepper, "Socialism, Democracy, and Chinese Communism: A Problem of Choice for the Intelligentsia, 1945-1949," in Ideology and Politics in Contemporary China, ed. with an introduction by Chalmers Johnson (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973), 208. 1 9 5 Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 461. 1 9 6 Mao Zedong declared that monks and other religious professional would be deprived of their right to vote, and land belonging to the Sangha had to be handed over to peasants. See Stuart R. Schram, ed., Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings, 1912-1949. Volume IV: The Rise and Fall of the Chinese Soviet Republic, 1931-1934 (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997), 823, 871. 1 9 7 Taixu passed away in 1947, and conservatives again took over control of the organizations. The next chapter discusses these issues in greater details. 96 latter became increasingly independent from the Sangha. 1 9 8 A s lay Buddhists increasingly took up duties usually performed by the monks, lay devotees needed the Sangha less and less. The Sangha could hardly have prevented that trend, however, because it needed the protection of a large group of enthusiastic lay supporters against the enemies of the monastic orders. 1 9 9 It is difficult to know whether the predominance of lay people within Chinese Buddhist organizations could have then led to their greater political participation, since the C C P quickly sought to limit the activities of parties and organizations outside of its sphere of control. Summary of the findings Buddhists were not politically active during the Republican period. Their environment, and the passivity of their leadership within the Sangha made them unable to respond adequately to change. The crisis faced by Chinese society during the Republican period led to the ascendancy of materialist and nationalist ideologies, a development with two consequences for Buddhists. Firstly, many central and local government leaders 1 9 8 Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 82-83. 199 Ibid, 85-86. 97 adopted policies with a pronounced anti- religious bias. 2 0 0 Secondly, the heterodox Buddhist organizations no longer offered a credible alternative to the current authorities. The few members of the Sangha or laity who wanted to get involved in politics at best represented a small elite aloof from the social reality of the times, and at worst were guilty of associating with the imperial regime and were blamed for the decline of China. A s a result, most Chinese intellectuals and elites sought answers to the crisis of their society in ideologies associated with "wealth and power," 2 0 1 goals that were antithetical to the tenets of Buddhist religion and philosophy. Another reason for the political inaction of Buddhists was the reluctance of the Sangha to encourage the laity to get involved in politics. Monks wanted to preserve their privileged status and feared that political involvement would sacrifice the essence of their religion. Although too few Buddhist clerics were ready to respond to the challenge of modernization, there were some remarkable exceptions, such as the monk Taixu. The policy of the Republican governments against religious organizations, which had compelled lay Buddhists to rise in the defense of their religion, triggered his drive for the reform of the 2 0 0 Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity," 73. 2 0 1 On this quest, see Benjamin I. Schwartz, In Search of Wealth and Power: Yan Fu and the West (New York: 98 Sangha. His views that the religion should not be limited to practices such as meditation but should also include involvement in secular affairs, represent an attempt at theological innovation that could not succeed in the unstable atmosphere of Republican China. In addition, his claim, intended as a cultural response to Western influence, that "Buddhism is a higher form of science," ran counter to the prevailing trends among Chinese intellectuals. 2 0 2 The reforms of Taixu failed mostly because a majority within the Sangha opposed his views. Most monks could not conceive of their lay subordinates running the affairs of the religion. In sum, i f Buddhists were not politically active during the Republican era, it was not only a result of state repression, which actually was often marginal and ineffective, but also because of a conservative bent on the part of the Sangha. Harper and Row, 1968). 2 0 2 On the naivete of Taixu on that point, see Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 65-66. 99 B u d d h i s t s a n d Po l i t i c s i n T a i w a n P r i o r to 1989 The interplay between a Sangha with strong roots in East Central China, whose history has been sketched above, and a local laity that was not involved in most of the upheavals occurring on the Chinese mainland before 1945, shaped the situation of Buddhism in contemporary Taiwan. We have to keep in mind that when monks from the mainland reached the island, the Taiwanese had already experienced for centuries a tumultuous history that had molded the local Buddhist laity in distinctive ways. Unti l 1945, most Taiwanese Buddhists did not have much contact with their co-religionists from Zhejiang and Jiangsu, the most dynamic centers of Buddhist activity in China, and the main source of influence from the continent was limited to the province of Fujian. 2 0 3 B u d d h i s t s a n d pol i t i cs i n T a i w a n be fore the a r r i v a l o f the K M T (1945) Taiwan has been on the periphery of traditional China since the twelfth century, but after the Chinese defeat in the war of 1895, it was ceded to the Japanese colonial empire 2 0 3 For details, see Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," Ch. I. 100 until its "retrocession" into the fold of the R O C in 1945. During the first centuries of Chinese presence in Taiwan, the Buddhist clergy had no major impact on the island, and most lay Buddhists formed their own associations of devotees. The historical record indicates that when the island fell under colonial control, these organizations could not effectively resist the attempts by Japanese religious associations to incorporate them into their fold. Buddhists and politics under Qing rule There exists evidence of Chinese settlements in Taiwan dating back to the twelfth century, but effective administration by the central government of China was achieved only after the Qing court defeated the M i n g loyalist Zheng Chenggong (also known as Koxinga) in 1683, who had used the island as his base. Sporadic uprisings directed against the "foreign" rule of the Qing continued to erupt on the island during the two centuries following the nominal incorporation of Taiwan into China, and it was only in 1885 that Taiwan acquired its current status as a province. Ten years later, the island was 101 ceded to Japan under the terms of the treaty of Shimonoseki, a decision that led to a brief uprising in which thousands of Chinese soldiers and civilians were k i l l ed . 2 0 4 Owing to the status of the island as a frontier territory, religious activity in Taiwan differed from what could be found then on the Chinese mainland. Song Guangyu J^^t^r indicates there were no orthodox Chinese Buddhist organizations in Taiwan during the Qing era, and only a few monks from Southern Fujian ever came to administer temples. 2 0 5 Charles B . Jones notes that most of these monks were not ordained, that lay Buddhists did not know much about the doctrines and the scriptures, and that the temples were often turned into guild-halls and bases of political power. 2 0 6 David K . Jordan and Daniel L . Overmyer note the existence of lay Buddhist organizations characterized by their vegetarian diets and strict morality, known as Zhaijiao If t£.207 These movements are described by Song as heterodox and messianic, and one of the three major sects, the Dragon Flower sect [Longhuajiao flijlifc] had until the onset of the Japanese 2 0 4 For a summary of that period of Taiwan's history, see John F. Cooper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? Nations of the Modern World: Asia, Second Edition (Boulder, Col.: Wetview Press, 1996), 21-29. 2 0 5 Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui %W$$$iM [Religion and Society] (Taipei: Dongta ^^,1995), 208. 2 0 6 "Buddhism in Taiwan," 70-71. 2 0 7 David K. Jordan and Daniel L. Overmyer, The Flying Phoenix: Aspects of Chinese Sectarianism in Taiwan (Taipei: Caves Books, 1986), 26-31. 102 administration as many as thirteen temples and sixty-eight vegetarian halls located in Taichung [Taizhong Hsinchu [Xinzhu § f t T ] , and Taoyuan $fc|jg counties. 2 0 8 Jordan and Overmyer, quoting from Japanese scholars, note that these groups were conservative and provided alternative means of security and status to, their members. 2 0 9 That is, there was no tradition of militant heterodoxy in Taiwan before 1895, and the absence of resistance on the part of Buddhists to Japanese colonial rule was consistent with their usually quietist attitude. Buddhists and politics under Japanese rule (1895-1945) The effects of the Japanese colonial administration's policies towards Taiwanese Buddhists were complex. On one hand, the tradition was threatened because too few Taiwanese Buddhists remained in touch with developments on the Chinese mainland, and many of them depended on Japanese monks for their training. 2 1 0 On the other hand, Buddhist institutions could prosper because some monks from China were allowed to Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui, 172-174. David K. Jordan and Daniel L. Overmyer, The Flying Phoenix, 31. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 203. 103 transmit the precepts.2 1 1 This apparent contradiction is explained by the shifts in Japanese policies, which unfolded in three stages. A t first, during the late Mei j i H^fp period (1895-1911), the government was too busy quelling resistance to its rule to pay much attention to religious affairs. 2 1 2 During the Taisho T^IE era (1912-1925), a generally tolerant policy was adopted, and many organizations emerged on the island. However, during the early Showa BgfP era (1926-1945), the colonial government sought further to integrate Taiwan within its "Greater East As ia Co-Prosperity Sphere" through a policy of cultural assimilation. 2 1 3 This project included the transformation of some native Buddhist properties into Shinto shrines, and proselytizing by Japanese Buddhist sects.2 1 4 Taiwanese Buddhists reacted to the policy of the Japanese colonial administration by adopting an attitude which Jones defines as "accommodation without assimilation." 2 1 5 Taiwanese Buddhists sought to cooperate with the colonial authority and joined their Japanese co-religionists in the South Sea Buddhist Association [Nanying Fojiaohui WilBMi 2UIbid, 175. 2 1 2 Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui, 173. 2,3 Ibid., 173-174. 2 1 4 Chen Lingrong \W%W, "Riqu Shiqi Taiwan Zongjiao Zhengce Yanjiu UW^MWMmWC&MW<% [Research of Taiwan Religious Policy During Japan's Occupying Taiwan (Sic)]," (M.A. Thesis, Tamkang [Danjiang TlML] University, 1990)260-278. 2 1 5 Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 177. 104 i£ti"](SSBA). They sought to make themselves acceptable to the authorities in order to avoid the backlash against local religious associations that resulted from early rebellions. 2" This attitude was understandable: Buddhist clerics and lay people had no reason to believe until the 1940s that Taiwan would again become part of China. 2 1 7 When the R O C was ready to resume control of Taiwan, the Buddhist community on the island was divided between three different groups: a Japanese system attracting liberal intellectual elites, a more traditional Chinese system originating from the province of Fujian, and the folk tradition of Zhaijiao.218 The politics of Buddhists in Taiwan from retrocession to 1987 The retrocession of Taiwan to Chinese rule, the concern of the K M T over Taiwanese separatist tendencies, the resumption of the civ i l war on the Chinese mainland, and finally the relocation of the central R O C government to Taipei, all affected Taiwanese Buddhism after 1945. 216 Ibid, 7. 217 Ibid., 176. 218 Ibid., 266-267. 105 Throughout these events and for the following four decades, the ruling party would remain staunch in its resolve to prevent the activities of any potential opposition to its rule on the island, and would seek to control the activities of all sectors of society. Many Buddhists who abhorred communist ideology, especially monks and nuns coming from the Chinese mainland, found themselves in agreement with K M T policies. Although politics in the ROC have not been constrained by martial law since 1987, it is important to keep in mind that two of the events that led to its proclamation four decades ago still cast their shadow on current politics in Taiwan today. These are the yet-to-be concluded Chinese Civil War and the ethnic divide that was generated by K M T policies after the retrocession of the island to Chinese rule. The shadow of the ethnic divide (1945-1949) The immediate disappearance of the SSBA and the creation of the Taiwan Province Buddhist Association [Taiwan Sheng Fojiaohui ^^##fc^#](TPBA) in its place were merely sideshows to the greater transformations sweeping China and East Asia after World War Two. The SSBA vanished as a result of the expulsion of the Japanese from Taiwan, 106 and within two years the T P B A would, in turn, transform itself into a branch of the B A R O C , the organization that would shape the fate of the Sangha in Taiwan for the next three decades. Although the dissolution of the S S B A was a foregone conclusion because of its association with the former Japanese colonial ruler, the incorporation of the T P B A within the B A R O C was different. This event came about as a result of a tragedy that has divided the Taiwanese born on the island and the Chinese migrants who came from the mainland after 1945. The population of Taiwan initially welcomed the K M T when it took control of Taiwan in 1945. Barely two years later, resentment against the policy of the governor Chen Y i W-M, sent by the central government in Nanjing, culminated in an island-wide uprising known as the February 28 incident [er er ba shijian Z l Z l A l P ^ f F ] . 2 1 9 In reaction to that disturbance, the ruling party launched a campaign of repression and purges throughout society aimed at preventing the emergence of Taiwanese nationalism. 2 2 0 2 1 9 For a concise summary on the origins of the incident, see Christopher Hugues, Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism, 24-26. For more lengthy accounts, see George Kerr, Formosa Betrayed (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1966), 233-234; Douglas Mendel, The Politics of Formosan Nationalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970), 26-31. 2 2 0 George Kerr, Formosa Betrayed, 341 -343; Douglas Mendel, The Politics of Formosan Nationalism, 31 -38. 107 For the next three decades, many Taiwanese would come to think of their country as governed by a foreign authority.2 2 1 It is hard to tell precisely how Taiwanese monastic and lay Buddhists felt about the related fact that the leadership of their community, through the B A R O C , was, like a mirror image of the political system, composed mostly of members from the Chinese mainland. If the incorporation of the T P B A into the B A R O C was not entirely the result of coercion, it was not entirely voluntary either: Buddhists were aware of the dangers they faced i f they appeared to support greater autonomy for Taiwanese institutions. 2 2 2 L o w survey figures for Buddhist lay believers at that time cannot be construed as a clear indication that Taiwanese bendiren rejected the B A R O C . These figures may simply indicate that Buddhism was not considered a prestigious religion, or that people preferred to identify themselves as adherents of folk religions. The only certainty is that Buddhist organizations during those troubled years had to convince the authorities of their loyalty in order to ensure their own survival. 2 2 1 President Lee Teng-hui, himself a native Taiwanese, would himself say so about the first decades of K M T rule in Taiwan, which he described to the Japanese journalist Ryotaro Shiba as a "foreign authority [wai lai zhengquan 9\-^.WM]" on 31 March 1994. For the context surrounding that interview, see Christopher Hughes, Taiwan and Chinese nationalism, 96. 2 2 2 Charles Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 185-186. The next chapter will discuss this issue in greater 108 The shadow of the threat from China (1949 to 1952) Two years after the February 28, 1947, uprising, the C C P defeated the K M T on the continent and the R O C government had to relocate its capital to Taipei, triggering a series of events that decisively shaped the context in which Buddhists would later operate. In the immediate aftermath of the government's retreat from the Chinese mainland, more than 1.5 mill ion migrants arrived in Taiwan, and Chiang Kai-shek feared an imminent collapse of his regime. 2 2 3 In an effort to establish new foundations for the party in Taiwan, the K M T launched in 1950 a major campaign of reconstruction. The outbreak of the Korean War by the end of the same year dramatically improved the fortunes of the R O C : U.S . President Harry Truman reversed previous policies of non-interference in the Taiwan Strait and resumed direct military aid to the R O C in 1951. 2 2 4 These events provided the K M T with the opportunity to consolidate its power on the island and, by the time the reconstruction campaign concluded in 1952, the ruling party had prescribed the details. 2 2 3 Steve Tsang, "Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang's Policy to Reconquer the Chinese Mainland, 1949-1958," in In the Shadow of China: Political Developments in Taiwan since 1949 (Hong Kong University Press, 1993), 51. 2 2 4 Gu Weiqun, Conflicts of Divided Nations: The Cases of China and Korea (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1995), 109 establishment of government-controlled mass organizations for every social group in the R O C . 2 2 5 Despite their recognition that Buddhists could be useful allies in their campaign to gain support from other anti-communist Asian countries where Buddhism was an influential tradition, K M T officials nonetheless constrained the activities of clerical and lay Buddhists. Following the arrival of the defeated nationalist government, relations between Buddhists and the K M T went through a difficult phase. Out of an estimated one hundred monks coming from the continent, 2 2 6 only a handful of prominent clergymen, such as Ven. Baisheng r^£( 1904-1989) and the Zhangjia $ H Liv ing Buddha [Huofo (1891-1957), were well-connected enough to continue their activities after they took refuge in Taiwan. Most other Buddhists coming from the mainland fell victims to harassment by the authorities.2 2 7 The ruling party even criticized Yinshun, the most prominent disciple of Taixu to emigrate to Taiwan. One historian of Buddhism in Taiwan, Jiang Canteng, 37. 2 2 5 Tien Hung-mao noted that that campaign was primarily aimed at trade unions, farmers' associations and chambers of commerce. Arguably, in the early fifties the party did not feel the urgency to control the B A R O C because the association was weak and Buddhists were not numerous. Besides, the membership of the K M T until 1952 was also limited: Tien mentions that by December 1950, the ruling party had only 80,043 civilian members. See The Great Transition, 59, 66-68. 2 2 6 Figures by Ven. Dongchu MW (1908-1977), quoted by Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 248. 2 2 7 Many younger monks that would later become prominent in Taiwanese Buddhism, such as Ven. Cihang H 110 mentions that an important text written by Yinshun, "A Broad-ranging Discussion on the Dharma [Fofa Gailun f^ifPifro]," was construed by the military authorities as proof that he was a fellow-traveler of the communist party [wei gongchandang pulu M^WLMM mi 228 These events, to be sure, have to be put in the context of the period. In the chaotic context of defeat on the continent, the KMT control of the island was tenuous, and there were reasons to believe that the CCP was sending some spies among refugees. The authorities were especially suspicious of homeless people lacking proper household registration on the mainland. Since many young refugee monks were in that situation, they were likely to be arrested according to the provision of a decree issued by General Chen Cheng M M on vagrants and homeless people.229 Tensions eventually disappeared, as the authorities came to realize that these Buddhists from the continent shared with them f t (1895-1954), and Xingyun, were arrested. 228 Taiwan Fojiao Bainianshi zhi Yanjiu, 1895-1995 £? f f ^ H ^ ^ W ^ , 1895-1995 [Research on a Century of Buddhism in Taiwan, 1895-1995] (Taipei: Nantian, 1996), 250. 2 2 9 For a detailed account of this period, see Chapter Four of Charles Brewer Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan." See also Jiang Canteng, Taiwan Fojiao Bainianshi zhi Yanjiu, 249-250; 20 Shiji Taiwan Fojiao de Zhuanxingyu Fazhan 20 1Jt|B#lt£W$f M!&#JS [The Transformations and Development of Twentieth-Century Buddhism in Taiwan] (Kaohsiung: Jingxin Wenjiao Jijinhui #'L^tf t3£^#, 1995), 164-168. Ill their anti-communist leanings, and could be a useful instrument in their effort to eliminate native Taiwanese separatist sentiments. Taiwan under siege and Buddhism under control (1952 to 1966) In 1952, the ruling party concluded its campaign of reorganization and set up corporatist institutions. It decreed that every interest group on the island become a transmission belt between its members and the government. 2 3 0 That is, the role of all interest groups was to "transmit messages, mobilize political support, and help implement policies for the ruling party and government." 2 3 1 Buddhists did not escape these restrictions, and in 1952 the only organization entitled to represent the Sangha in Taiwan was the B A R O C . 2 3 2 The establishment of a corporatist structure served the ends of the 2 3 0 Tien Hung-mao uses both "corporatist" and "Leninist" to describe the political institutions put in place by the K M T since the 1920s. See The Great Transition. This usage of the term "corporatist" is not always consistent with what is found in other works on East Asian politics. For theoretical debates on the concept of corporatism, consult Peter J. Williamson, Corporatism in Perspective: An Introductory Guide to Corporatist Theory (London: Sage, 1989); Wyn Grant, ed., The Political Economy of Corporatism (London: Macmillan, 1985); Gerhard Lehmbruch and Philippe C. Schmitter, eds., Patterns of Corporatist Policy-Making (London: Sage, 1982). For attempts to use the concept for the analysis of politics in Taiwan, see Jonathan Unger and Anita Chan,"China, Corporatism, and the East Asian Model," Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 33 (January 1995), 29-53; Harmon Zeigler, Pluralism, Corporatism, and Confucianism: Political Association and Conflict Regulation in the United States, Western Europe, and Taiwan (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988). 2 3 1 Tien Hung-mao, The Great Transition, 45. 2 3 2 If there were resistance to this dependency from the state, it has yet to be documented. In the current climate of openness, research on the existence of such Buddhist dissidence can now be undertaken, but nothing as yet emerged and the consensus expressed above by Jiang Canteng about the conservative attitude 112 party, but as the next chapter w i l l demonstrate, it also benefited the Sangha to a degree. In addition, suggests Tien Hung-mao, most religious organizations were not as tightly controlled as institutions involved in farming, labor and industry. 2 3 3 Finally, as mentioned above, the Sangha was eager to demonstrate that it was not opposing the regime and therefore did not deserve to be persecuted. In 1954-55, Taiwan was threatened militarily by the P R C , and in order to secure a mutual defense pact with the United States, Chiang had to promise the Americans secretly that he would not intervene on the mainland without prior consultation with them. 2 3 4 Chiang went further after the Second Strait Crisis of 1958, declaring publicly that the restoration of freedom to the Chinese people could best be achieved by successfully implementing Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People in the area governed by the R O C . From then on, the emphasis of K M T policy shifted from the recovery of China through the use of force to recovery by political means, i f possible. Simultaneously, the K M T would develop Taiwan as a model of economic growth to be emulated by Chinese on of Buddhists in general still prevail. 233 The Great Transition, 46, 52. 2 3 4 Steve Tsang, "Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang's Policy to Reconquer the Chinese Mainland," 53. 113 the mainland. 2 3 5 Such initiatives on the policy of reunification provided the impetus for a continuation o f the land reform, but also provided arguments for opposition activists, who started to take the K M T to task for not implementing the party's promise to install constitutional government. With respect to political dissidence, however, it was not until the 1970s that the K M T was ready to tolerate any opposition. Not only did the party suppress all political opposition, but it also repressed other challenges to its corporatist structure that were emerging in popular culture and religion. From 1962 to 1970, the Provincial Police Administration clamped down on the sects and cults that did not fit into officially sanctioned definitions of acceptable religiosity. These measures affected Buddhists themselves, and in particular the Nichiren sect in Taiwan. 2 3 6 The Sangha and lay Buddhist institutions, however, never challenged the K M T authorities over these policies of suppression. 2 3 7 Quite the contrary, some prominent leaders who had been harassed 235 Ibid, 55. 2 3 6 For a documentary study of the police operations against the Nichiren, see Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian, 359-478. 2 3 7 It is my speculation that since the Nichiren sect was Japanese and that these events happened less than two decades after Japanese colonial rule, antipathies based on nationalist feelings may have played a role in the indifference expressed by the B A R O C . In addition, police reports show that security forces were aware of the connection between the Nichiren sect, the Soka Gakkai [Chuangjia Xuehui M f R l ^ l i ' ]> and the Komeito [Gongming Zhengzhi Lianmeng ^MfikfaMM]. It is inevitable that security forces would be alarmed once 114 initially by the KMT later demonstrated their loyalty to the government. Their attitude was likely due to the institutional frailty of the Buddhist institutions on the island during the first decades of KMT rule in Taiwan. The Sangha and lay Buddhists were seemingly content with pursuing their religious activities under the guidance of the BAROC, and preferred to stay away from politics. The 'Taiwan miracle' and the gradual expansion of Buddhism (1966 to 1979) Transformations in the international context prompted an important change in the domestic politics of Taiwan that would shape the institutional environment of limited political liberalization in which Buddhist organizations operated from 1966 to 1979. The ROC lost its seat at the United Nations in 1971, and the United States started mending fences with the ROC's rival after the historic trip of President Nixon to the PRC in 1972. These diplomatic setbacks, however, were offset by the increasingly favorable situation in Taiwan, compared to the chaos that was tearing China apart from 1966 to 1976. The mainland was then going through the Cultural Revolution, a period of complex infighting they found out that the Komeito advocated in Japan a policy of Buddhist socialism. Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan ShengJingwu Dang'an Huibian, 382. 115 during which the P R C did not represent a credible military or political threat to the R O C . Meanwhile, the K M T leadership in Taiwan was more secure, the economy was growing at a spectacular rate, and, in contrast to the series of purges occurring on the Chinese mainland, the succession to Chiang Kai-shek in 1976 was achieved peacefully. In response to the Cultural Revolution, the K M T inaugurated in 1967 the "Chinese Culture Renaissance" movement. Although this movement did not generate tremendous enthusiasm among the population, one of its positive consequences was that it provided favorable conditions for the emergence of organizations embodying traditional values, and in particular groups such as Foguangshan and Ci j i . From 1969 onwards, party leaders felt it necessary to encourage limited elections to find a solution to the problem of natural attrition among the old representatives from the Chinese mainland in the three main chambers of the central government. 2 3 8 In this climate of limited openness, a degree of social pluralism started to emerge. Along with a "Taiwan miracle" in economic development, the seeds were sown for another "miracle" in political development as the emerging middle classes pushed demands for democratization. 2 3 8 The National Assembly [Guomin Dahui the Legislative Yuan [Lifayuan ILUMI and the Control Yuan [Jianchayuan ^SM$K\. Christopher Hugues, Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism, 33; Steven J. 116 Politicians "outside of the party [dangwai H^f]" running in the elections of 1972 gained seats in local assemblies and became national representatives.239 During that tumultuous decade, the Sangha did not get involved politically with the opposition, but tacitly stood behind the authorities when they sought to limit the activities of the incipient opposition. The B A R O C did not react against the persecution of Yiguandao — MM and other heterodox groups: as the next chapter discusses, it is likely that the orthodox Sangha had a vested interest in these measures. This much is clear when one considers the call by the Presbyterian Church for Taiwanese self-determination and recalls that the leadership of the B A R O C comprised primarily monks from the Chinese mainland. The attitude of the laity during that period is less clear. The only certainty is that the number of lay Buddhists increased with economic growth and political liberalization. Lay Buddhists who may have been previously reluctant to join organizations outside of the legally sanctioned B A R O C started to participate in the activities of other organizations such as Foguangshan and Ci j i . These groups, set up by monks and nuns claiming a spiritual affiliation with Taixu and his successor Yinshun, were Hood, The Kuomintang and the Democratization of Taiwan (Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1997), 47. 2 3 9 They were referred as such by the KMT. Linda Chao and Ramon Myers, The First Chinese Democracy, 117 partly implementing some of the reforms envisioned by Taixu more than two decades before, by giving lay Buddhists a greater role in their organizations. These organizations, however, worked within the bounds of religious activity authorized by the government and did not embrace the more radical views of Taixu. They undertook charitable work and spread the faith through their writings and public lectures, but shied away from any intervention in politics. Towards liberalization and the flourishing of Buddhism (1979 to 1987) With the ascendancy of Deng Xiaoping as a paramount leader in the late 1970s, the PRC adopted a more conciliatory approach towards Taiwan. This favorable situation, however, coincided with a serious setback for Taiwan: the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the PRC in 1979.240 That crisis, far from compromising the trends of the previous decade, however, simply added new urgency to the pursuit of limited democratization. Eager to retain at least the informal support of the United States through the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and maintain its legitimacy at home, 63. 2 4 0 Gu Weiqun, Conflicts of Divided Nations, 29. 118 the K M T leadership was becoming aware that the continuation of martial law represented in the long run a serious predicament.2 4 1 During the late 1980s, the governments of Chiang Ching-kuo MMM and his successor Lee Teng-hui set in motion an incremental process of democratization by gradually relaxing restrictions on organizational life. In the process, the K M T adopted a completely new approach towards heterodox and syncretic religions such as Yiguandao, and lifted the ban on the activities of the latter in 1987. 2 4 2 Meanwhile, Buddhist monks enjoyed higher visibility, and the numbers of lay people increased remarkably. During the sixties, official reports mentioned a membership of less than 2,500 monks and nuns, and a total of 35,000 Buddhist devotees as members of the B A R O C . 2 4 3 In 1984 an island-wide survey sponsored by the National Science Council of the R O C suggested that as many as 11.2% of the population, that is about 2 mil l ion people, were Buddhists. 2 4 4 Other indicators, such as the number of temples built over the years, 2 4 1 The willingness of the K M T leadership to contemplate democratization, to be sure, did not go unopposed within the party, and the role of Dangwai politicians during that period proved decisive. On these issues, see Steven J. Hood, The Kuomintang and the Democratization of Taiwan, 51-12; Linda Chao and Ramon H. Myers, The First Chinese Democracy, 115-127. 2 4 2 On the transition between the government ban and the legalization of Yiguandao, see Lin Benxuan, Taiwan de Zhengjiao Chongtu aWffitfkWtM^ [The Conflict Between Politics and Religion in Taiwan](Panchiao, Taipei County: Daoxiang Chubanshe ffiM&M±, 1994), 47-63. 2 4 3 It is unlikely that all Buddhists were registered with B A R O C , as the next chapter discusses. For the figures presented here, see Republic of China, Ministry of Information, China Handbook, 1966-67 (Taipei: China Publishing, 1967), 65; 1963-64, 93; 1962-63, 78. 2 4 4 The source does not mentioned how many Buddhists were members of the B A R O C , but more recent data 119 also pointed to an increase in the number of lay devotees. Song Guanyu indicates that while there were 838 Buddhist places of worship in 1960, in 1989 there were 4011. 2 4 5 This expansion in the number of devotees in the Buddhist community, however, did not lead to greater political involvement on the part of the most important figures in the Sangha. Summary of the period Taiwanese Buddhists did not engage in dissident politics during the period of martial law. The next chapter w i l l document that when they criticized the government, it was only discreetly, and only when their most immediate interests appeared challenged. State repression certainly played a major role in their lack of political involvement, but two other factors were also prominent. Firstly, the Sangha and the laity agreed with the anti-communist policy of the K M T . Secondly, clerics and lay persons had their own reasons for supporting the repression of demands for Taiwanese self-determination. For the most on the membership of B A R O C and the total number of Buddhists suggest that only a small proportion of them joined the B A R O C . For 1984 figures, see ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1989 (Hsintien, Taipei county: Kwang Hua Publishing, 1989), 562. 2 4 5 Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui, 179. 120 part, monks in the BAROC originated from the Chinese mainland, and many longed for an eventual return to their homeland. For them, Taiwanese separatism dashed hopes of such a return. Lay Buddhists had more complex motivations that were not different from those of their non-Buddhist compatriots. They subscribed to the KMT's avowed policy of implementing rapid economic growth with minimum income disparity in exchange for acceptance of one-party rule. As a result of successful economic policies that favored the growth of the middle classes, and as liberalization progressed during the late 1980s, advocates of Taiwanese self-determination grew more self-confident. In this new climate, lay Buddhists, the majority of whom are bendiren, began to join organizations in which members of the Sangha originating on the Chinese mainland had less influence. The ensuing shift away from the BAROC, however, cannot be entirely explained by ethnicity. The attractiveness of organizations such as Foguangshan and Ciji is due in no small part to the fact that they encourage initiative on the part of lay people and embody the modern and socially active ideals previously advocated by Taixu. 121 Buddhists and politics after 1987 A s discussed at the beginning of this study, Taiwan's political system has changed considerably throughout the 1990s. The process of liberalization has been reaffirmed with the passing of the law on civic organizations [Renmin tuantifa AKBfftSc] m 1989. Since then, independent parties and organizations have received legal protection and have asserted themselves. Along with the emergence of the pro-independence DPP, the K M T has undergone a thorough transformation and has dramatically increased the representation of Taiwanese at all levels within its ranks. 2 4 7 Over the years, the ruling party has remained in power by adopting many of the policies that were advocated by the D P P . 2 4 8 Meanwhile, changes in society have consolidated the progress made on the political front. The legalization of hitherto forbidden religions such as Yiguandao indicates that the government is more wil l ing to respect the expression of heterodox views. 2 4 9 Taken together, these 2 4 6 An acount of the law, as it relates to religious organizations, is available in Wu Yaofeng, Zongjiao Fagui Shijiang, 480-494. 2 4 7 In 1992, last year for which the K M T maintains statistics about the ethnic composition of its leadership, 69.19 % of the party membership was Taiwanese. The ethnic composition of the Central Standing Committee for the same year was 57.1% Taiwanese. Huang Teh -fu, "Elections and the Evolution of the Kuomintang," in Taiwan's Electoral Politics and Democratic Transition, 115, 119-120. The official census for 1990 notes that only 13% of the population have their origins in mainland provinces. Christopher Hughes, Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism, 96. 248 Ibid, 154. 2 4 9 Lin Benxuan, Taiwan de Zhengjiao Chongtu, 135-140. 122 developments offer the Buddhist community unprecedented opportunities to consolidate its position within contemporary society. A s freedom of the press expanded during the 1990s, individual Buddhists have been free to speak out on public affairs and to get involved politically. Ven. Zhaohui B§ |§ has stated that according to "This-worldly Buddhism," the devotees must get involved politically. 2 5 0 Lay people like Jiang Canteng have written critically about the attitude of the Sangha during the period of martial law and have emphasized the necessity of indigenizing Buddhism, thereby supporting the trend advocated by the opposition in favor of self-determination for the Taiwanese. 2 5 1 W u Boxiong ^ki&Mk, another lay Buddhist, is a popular member of the K M T central committee and a former Minister of the Interior. Chen Lti 'an, also a lay Buddhist, is on record for having opposed the policies of Lee. In sum, there are in Taiwan a number of prominent public figures who are known for their Buddhist beliefs or lifestyle, and whose dissident opinions are partly informed by their faith. This trend, however, does not translate into a comparable involvement on the part of 2 5 0 Jiang Lifen ffillF, "Cij i Beihou You Minyi: Bukao Zhengke Lai Qinglai WMWlk^&M-^UW&^i WW [A lack of trust about politicians: the underlying perception within Ciji]," Heibai Xinwen HSifM [Taiwan News], n.d., 21-22. 2 5 1 Jiang Canteng, 20 Shiji Taiwan Fojiao de Zhuanxingyu Fazhan, 174-180. 123 Buddhist organizations. With the exception of Foguangshan, they have stayed clear from publicly stating their positions on public issues, even when their interests clash with those of the government. As noted in the previous chapter, the institutionalization of Buddhism has led to the creation of over thirty registered organizations in Taiwan. In addition, statistics suggest an explosion in the number of lay people, and in particular the massive participation of women in the lay movement. While in the 1950s Taiwanese Buddhist organizations were primarily small monastic orders headed by males from the Chinese mainland, they are now larger groups in which lay women with roots in Taiwan are very active. The political attitudes of these groups are more diversified than before: on the one hand, Ciji preaches disengagement from politics; on the other hand, Foguangshan took a stand in 1995-1996 by supporting the presidential candidate Chen Lti'an. What explain these different forms of political behavior? The discussion so far suggests that external factors such as government policy towards religious organizations are not likely to explain these discrepancies. 124 Conclusion The historical review in this chapter has noted that Chinese Buddhists on the continent and in Taiwan have responded in various ways to government policies. The differences in these responses could not have been determined by doctrinal schisms within the religion because the latter are irrelevant to the Buddhist tradition. Rebellious movements such as the White Lotus, for example, held beliefs in the Maitreya and Amitabha Buddhas that were shared by other, more orthodox sects and organizations. Confucian cultural resistance did not precipitate Buddhist political activism in any pre-ordained way for at least two reasons. Firstly, Buddhists have integrated over centuries many aspects of Confucian ethics, in particular the deference to secular authority. Secondly, Confucian literati have in turn incorporated elements o f Buddhist metaphysics and philosophy before ushering in the neo-Confucian revival. The Sangha has been more closely associated than lay Buddhists with the secular authorities, no doubt out of self-interest as a group, but also out of concern for the 125 preservation of the religion. Orthodox monks were wary of heterodoxy lest it trigger the persecution of Buddhists by suspicious governments. In earlier times, the Sangha was successful in asserting its authority, but the spiritual decline of the ecclesiastical orders over centuries led to a lack of respect and influence and the concurrent growth of lay organizations of devotees. The members of the latter believed that their religious ideals of compassion, charity and altruism could be better served by their social welfare activities than by the practices of monks and nuns that were perceived as corrupt. The absence of a united leadership among Buddhists, however, has prevented these trends from generating any politically assertive organization unifying all devotees. The section on Buddhism in Taiwan has shown that the quietism of Buddhists during the period of martial law was not only a result of repression by the regime, but also represented a convergence of interests between the Sangha and the KMT. It has also shown that the most remarkable development of Buddhism in Taiwan in the last three decades has been the reversal of the ecclesiastical decline noted above. Monks and nuns on the island now enjoy a high degree of respect from the public. Meanwhile, the gradual liberalization of politics since 1989 makes it possible for Buddhists to implement the bolder 126 aspects of Taixu's reform. Buddhist organizations are free to proselytize independently of any restrictions from the government. Buddhist lay people can express themselves on any issue, get involved in public affairs, and even participate in politics. Increasing numbers of Taiwanese natives and women are replacing the previous generation of monks from the continent. This demographic shift, however, does not point in any clear and definite direction, as the political strategies adopted by Taiwanese Buddhist organizations differ from each other. While Foguangshan and Ciji embody the ideal of Taixu for a more participatory laity, some Buddhist organizations prefer a more traditional approach. To what extent is this cleavage between traditionalist and reformist organizations due to the religious ideas of their respective leaders; to what extent is it due to the constraints they face within the organizations they head? The next chapter explores this issue by examining the BAROC, the most important of the traditionalist Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. 127 Chapter Three THE BAROC AND THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE RELIGION THROUGH LOBBYING Introduction The importance of the BAROC lies in the fact that, in theory, it was the official representative of the religion on the island until it lost that privilege in 1989 with the passing of the Law on Civic Organizations. Since then it has experienced a steady decline. When the lay Buddhist candidate Chen Lti'an ran for the ROC presidency in 1995-1996, the BAROC failed to support him, even though Xingyun, the founder of Foguangshan and spiritual mentor of Chen, is a member of the association. Instead, as a response to its diminution of standing, the BAROC has tried since the mid-1990s to pressure the 128 government into passing legislation that would help it reassert its authority over Taiwanese Buddhists, despite almost unanimous opposition from most other Buddhist organizations. Why did the BAROC not attempt to re-assert its spiritual supremacy by approving the candidacy of Chen? Why did it choose instead to adopt a strategy of lobbying the government in favor of state intervention on religious affairs against the wishes of most Buddhists? To answer these questions, the chapter is organized as follows. The first section introduces the BAROC's current status and discusses the reasons for its declining support. The following sections present its goals and describe its organizational structure. A fourth section documents the political behavior of the BAROC. Because the next chapter will discuss the campaign of Chen Lii'an in detail, that section focuses on the efforts of the BAROC to sway the government in its favor and notes the objections raised by other Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. Finally, the last section examines how the views of the association's leaders determine the political behavior of the BAROC, and to what extent leaders are constrained by organizational factors. The factors examined are the 129 availability of resources and the degree of lay support and congruence between leaders and their followers on the dimensions of ethnicity and gender. The Current Status of the B A R O C The B A R O C was the only legal Buddhist organization in Taiwan during the first decades of K M T rule on the island and, therefore, it has a longer institutional history than any other Buddhist association in the R O C . It still claims to represent all Buddhists in Taiwan. Since the passing of the law on civic organizations in 1989, however, other groups can compete with the B A R O C for that claim without facing any threat of punishment, as long as their goals are not entirely identical. For instance, there now exist in the R O C several functional organizations for the Sangha, such as the C B T A , 2 5 2 the C B S A 2 5 3 and the Chinese Buddhist Association for the Protection of the Sangha [Zhonghua 2 5 2 Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu, 125. 253 Ibid., 105. 130 Fojiao Huseng Xiehui f $ ^ t § [ f | ^ # ] ( C B A P S ) . 2 5 4 Two organizations, the Chinese Buddhist Lay Association [Zhonghua Fojiao Jushihui jfrdrl!"] ( C B L A ) 2 5 5 and the Chinese Buddhist Lay Proselytizing Society [Zhongguo Fojiao ZaijiaXiu Cujinhui ^ffli^i^ft^ fl^{£jl#] ( C B L P S ) , represent Buddhist lay people. 2 5 6 Finally, two organizations, the Young Men's Buddhist Association International of the R O C [Zhongguo Fojiao Guoji Qingnianhui H l l ^ # ¥ # ] ( Y M B A ) 2 5 7 and the Buddhist Youth Association of the R O C [Zhonghua Minguo Fojiao Qingnianhui J^H](BYA), 2 5 8 represent young devotees. While this list is non-exhaustive, three important points should be kept in mind. Firstly, competition is accelerating within the Buddhist community for the representation of its constituent elements. Only the C B L A was established prior to the passing of the law on civic organizations. The other organizations were established in 1989 or after.259 This proliferation of organizations suggests that it is becoming more difficult for Buddhists to speak with one voice for the promotion of their collective interests. Secondly, the 254 Ibid., 134. 255 Ibid., 77. 256 Ibid., 104. 257 Ibid., 123. 258 Ibid., 83. 2 5 9 The B Y A has been registered in 1989, the CBLPS in 1991, and all other organizations mentioned above in 1992. See previous references for each organization. 131 B A R O C tried to respond to this fragmentation by creating subordinate groups to compete with independent organizations. In the very year when the C B T A - an organization that is critical of the B A R O C - was established, the B A R O C founded the C B S A . 2 6 0 Finally, and most importantly, these other organizations have been more successful than the official association mainly because their goals are more limited. In its charter, the B A R O C has made broad claims that strain the credibility of the organization. The statement of purpose of the association, in particular, reveals that it has not only set for itself a religious mission, but has also prescribed for itself a political goal. Both goals are examined more closely below, but before we look into them, it is necessary to elaborate on the recent decline of the B A R O C . R e a s o n s f o r the d e c l i n i n g s u p p o r t b y T a i w a n e s e B u d d h i s t s f o r the B A R O C The support of the association for the ruling party is one of the two main reasons why many Taiwanese Buddhists reject the B A R O C ' s claim to represent them. Many individual Buddhists privately despise the B A R O C for having collaborated so closely with 2 6 0 The CBSA connections are easy to retrace, the address of the association is exactly the same as the one for the B A R O C . Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu, 68, 105. 132 the K M T in the past. Jiang Canteng, using the very words that the K M T used during martial law to criticize monk Yinshun, obliquely refers to members of the B A R O C as " K M T fellow travelers [Zhongguo fojiao shi Guomindang de tongluren ^ Hf^i^^fflS St^I^i^A]"261 Yang Huinan WoMj^i, another noted scholar on Taiwanese Buddhism, has argued that the K M T has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of the B A R O C , and has suggested that the association has always subscribed to the policies of the ruling party as a result. 2 6 2 A s discussed in the previous chapter, it is evident that the B A R O C cooperated with the government since 1952. During the period of martial law the association was generally supportive of the government and categorically opposed to any form of political dissidence. In 1982, reports Jones, the delegates to the 10 t h National Congress of the B A R O C passed a resolution which stated that calls for the lifting of martial law and the creation of new parties were "ridiculous." 2 6 3 The other reason is that many Buddhists believe that the association lacks the legitimacy and the resources to talk on their behalf. Few Buddhist adherents take 2 6 1 The author does not namely refer to the B A R O C itself, as he writes about "Chinese Buddhism [Zhongguo Fojiao ^BftlSl]." See Jiang Canteng, 20 Shiji Taiwan Fojiao de Zhuanxingyu Fazhan, 111. 2 6 2 Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 322-323. 263 Ibid., 334. 133 seriously the assertion that the B A R O C represents the Buddhist community. The previous status of the association as the exclusive representative of Buddhism in the R O C has been undermined over the years, as competing organizations emerged, became legalized, and developed close relations with members of the ruling party. Today, the B A R O C no longer ranks among the most influential players within the Buddhist community on the island: Foguangshan, Ci j i or Fagushan each control far more resources.2 6 4 The B A R O C faces obstacles within the Buddhist community itself, as an increasing number of devotees ignore its views and as members of the Sangha pay only lip service to its directives. The leadership of the association represents only a fraction of the ecclesiastical community in Taiwan, and the unity within the B A R O C does not mirror the diversity of Taiwanese Buddhism as a whole. Theologically speaking, the association stands for only one version of contemporary Buddhism in Taiwan, and members of the ecclesiastical 2 6 4 Works that offer a discussion of Buddhism in Taiwan would at best only make cursory remarks on the B A R O C . See, for example, Jiang Canteng, Taiwan Dangdai Fojiao; Taiwan Fojiao Bainianshi zhi Yanjiu, 1895-1995; 20 Shiji Taiwan Fojiao de Zhuanxingyu Fazhan; Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui. To my knowledge, at the time of writing, no published monograph has been dedicated to the association. It is however the central subject of the Master thesis written by Xiao Zijun and a substantial part of Charles B. Jones' Ph. D dissertation on Buddhism. See Hf-pif, "Taiwan Zongjiao yu Zhengzhi Guanxi zhi Yanjiu: Qihao Gongyuan Guanyinxiang Qianyi Shijian Ge'an Fenxi isM^MMcfaMi^ffi^tWiiMWa-ft M&WL&MMfrffi [A Research on the Relationship between Religion and Politics in Taiwan: A Case Study Analysis of the "Guanyin Statue Removal" Affair in Park No. 7]" (M.A. Thesis, National Taiwan University, 1995); "Buddhism in Taiwan: A Historical Survey," Chapter V. 134 community who do not identify with the views of the B A R O C have joined the other organizations that have emerged since 1989. To understand the importance of this problem, it is necessary to emphasize the precarious position of the B A R O C within the Taiwanese Sangha and the lay Buddhist community. From the beginning, the B A R O C ' s claim to the general representation of the Buddhist community has been problematic, because the Sangha and the laity do not constitute a hierarchical body which, like the Catholic Church, is headed by a central authority claiming to be infallible. Rather, informal affiliations between lay people and monasteries, waxing and waning according to circumstances, have been common throughout history. 2 6 5 This is the case because the notion that Buddhism should have a unified leadership is alien to the Buddhist tradition, even in a state as centralized as China. A s Holmes Welch explains: During the Republican period, as throughout Chinese history, there was no single organization to which all Buddhist monks and devotees belonged. The various Buddhist groups were localized; or i f they were national in scope, they had little effectiveness at the local level, so they were like a head without a body. What held Buddhists together was a series of networks of affiliation, superimposed haphazardly one upon the other.2 6 6 Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, 407. Ibid., 403. 135 In China, where most members of the B A R O C Central Committee originate, these networks were based on religious kinship, loyalty to a charismatic monk, personal ties, or regionalism. Similar types of affiliations are found in Taiwan today, but they are not all relevant to the B A R O C . Networks of religious kinship refer to followers who were ordained by the same monks, consider themselves as part of the same group, and relate to each other as schoolmates. 2 6 7 Clerical and lay followers can also feel a special loyalty to a charismatic monk, and in that case, vertical bonds between master and disciples are stronger than horizontal ties among followers. 2 6 8 Another source of cohesion within the Chinese Buddhist community stems from the personal ties between the heads of monasteries and lay people, which are forged through clubs and study groups, but also result from the reputation of temples. 2 6 9 These ties are more relevant to the other organizations examined in this study, so they wi l l be discussed in later chapters. 267 Ibid., 403-404. This type of relationship, observable among those who join Ciji , is irrelevant to describe the interactions among members of the B A R O C , because the latter come from different parts of China and have been ordained by different monks. 268 Ibid., 404-405. This type of affiliation corresponds to the relationship between Xingyun and his disciples within Foguangshan better than that between Ven. Jingxin - the current head of the B A R O C - and the other members of the association, who are at similar levels within the monastic order. 269 Ibid., 406-407. Although individuals monks within the B A R O C can nurture that kind of relationships within their own temples in Taiwan, the association itself does not attract lay devotees in any ways comparable to Ciji or Foguangshan. 136 Of the four types of affiliations identified by Welch, the most relevant to the BAROC in Taiwan are the bonds forged by regionalism, a factor that has been both a cohesive and divisive force. This phenomenon, notes Welch, was a result of the fact that monasteries in particular regions experienced similar problems and that the abbots often consulted with each other to solve common problems.270 In Taiwan, this tradition of regionalism is extremely relevant, although the issue is not rivalry among clerics from different regions within Taiwan, but rather competition between Taiwanese native clerics and those coming from the mainland, specifically East China. The ethnic competition within society will be discussed in the section on the socio-demographic characteristics of the BAROC. The point to note here is that the claim of the BAROC to represent all Buddhists in the first decades of K M T rule in Taiwan represented an exception to previous practices. Taiwanese Buddhists initially accepted the claims of the BAROC because of the circumstances that prevailed in Taiwan when the K M T took over control of the island, but the evolution of their community in the last decades has modified their attitude. Most Taiwanese Buddhists accepted the exceptional circumstances of unified leadership in the 270 Ibid., 405-406. 137 Sangha during the 1950s, because the monks who came from the continent and rebuilt the B A R O C in 1947 were then the only individuals with some measure of prestige among Buddhists. The adoption of the Law on Civ ic Organizations in 1989 represents a turning point, because it deprived the B A R O C of its monopoly on ordination, the only effective instrument with which the association could control the Sangha. Unt i l then, the B A R O C could prevent monks from entering the Sangha i f they did not meet its standards. After 1989, other organizations, such as Foguangshan and Zhongtaichan, could ordain monks and nuns. The end of the B A R O C ' s monopoly over ordination has allowed individual monks the chance to build their own network of support independently, with the result that today the most popular members of the Sangha are active outside of the B A R O C . Xingyun, the founder of the B L I A , Shengyan, the abbot of Fagushan, and Ven. Miaolian #iJ>H, head of the Lingyanshan MJtillJ Temple, 2 7 1 are each heading organizations that now surpass the B A R O C in terms of membership. Although monks like Xingyun and Shengyan are in 2 7 1 The Lingyanshan Temple was founded in 1986 in Nantou l^jf£ County in Central Taiwan. In 1997,it was already establishing the groundwork for branch temples in Hong Kong, the Unites States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Taiwan Lingyanshan SiJianjie i^MMSlklU^WiiY [Introducing the Lingyanshan Temple] (Puli, Natou County: Lingyanshan Si, 1996). 138 theory members of the B A R O C , the latter cannot dictate how they must run their own temples. Xingyun underlined this fact when he stated that the B A R O C is only a service organization for the Sangha. 2 7 2 The leadership of the B A R O C itself did not deny this assertion when it justified its non-intervention during a dispute on temple property on the grounds that its mandate was to help Buddhists, not settle disputes between them. 2 7 3 Two unresolved issues serve to reinforce the views of those that consider the association unable to represent the interests of Taiwanese Buddhists. Firstly, the association has yet to obtain a guarantee from the government that it w i l l not try to limit the construction of new temples. In 1952, the Taiwanese Provincial Government sought to pass a law against folk worshipping festivals [baibai ffiffi] that included a clause forbidding the "erection of new temples or new icons of Buddha." The association successfully persuaded the government not to pass the law, but could not obtain guarantees that it would not be reconsidered in a different form. 2 7 4 Secondly, the B A R O C has failed 2 7 2 Xingyun said that the founding of his own BLIA, which competes directly with the BAROC, is to the latter "like the implementation of a courier service to the freeway system." Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 384-385. 2 7 3 Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 270-271. 2 7 4 See Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 261. Ho Fang-jiau suggests that as late as 1967, the Police Administration of the Provincial Government tried again to limit such activities. See Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian, 32-33. 139 to recover all the Buddhist property confiscated by the Japanese during its colonial rule. In theory, Japanese shrines and temples were to be taken over by local governments (meaning the Taiwan provincial government), which had then to decide on their future status according to their situation prior to Japanese occupation. Public properties could be taken over by the government; private properties had to be returned to their original owners. A s early as 1948, the B A R O C petitioned the government to have temple property returned to the Sangha. Lobbying legislators who were both monks and lay members of the B A R O C in the Legislative Yuan was as ineffective as petitions addressed to the Executive Yuan. 2 7 5 The decline of the B A R O C discussed in this section now needs to be put in the context of the ambitious goals that the association advertises in its charter. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 307-320; Shi Miaoran, Minguo Fojiao Dashinianji, 295. 140 The Goals of the B A R O C The B A R O C is primarily a religious organization. However, under the K M T corporatist structure that prevailed in the R O C from 1952 to 1989, the performance of its duties served some of the political objectives of the ruling party. That is, the Buddhist association was expected to communicate to members of the Sangha and lay devotees instructions from the K M T , and was in return expected to aggregate, articulate and express the concerns of the whole Buddhist community to the ruling party. The political mission of the B A R O C is discussed below. For the moment, it is important to focus on the performance by the association of its religious mission and the political consequences thereof. Religious goals. Among the religious missions the association seeks to accomplish, four stand out as most important: explaining and propagating the faith [xuanyangjiaoyi W l l f ^ l i ] , rallying Buddhists from all over the country [tuanjie quanguo fojiaotu Hfp^Bfi&ifcfTt], 141 streamlining the doctrine [zhenglijiaogui WM.WtM\, and safeguarding the Sangha property [weihujiaochan ffiMl^il]- 2 7 6 In at least one area, explaining and propagating the faith, the BAROC can claim unmitigated success. Proselytizing and monastic education both fall within the BAROC mandate. Although the BAROC has not been directly involved in the propagation of the religion, it has let other organizations like Foguangshan and Ciji spread Buddhist doctrines. With respect to monastic education, the BAROC has more direct involvement and has successfully lobbied the Ministry of Education [Jiaoyubu f^Wnl7)] (MOE) to accredit diplomas granted from colleges run by Foguangshan and Ciji.277 However, although the association has been successful at achieving its goal of transmitting the faith, it no longer reaps the benefits of this endeavor. The goal of rallying the Buddhists is becoming ever more difficult for the BAROC to achieve as Taiwanese society becomes more pluralist. In almost every respect the 2 7 6 Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu, 68. Two other goals are also mentioned in the statement of purpose of the B A R O C : the establishment of cultural, educational and charitable activities [xingban jiaoyu wenhua cishan shiye MMW(^Si{\lMM9-M] and the promotion of social welfare [fuli shehui l l^l j j f±# ] - The achievement of these additional objectives, which is mandated by the existing law on the administration of temple that will be discussed below, is not a priority for B A R O C , and not one of the strength of the association. In that respect, the B A R O C differs enormously from Ciji. 2 7 7 This topic is discussed at great length in Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," Chapter VII. 142 association has had difficulty bringing together the adherents of the religion: individual members of the Sangha ignore its authority, and lay Buddhists are indifferent, if not hostile, to the association. The inability of the BAROC to instill loyalty in both the Sangha and the lay Buddhists, as well as in younger adherents of the religion, precludes the association from mobilizing them for political objectives. Currently, stemming the loss of influence within the Buddhist community represents a priority, and the proposal for the creation of a Buddhist Federation of Associations [Fojiao Zonghui (BFA), as discussed below, was a maneuver designed to achieve this goal. Streamlining the doctrine may represent a means of bringing the Sangha and the laity back under the fold of the BAROC. In particular, the controversies related to the excesses of zealous proselytizers and the emergence of new cults represent formidable threats to the positive public image of Buddhism in Taiwanese society. The leaders of the BAROC believe that they would gain much in their efforts to assert their authority within the Buddhist community if they could successfully weed out the heterodox groups that give the religion a bad name. To that end, members of the BAROC not only want to advocate Buddhism as a religion compatible with Confucian values, but they also seek to emphasize 143 its modernity by extirpating "superstition." They justify their call for a law on Buddhism [Fojiaofa on the grounds that it could achieve that objective. The B A R O C also attempts to reassert its authority over the Buddhist community by claiming it has already done well in safeguarding Buddhist property. A s mentioned in the previous chapter, one of the first mandates of the B A R O C was to protect Sangha property from threats of expropriation launched by radicals in the K M T - l e d government during the 1920s and 1930s. The issue remained urgent well into the years following the relocation of the K M T to Taiwan in 1949, and current legislation does not offer adequate protection against threats of expropriation by government. A s was discussed above, the B A R O C has met with mixed results in trying to achieve this part of its mandate, and isolated threats of confiscation still linger for some temples. Jingxin, the current head of the B A R O C , claims that the Draft Law on Religion Corporations [Zongjiao Farenfa Cao 'an ^KfJC/i A ^ I p L ^ ] the association proposes is explicitly designed to redress the current regulations' shortcomings in that regard. 2 7 8 2 7 8 See the interview with Jingxin in Faguang ^ T T : [Dharma Light Monthly], "Zhongguo Fojiaohui Zai Xianjin Jiaojie suo Banyan de Jiaose ^M%Wti£fe^^&ftffi&ffiK)'Plh. [On the Role Played by the B A R O C in the Current Religious Milieu]," (May 1996), 4. 144 For many Taiwanese Buddhists, the last three religious goals pursued by the B A R O C appear to be a thinly disguised bid by the association to reassert its political authority. The following paragraphs do not attempt to adjudicate that issue but note that the B A R O C does pursue explicitly some political goals. Political goals The BAROC is widely perceived as an unwavering supporter of the government, unsurprisingly given that its statement of purpose unambiguously asserts that it must "endorse state policy [yonghu guoce MWLMW.]"279 This support is evident in its agreement with the official position of opposition to Taiwanese self-determination, even as it remains a staunch opponent of the PRC because of the latter's policies toward religion. Beyond this, however, the BAROC offers strong support for the K M T at the domestic level and in its attempt to increase Taiwan's influence and support abroad. Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu, 68. 145 Support on the domestic front The support of the B A R O C for the government is usually expressed at a symbolic level by the enthusiastic championing of the K M T during highly visible public events. 2 8 0 For example, since 1950 the B A R O C has lent legitimacy to the government through the performance of an annual ceremony, the Benevolent Kings Dharma Meeting for the Protection of the Nation and the Averting of Disaster [Huguo Renwang Xizai Fahui $MM CzESi^t£#]-281 High-ranking members of the executive Yuan, as well as cadres from the ruling party, usually attend this event. The association also benefits from that event because it represents a major fund-raising opportunity. 2 8 2 2 8 0 If a DPP president was to be elected or if the opposition was to form a majority in the Legislative Yuan, it is likely that the B A R O C would nonetheless perform that ceremony for the government, lest it would appear as a declaration of hostility from which it could not gain much. As to whether that ritual would be performed with enthusiasm, the issue remains purely a matter for speculation at the time of writing. 2 8 1 Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 264. 2 8 2 The 1993 Fahui was attended by important members of the Cabinet, including the then Taipei mayor Huang Dazhou MXM, and other K M T cadres. Zhongfohui Kan ^ f ^ ^ f l j [BAROC Newsletter] 112(15 March 1993), 1. In 1994, along with Chen Lii'an, then President of the Control Yuan and K M T member, guests to the Fahui of that year included the director of the K M T Commission for Social Affairs [Shehui Gongzuo Weiyuanhui ; | i#Xf^gM#] (CSA). Zhongfohui Kan 121 (31 March 1994), 1. In 1995, three months after Chen Shuibian |?^7K^, from the opposition DPP, was elected Mayor of Taipei, the city was represented at the Fahui of that year by K M T cadres instead of members of the new municipal government. The ceremony was also attended by the K M T secretary-general X u Shuide ffTkHi. Zhongfohui Kan 130 (20 February 1995), 1. The following year, the Fahui greeted President Lee, then campaigning for the presidential election. No guest representing the non-parliamentary wing of the party was, however, present that time. Zhongfohui Kan 139 (10 March 1996), 1. The 1997 Fahui was a more low-key event since none of the members in government attended the ceremony. Zhongfohui Kan 148 (10 March 1997), 3. This may indicate government indifference rather than enmity toward the B A R O C since the latter would a month later help prepare the visit of the Dalai Lama in Taiwan. 146 The B A R O C also tacitly supports the government by carefully avoiding participation in controversial issues that could either embarrass the ruling party, or be construed as opposition to the K M T . Characteristic of the B A R O C ' s prudent attitude was its refusal in 1994 to intervene in a dispute generated by the attempts of the Taipei city administration to remove a statue of the Buddhist deity Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, from an area designated as a public park. 2 8 3 B y refusing to take a stand on that issue, the B A R O C sought to enhance its image as an impartial organization that had acted responsibly and refrained from stoking the fires of religious division. In 1996, the B A R O C again clearly demonstrated its support for the government by refusing to sponsor the candidacy of Chen Lu'an, a former K M T member who ran for the R O C Presidency against the incumbent Lee Teng-hui. 2 8 4 The refusal to support Chen Lu 'an was all the more remarkable, because this candidate was a famous lay Buddhist, 2 8 3 When that incident happened, the municipal government was still controlled by the K M T . While the B A R O C remained silent on the issue, Xingyun, the founder of Foguangshan, and the radical nun Zhaohui, encouraged devotees to fast in protest of the removal of the statue. The dissidents won their point in the end and the statue remains in the park. According to its critics, the B A R O C was clearly overtaken by events and demonstrated its powerlessness. "Buddhist Master Encourages Strikers Starving for Statue," China News 21 March 1994, 2. For a detailed account of that issue, see Xiao Zijun, "Taiwan Zongjiao yu Zhengzhi Guanxi zhi Yanjiu." 2 8 4 Chen Lu'an had resigned from the K M T and his position as head of the Control Yuan before announcing his candidacy. Meanwhile, the B A R O C did not endorse officially any other candidate for the ROC presidency either and when President Lee visited the association for its Fahui in 1996, the latter could claim he was acting as the head of state. However, it should be noted that President Lee did not go to previous or 147 enjoying a good reputation of probity among the public, and had received the endorsement of Xingyun, himself a member of the B A R O C . Considering the relatively poor showing by the defeated candidate Chen, the association must have felt vindicated for adopting its stand. Adopting this attitude, understandably, did nothing to dispel the impression that the B A R O C is either p r o - K M T or simply an opportunistic organization that sides with those who are in position of power. Support of ROC foreign policy In the realm of external affairs, both the B A R O C and the K M T agree on the need for the R O C and its institutions to find allies in the international arena. The B A R O C support for that goal of K M T foreign policy, however, sometimes puts the association in embarrassing situations. 2 8 5 On balance, however, the participation of the B A R O C in international Buddhist organizations has enhanced the reputation of the association later Fahui. 2 8 5 In particular, the admission of the B A R O C , an ostensibly peaceful religious organization, as a corporate member of an international organization such as the Asian anti-Communist League [Yazhou Renmin Fangong Tongmeng Y&M\&fc$<WM\ (AACL) (renamed Asian Pacific Anti-Communist League in 1984), was bound to be problematic. That organization was identified with the infamous Asian authoritarian rulers of the Philippines, the ROK and the ROC, until these countries initiated their respective democratization processes. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 265-266. 148 overseas, enabling it to promote K M T policies in international fora. This was especially important after the R O C lost its seat in the United Nations in 1971, as the K M T became more dependent than ever on non-governmental organizations to propagate its views. The B A R O C proved useful to the K M T in 1980 when it took the initiative of revitalizing the World Buddhist Sangha Council [Shijie Fojiao Sengqie Dahui fJP A l l " ] (WBSC) , an organization which moved its headquarters from Sri Lanka to Taiwan. 2 8 6 That move offered K M T government officials the opportunity to address an international audience and compare the R O C ' s respect for freedom of religion with the P R C ' s avowed atheist policy. 2 8 7 More recently, the visit o f the Dalai Lama to Taiwan in 1997 presented the B A R O C with another opportunity to raise its profile in the eyes of the government. The Presidential Office took pains to portray the event as a religious occasion, in order to ensure its success. For this purpose, it enlisted the help of the For a detailed account of the meeting's proceedings, see Shi Miaoran, Minguo Fojiao Dashinianji, 508-2 8 7 Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 304-305. 2 8 8 The Dalai Lama visit to Taiwan in 1997 has been staged as a demonstration that the Taiwanese and the Tibetan leaders share a common goal of political reform in China, in order to placate the criticism from the PRC that both advocate independence for their respective constituencies. However, the visit also served other purposes: in particular, it came at an opportune moment for the K M T , which had then launched a campaign of spiritual reform in response to its decline in the polls. See " L i Zongtong Wu Dala: Changtan B A R O C , which dutifully obliged. 288 513. 149 A n examination of the B A R O C ' s structure in the following section illustrates how far the association was wil l ing over the years to cooperate with the government, i f not unreservedly support its policies. The Structure of the B A R O C The B A R O C ' s leaders have valued their relations with the government so much that, from all appearances, they have designed their association to serve as a transmission belt for the K M T . Unt i l 1989, the association's mandate was to relay instructions from the government to Buddhists and, in return, advise the party on matters relevant to the religion. 2 8 9 The K M T ' s C S A , the party's Central Committee organ responsible for social affairs, used to monitor the activities of the B A R O C via two agencies in the M O I . 2 9 0 Xinling Gaige ^ £ § | 0 g ^ $ | : $ I l & k f I 3 £ ¥ [President Lee Meets the Dalai to Talk at Length About Spiritual Reform]," Lianhebao 28 March 1997, 1. 2 8 9 Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 258. 2 9 0 In its latest statements of purpose, the K M T defines the role of the Commission differently and stresses instead its function as an agency informing groups in civil society about the policies of the party. See the web site of the party, 150 The Bureau for Social Affairs [Shehuisi jfrfci§{ a]] (BSA) , which now administers social welfare programs, used to oversee the organization of meetings involving civic associations.2 9 1 The Bureau for C i v i l Affairs [Minzhengsi Jsiil&WJ] ( B C A ) , which currently administers the preservation of temples, 2 9 2 was responsible for religious affairs. 2 9 3 Like the K M T and the state, the association consists of three provincial-level branches [fenhui frit] under the jurisdiction of a central authority, plus a number of local chapters [zhihui j ^ t i " ] under the jurisdiction of the Taiwan Provincial Buddhist Branch Association [Taiwan ShengFojiao Fenhui uM^lfaWlfrik]-294 Both lay devotees and clerics can join the association and can vote for delegates to the National Congress [Quanguo Huiyuan Daibiao Dahui ^W^M.iX$&\^], which represents the highest authority within the association. Temples, lecture halls [jiangtang i f t § t ] , and other Buddhist organizations 2 9 1 In order to provide relief for those in need, the bureau for social affairs relies mostly on charity and volunteer work of civic organizations, including religious associations such as the B A R O C . 2 9 2 This mandate covers temples that are designated for their historical value. 2 9 3 Charles Jones mentions that the B A R O C looks for the government's B C A when it organizes its Fahui, but recently it has been representatives of the party's CSA and the government's BSA that have attended the event. Zhongfohui Kan 130 (10 February 1995), 1. 2 9 4 Over the years, the B A R O C has encountered difficulties similar to those faced by the ruling party in the implementation of its mandate. As time went by and the recovery of the mainland by the K M T appeared increasingly improbable, it became more and more difficult for the association to uphold its claim to represent all its constituencies on the Chinese mainland. In 1990, therefore, the B A R O C administrative organization took as a model the government structure and abandoned its claim to represent all provinces in the continent but keeps the label "National." Since then, there have only been three branches in the BAROC: the Taiwan Provincial Buddhist Branch Association, and the Branch Associations of Taipei and Kaohsiung, at the same level of organization. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 257. 151 jo in the B A R O C as corporate members, but have no right to vote. The delegates to the National Congress represent the three branches of the B A R O C and the local chapters. The National Congress elects a board of directors, which in turn elects from within its ranks a Standing Committee. 2 9 5 The latter elects a President, who nominates a secretary-general to supervise the staff, ad hoc committees, as well as three departments for general affairs [zongwu MM], membership [huiji # f t ] and activities [huiwu #J£]. 2 9 6 This replication of the ruling party's structure may have been adequate as long as the K M T was the only actor that mattered in the R O C political system, and as long as the association did not have to be concerned about rival organizations. However, since the passing of the Law on Civ ic Organizations in 1989 the situation has changed dramatically in at least three respects. Firstly, the ruling party has had to cultivate relations with a greater number of organizations i f it wants to reach out to the entire Buddhist community. Secondly, as a result, the B A R O C can no longer take for granted the willingness of party cadres to address its concerns. Finally, the association, 2 9 5 The K M T also has a national representative body, the Party Congress, which elects an organ comparable to the B A R O C board of director, the Central Committee. The latter, in turn, also elects a Central Standing Committee. 2 9 6 Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 255-256. 152 having relied exclusively on the K M T to achieve its goals in the past, has failed to establish links with other opposition parties. Therefore it is disadvantaged compared to other organizations not tainted by collaboration with the ruling party during the period of martial law. To sum up, the current structure of the B A R O C reflects a modus operandi appropriate to conditions prevailing before 1989, but which is unsuited to the present competitive situation. The next section turns to this issue and elaborates on the political strategies adopted by the B A R O C over the years. The Pol i t ical Behavior of the B A R O C Over the years, the B A R O C has relied on its good relations with members of government to implement many of its goals. Since the early years of K M T rule in Taiwan, the B A R O C has lobbied the government to protect its interests. Often successful between 1951 and 1992 at securing through lobbying what it sought from the government, the B A R O C found it increasingly difficult during the 1990s to obtain what it wants from state officials. Lobbying for the protection of Buddhist interests: achievements Quoting from a report written by the B A R O C secretary-general Ven. Nanting in 1954, Charles Jones notes three areas where the association was successful in the first years of K M T rule in Taiwan. After interceding with the M O I and the Ministry of National Defense [Guofangbu OP7jg|5](MND) in 1951, the B A R O C received assurance that temples would not be used to house soldiers. In that same year, the association convinced the M O I that temple lands were non-productive and therefore should not be subjected to taxation. Also in 1951, worried that the Land Reform Laws would compel Buddhist clergy and laity to sell their land to the government for resale to farmers, the B A R O C successfully petitioned the Taiwanese Provincial Government to amend the regulation. 2 9 7 Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 260-264. 154 Another goal for which cooperation between the B A R O C and the K M T has proven useful is the repeal of a regulation called "Procedure for Handling of Funds Raised by the Public Work and Charity Undertakings of Temples in Taiwan [Taiwan Sheng Simiao Jizi Banli Gongyi Cishan Shiye Banfa &m^^BM^fflrMft&WW^MfflfeV29* I s s u e d by the provincial government in 1969, the proposed law was criticized by the B A R O C as insulting to both Buddhist and Taoist clergy. It required the administration of temple finances to be supervised by local governments, thus implicitly questioning the honesty of the clergy. 2 9 9 The B A R O C used its connections with the K M T to ask members of the party at the central level to organize a meeting where the B A R O C could argue its case against the law to party leaders from both central and provincial levels. After hearing the arguments of the B A R O C at that meeting, representatives of the central government instructed provincial authorities to abandon the law. 2 9 8 Under its provisions, the government ordered temples to give 20%of the revenue raised by the sale of religious paraphernalia to charity organizations. For the particulars of that law, see Shi Miaoran, Minguo Fojiao Dashinianji, 419. 2 9 9 Smaller temples were often unable to meet the obligations imposed on them by this regulation, because they were facing dire financial conditions. See the interview with Jing Xin , current secretary-general of the B A R O C , in Faguang (Dharma Light Monthly), "Zhongguo Fojiaohui Zai Xianjin Jiaojie suo Banyan de Jiaose." 155 Finally, between 1982 and 1992, the B A R O C set up a working group of five members to lobby the M O E . It successfully obtained modifications in the legislation regarding higher education, paving the way for government accreditation of graduate schools set up by Buddhist organizations. 3 0 0 The new measures affect schools and colleges such as the Nan Hua Management College [Nanhua Guanli Xueyuan l ^ i p l l f l J I I ^ P x i ] set up by Fokuangshan, and the Tzu Chi University. Like the Catholic University of Furen f i f Z , they offer a regular curriculum with religious education. In summary, the connections between clerics and members of the K M T in the Executive Yuan [Xinzhengyuan f T l K K ] , the Legislative Yuan and the National Assembly have certainly proven fruitful. But on other issues of importance to the B A R O C , the government has refused to yield to the entreaties of the association. Even though the B A R O C shares many concerns with the K M T regarding the P R C and the survival of the R O C , the association clearly has an agenda of its own, which can clash with that of the government. One such example is the B A R O C ' s failed attempt to have the K M T pass a Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 451-452. 156 new law on religion which would have maintained substantial government involvement in religious affairs. The B A R O C and the law on religion In 1996 and 1997, Taiwan experienced a series of controversies related to religious organizations that embarrassed Buddhists and prompted the government to launch a review of the current legislation on religion in the R O C . The B A R O C took this opportunity to reassert its authority and pushed its own proposals for a law on religious organizations, but met with serious opposition from other groups. This episode provides an opportunity to explore the B A R O C ' s method of political participation at a moment when its interests were not being well-served by existing laws and government policies. A s background, it is necessary to discuss the nature of the religious controversies that triggered the government review of its policies towards religion; the existing laws relevant to religion; and the changes that the B A R O C proposed. 157 Religious controversies Two issues tarnished Buddhism and religion in general during the fall of 1996. The first involved 132 young people who decided in September to take the vows to become nuns and monks in the central Taiwan temple of Zhongtaichan. 3 0 1 Most of the novices had been members of a summer camp organized by the abbot of that temple, Ven. Weijue f|i||, and at the conclusion of their work as volunteers at the temple, they decided to be ordained. Many anguished parents objected to the decisions of their sons and daughters and demonstrated to prevent their children from joining the monastic order. 3 0 2 The abbot of Zhongtaichan initially hid the new converts in his temple, but after parents came to take back their children by force, he changed his mind and promised that in the future, aspirants to the monastic life must first secure permission from their parents.3 0 3 Officials from the M O I issued a statement saying that the temple had not acted against the law, because no existing legislation allowed law enforcement agencies to take any action in the matter. A s 3 0 1 "Chujia Rechao," Xinxinwen, 8-14 September 1996, 28-30. 3 0 2 They may have had a point. According to Buddhist rules, no one should join the Sangha without his/her parents' consent. Parents can even bring the master of a temple to court on charge of abduction if the novice has not yet reached majority. Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, 269. 3 0 3 "Temple melee prompts debate on religion law," China Post 6 September 1996, 1, 20. 158 a result, the government decided to consider the enactment of a law on religion. A t a Symposium on the Reform of Buddhism [Fojiao Xingge Yantaohui \%^M'^-Witi'^] convened shortly after this controversy, Weijue promised delegates that he would in the future abide more carefully by monastic laws [sengni tidu guize fifTBMS^M]-305 Nevertheless, the whole episode was a public relations disaster for Buddhists in general, since it left the public with the impression that many monks and nuns were irresponsible individuals escaping from their familial duties. 3 0 6 The second controversy occurred in October 1996, when numerous instances of fraud were uncovered. The most spectacular of these cases was the scam devised by Song Qi l i 5^-tr^J, 3 0 7 an individual cult leader with no relation to Buddhism, whose activities led the public authorities to launch more investigations into religious organizations. In a matter 3 0 4 " Tidu, Neizhengbu: X u Fumuqing Tongyi," Ziyou Shibao, 6 September 1996, 3. 3 0 5 "Fojiaqjie Jue Chengli Xingge Zhiweihui ]%Wi.WtMLuMW^\^% [The Buddhist Milieu Decides to Set up a Reform Committee]," Zhongyang c f 3 ^: [Central], 17 September 1996, 5. 3 0 6 "Jiating de Fandui Liliang Shi Chujiaren de Yizhong 'Mokao' ^JgftjSf^TjM^tblcAK]—fl [The Potential Opposition of the Family: One of the Main 'Evils ' for Clerics]," Xinxinwen, 8-14 September 1996,37. 3 0 7 Song sold pictures of himself surrounded by a supernatural halo, supporting his claim to possess some healing power, for a value ranging between C$1,000 to C$2,500. The followers of the cult were told they would "become a Buddha" by worshipping the picture. "Cult leader admits to money swindling," China Post, 14 October 1996, 1. For a complete coverage of the affair, see Xinxinwen, 20-26 October 1996, 25-41; Xin Taiwan Xinwen Zhoukan ffnWffHtiMff'J [New Taiwan Weekly], 27 October-2 November 1996, 14-23. 159 of days, several cult leaders were found guilty of deceit and fraud. A n individual calling himself Zen Master Miaotian ffi^Fi, who headed a cult called the Sky Buddha Temple [Tianfosi Afi^^f] in Taipei county, was charged for having tricked some of its followers into purchasing religious paraphernalia at prices ranging from C D N $ 7,000 to 10,000. 3 0 9 Meanwhile, questions were raised about another cult headed by a nun who called herself Master Qinghai Wushang ^ ^ f f i J t , and who was accused of pressuring devotees to pay large sums to her organization.3 The revelations about the impropriety of these cults led to more investigations by journalists, who revealed the existence of a number of bizarre organizations, 3 1 1 and who uncovered close relations between the cults and some high-ranking members of the K M T and the D P P . 3 1 2 Although these instances of fraud did not involve orthodox Buddhists, the use by cult leaders of titles identifying members of the Sangha, such as "Master [Fashi 3 0 8 "Prosecutors raid yet another cult," China News, 20 October 1996, 1. 3 0 9 "More accusations against Miao Tien; new probe starts," China Post, 21 October 1996, 1,19. 310 Ibid., 19. "Qing Hai Wushangshi Tiaowuzhong ye Neng Duren W%M±ffl®lM^lMtMA[Wh\le She Dances, Master Suma Qing Hai can also Save People - Duren: litterally, to Cross the River], Xinxinwen 20-26 October 1996,48. 3 1 1 International cults having branches in Taiwan, such as the Raelians, were included in that survey. "Taiwan Gezhong Qite Zongjiao Zongqingcha U M ^ M ^ ^ ^ W L W M ^ : [An Investigation on Strange Religious Cults in Taiwan]," Xinxinwen 20-26 October 1996,42-47. 3 1 2 Xie Changting HfJIJli, DPP candidate for the ROC vice-presidency in 1996 and mayor of Kaohsiung after the election of 1998, has been working as legal advisor for Song Qili and his groups, and there were rumors that Xie had received illegal political contributions from the sect. "Miracle cult linked to politicians," 160 lift],"313 created confusion and damaged the reputation of the Buddhist community. A consensus emerged in November among religious leaders that something had to be done with respect to the existing laws on religion, so that the public would not confuse "legitimate" religions with "cults."3'4 The task was daunting. The law and religion in the ROC There is currently no law on religion in the ROC. There are instead a bewildering maze of decrees, regulations and articles of law at the central, provincial and local levels that affect the practice of religion in Taiwan.315 Although the constitution of the ROC ensures freedom of religion, as pointed out in the previous chapter's discussion of Taiwan under martial law, this may not mean much. In the 1960s, under the provision of the emergency decrees, the provincial government clamped down on heterodox organizations China Post, 25 October 1996, 1,19. 3 1 3 Also rendered in English as "Venerable," or "Reverend." 3 1 4 "Zongjiao Zuotanhui Gejiaopai Relie Jianyan ^WiBM^^^MI^^Mm [Religious Groups Press Proposals in Symposium on Religion]," Ziyou Shibao 9 November 1996, 4. 3 1 5 Chen Qimai PJISJH, a DPP legislator, pointed out that that legislation would merely add up to over 330 articles of law that can be used by the authorities against religious organizations. "Xin l i 'Zongjiaofa:' HuasheTianzu § f3£ ' ^ ! f ezV: i fK? f l5 i [Drafting a 'Law on Religion: 'An Undesirable Addition (litteraly: Like Adding Feet to a Snake While Painting it)], Taiwan Ribao ^ ^ B f 6 [Taiwan Daily] 29 October 1996. The Ministry of Interior has published the particulars for 78 of these regulations. See Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Zongjiao Fating Huibian ^^Lfe^MM [Compilation of Regulations on Religion], vol. 2 (Taipei: Neizhengbu, 1996). 161 that were labeled "superstitious,"316 groups that it suspected of sympathizing with foreign countries,317 and churches that it considered subversive because of their pacifist ideals.318 During the 1980s, most of the measures taken against religious organizations were based on the principle of separation of religion and politics [zhengjiao fenli ^WLftW\-n9 1° the 1990s, however, the government's attitude shifted, and it avoided intervening in religious affairs. As the Song Qili affair erupted in the fall of 1996, however, there were signs that the attitude of the authorities might change again. During a televised address commemorating the 51st anniversary of Taiwan's return to the ROC, President Lee launched a campaign for a "spiritual reform [xinling gaige > L ^ f i 3 £ ^ ] . " 3 2 0 In November, the government convened a seminar attended by over 80 religious leaders to discuss the quandary they faced: how to 3 1 6 Ho Fang-jiau noted that this affected mostly popular religions for their wasteful practices. See Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian, 1-42. 3 , 7 The Nichiren sect was the target of this accusation. See Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang 'an Huibian, 359-478. 3 1 8 The groups singled out for their pacifist views in the late 60s were the Ba'hais, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Mormons. Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian, 479-504, 550-579. 3 1 9 The principle of separation between religion and politics differs from the principle of separation between Church and State advocated in American constitutional theory. While the American doctrine emphasizes the independence of religion and state in order to ensure their respective freedom, it does not reject political participation of religious organizations, but instead sets a series of rule and principles ensuring that political participation of religious organizations does not limit the freedom of others. The interpretation of the ROC authorities has long been to reject political participation of religious organizations, unless they support government policy. For a discussion of this issue, see Lin Benxuan, Taiwan de Zhengjiao Chongtu, 157-158. 320 " p r e s j ( i e n t L e e makes calls for spiritual reform," China Post, 25 October 1996, 1. 162 act against crimes committed in the name of religion while safeguarding freedom of religious belief. Faced with the inability of religious leaders to agree on the matter, then-Premier Lian Zhan affirmed the government's reluctance to legislate on religion. 3 2 1 Buddhist leaders are amongst the most ardent in promoting new legislation on religion, because they feel that the current laws are unfair to their community. Although all religious organizations must comply with existing laws on taxation, public order, civic organizations, education, etc., Buddhists and Taoists are subject to additional regulations on temple property, finance, and administration. Known as the Rules for the Supervision of Temples [Jiandu Simiao Tiaoli SallF^Jiifl^ ML these regulations were devised in 1929, 3 2 2 when some members of the government, as mentioned before, had a strong anti-religious bias. Some of these rules on temple property contradicted the constitutional provisions protecting freedom of religion, and it was their implementation that provided one of the incentives for the founding of the B A R O C . In addition, the Rules for the Supervision of 3 2 1 "Lien vows crackdown on religious swindlers," China Post, 9 November 1996, 1,16. 3 2 2 For a thorough discussion of these rules see the study done by Academia Sinica researcher Qu Haiyuan for the MOI. Qu mentions that the law was inconsistent with other regulations. Therefore the government of that time could selectively and arbitrarily resort to those laws that best served its purposes if it wished to sanction or punish organizations. See Zongjiaofa Yanjiu MW($kWt% [Research on the Legislation Pertaining to Religion] (Taipei: Neizhengbu Weituo Yanjiu ftS^itW^ [MOI Research Commission], 1989), 39-41. 163 Temples discriminate against Buddhists, because, as the secretary-general of the B A R O C Jingxin points out, Christians do not have to face such interference from the state in their own affairs. 3 2 3 Efforts to reform the Rules for the Supervision of Temples have so far been unsuccessful. A first effort was made in 1969 when the Provincial Government proposed Procedures for the Administration of Temples [Taiwan Sheng Simiao Guanli Banfa fiMls} ^M^MM§l£] but these were promptly criticized by the B A R O C for giving too much power to the laity in running the affairs of temples. 3 2 4 Ten years later, the M O I proposed a draft Law for Temples and Churches [Simiao Jiaotang Tiaoli ^MWi^M.^]], but it was opposed by most religious organizations because they were critical of the spirit o f the law and its attempt to impose an arbitrary definition o f religion. A s a result o f pressures from various religious organizations, the legislative assembly did not adopt the proposal. 3 2 5 The 3 2 3 "Zhongguo Fojiaohui Zai Xianjin Jiaojie suo Banyan de Jiaose." The argument of Jingxin needs to be qualified. It is true that the K M T never dared to legislate the affairs of the Christian Churches, as it was concerned with public opinion in the United States and the preservation of diplomatic relations with the Vatican. These concerns, however, did not prevent the government from clamping down on the Presbyterian Church when the ruling party felt that the latter openly challenged its authority. See Marc J. Cohen, Taiwan at the Crossroads: Human Rights, Political Development and Social Change in the Beautiful Island (Washington, DC: Asia Resource Center, 1988), 185-215. 3 2 4 Qu Haiyuan, Zongjiaofa Yanjiu, 51-53. 325 Ibid., 53-58. 164 draft Law for the Protection of Religion [Zongjiao Baohufa ^ i^cMS] proposed by the MOI in 1983 fared no better, because too many problems of interpretation remained.326 In 1989, as political conditions changed significantly with the adoption of the new Law on Civic Organizations, many religious leaders were joined by scholars who came forward with their own proposals for a reform of the regulations concerning religion. The latter proposed several solutions to the issues raised by Buddhists and Taoists, including the suggestion that the state should not legislate religion at all.327 These discussions provided the basis for another legal proposal submitted in 1993 by the MOI's BCA, the organ in charge of civil affairs: the Law on Religious Corporations [Zongjiao Farenfa 7H#JC/i;A Sc].328 By that time, however, most religious organizations had adopted the view that the state should not intervene in religious affairs. At that point, the MOI started to dither on the issue, and it eventually backed down in the face of opposition from various religious organizations as well as from civil right activists.329 However, the BAROC stood apart 326 Ibid., 58-62. 327 Ibid., 68-75. Scholars close to Buddhist organizations also proposed in 1991 their own draft Law on Religious Organizations [Zongjiao Tuantifa ^ ^ H l i S ] - See Wu Yaofeng, Zongjiao Fagui Shijiang, 563-577. 328 Zhongfohui Kan 122 (13 April 1994), 2. 3 2 9 This was in particular the position of Christians Churches. See Luo Guang, "Zongjiaofa a?fSC7£[Law on Religion]," Yishi Pinglun i^SfPfra [Commentary] 115(16 April 1994), 1. Some Buddhist organizations also opposed the law proposal. Hence, Lin Rongzhi Secretary-general of the CBTA, 165 from other organizations during these negotiations between the government and religious organizations because it advocated legislation on religion. The BAROC's demand for the legislation of religion and Buddhism In the past, the B A R O C has made appeals to individual politicians to abolish or annul regulations threatening its interests, but it is only in the 1990s that it has started pushing for the adoption o f a law on religion. While many religious organizations appeared satisfied because the government seemed to have renounced legislating on religion in 1994, the B A R O C drafted in the same year its own amended version of the L a w on Religious Corporations. 3 3 0 Although the B A R O C gave up on the advocacy of a Law on Religion in the following year, its behavior during this episode is quite typical of its usual political strategy. The concerns of the B A R O C have been succinctly expressed by none other than Xingyun, the founder of Foguangshan, who has complained about the shortcomings of the pointed out that no country has legislation on religion and that the law proposal in itself is an overreaction to the problems of fraud then emerging. See "Banding 'Zongjiaofa:' Fanying Guodu Mtlim^&''-EIMMJ§. [Promulgating 'Law on Religion' and Excessive Response]," Taiwan Ribao, 29 October 1996. 330 Zhongfohui Kan 122 (13 April 1994), 3-4. 166 current law in order to bolster his own attempt to unify Buddhism in Taiwan. Firstly, the current legislation allows monks and nuns with scant knowledge of the religion to "round up a bunch of devotees, put up their temples, conduct Dharma functions, take their own disciples, confer precepts, and enjoy their share of sustenance." Secondly, the Procedures of 1929 give too much power to the laity in the administration of temples, a situation that is blamed for the decline of standards within the monastic community. Thirdly, the absence of well-defined terms of abbotship leads to individual monopolies over monasteries.331 The solutions proposed by Xingyun to this last problem will be discussed in the next chapter, as part of his own bid to unify the Sangha. For the moment, the point to note is that many clerics and lay Buddhists agree with the necessity to reform the law, but they disagree among themselves on the best solutions to correct its shortcomings. In the summer of 1996, the BAROC came forward with a draft Law on Buddhism [Fojiaofa Cao 'an f ^ i ^ t £ ^ ^ ] - 3 3 2 As delegates to a symposium joined by different Buddhist organizations were discussing the proposed law, the Zhongtaichan affair discussed 3 3 1 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 454-455. 332 Zhongfohui Kan 141 (10 May 1996), 2; 142 (10 June, 1996), 2. "Zhongguo Fojiaohui Tiyi She Zhonghui 43S9#&ffc#8§ lil&f§# [The B A R O C Proposes to Establish a Federation of Organizations]," Taiwan Shibao ^)l0f$g [Taiwan Times], 24 September 1996. 167 above erupted, 3 3 3 and the necessity for self-discipline within the Sangha became apparent.334 The Law on Buddhism proposed by the B A R O C advocated the creation of the B F A , an umbrella organization that would be under the control of the M O I ' s B C A . 3 3 5 A t the time of writing, the B A R O C has been unable to sway the government to its side. It is remarkable, however, to find a Buddhist organization actually advocating greater government control of religion. In doing so, the B A R O C gave the impression that it prefers a relationship with the K M T more like that which it enjoyed in the earlier corporatist period. The reaction of other Buddhist organizations to the law reinforces this impression. For example, the draft law was sharply criticized by another Buddhist organization, the C B T A , 3 3 6 which argued that even i f there were problems within the Buddhist community, it was best to leave the Sangha to deal with them. 3 3 7 The C B T A saw the B A R O C proposal as giving the government the ability to "sweep away Buddhism 3 3 3 See pp. 158-159 above. 3 3 4 "Zhongguo Fojiaohui Gongkai Cuisheng 'Fojiaofa' ^\WkW&£®&B&. [The B A R O C Seeks to Hasten the Creation of a 'Law on Buddhism']," Lianhebao, 18 September 1996, 5. 3 3 5 These proposals were made during a symposium during the fall of 1996 in the National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei. For a look at the issues raised during the meeting, see the handbook for the Zhongguo Fojiaohui, Bashiwunian Fojiao Xingge Yantaohui J\'srll^-{%WlM^-WfM'^ [1996 Symposium on the Reform of Buddhism] (Taipei: 16-17 September 1996). 3 3 6 "Zhonghua Foxiehui Fandui Chengli Fojiao Zonghui ^Wi%^W>1kf%±Li i%>$kB1S' [The CBTA Opposes the Establishment of the BFA] ," Ziyou Shibao, 24 September 1996. 3 3 7 "Zhiding Fojiaofa: Shi Zhaohui Fandui Mfel%Wu£-MKEMlx3i [Master Zhaohui Opposes the Establishment of Legislation on Buddhism]," Zhongyang Ribao c f ^ B S z [Central Daily], 24 September 168 [saofo | f f$],"338 and severely criticized the BAROC for proposing a move that was reminiscent of the patterns that prevailed during the period of martial law.339 E x p l a i n i n g the P o l i t i c a l B e h a v i o r o f the B A R O C It is understandable that the BAROC would try to lobby the government into adopting a law that could restore its vanishing authority. What is more puzzling, however, is the persistence of the association in pursuing that goal despite a less than enthusiastic response from the government and opposition from most other Buddhist organizations. What explains the behavior of the BAROC? Why would the association prefer to seek cooperation with the KMT and avoid supporting a Buddhist candidate for the presidency who could have been more sympathetic to its interests? This section considers the 1996. 3 3 8 "Fojiaojie Pa Saofo: Buneng Rentong Fojiaofa f$fft#ffij§B:^ fiMMl%W&& [The Buddhist Milieu Fears their Religion Swept out: They Can't Recognize the Law on Buddhism," Zhongguo Shibao, 24 September 1996,7. 3 3 9 "Fojiaofa Cao'an: Zhonghua Foxiehui You Yiyi #tfc&^^:41^f$^$&#WJ^lS [Draft Law on Buddhism: The CBTA Disagrees]," Zhongshi Wanbao cfcBf B&fg [China Evening Times], 23 September 1996. 169 association leaders' views and then looks into the constraints that could have determined their choices. But first, it considers some other plausible explanations. Grounds for agreement with the K M T Given their religious convictions, it seems natural that the association's monks and nuns would agree with the KMT's rejection of communism. However, this motivation does not suffice in explaining collaboration with the ruling party because many other opponents of the CCP have not been supportive of the KMT. The BAROC could have joined other groups without renouncing its religious ideals. The proponents of Taiwanese independence, for instance, were equally opposed to the K M T and its communist adversary on the mainland, as both represented for them oppressors from China. Other aspects of the theology adopted by the members of the BAROC, however, made them more likely to approve K M T policies. Given that most BAROC leaders originated from the Chinese mainland, it is very unlikely that they would join organizations advocating Taiwanese sovereignty. However, the rejection of independence for Taiwan does not represent a sufficient explanation for 170 cooperating with the K M T . The monastic organization had other options than the K M T that were neither communists nor advocates of independence. In the 1960s, some of the main critics of the ruling party were liberal politicians and intellectuals from the mainland -such as Le i Zhen W i t and H u Shi - who had been on record for their opposition to any forms of dictatorship. More to the point, the candidate Chen Lu 'an who ran as an independent for the R O C presidency was not only a mainlander opposed to communism, but also a lay Buddhist. A third, equally plausible motive for cooperation with the government is the prudential calculation that by showing its loyalty to the regime the Sangha wi l l protect itself against official repression. This argument makes sense in light of what has been said in previous chapters about the experience of most Taiwanese during the martial law period. However, there are two problems with this view. Firstly, as noted before, other religious organizations did oppose the K M T during the period of martial law. Secondly, the context has changed so dramatically during the 1990s that government repression is most unlikely, and the B A R O C does not need to demonstrate its loyalty to the ruling party. Why, then, does the association persist in its efforts to lobby the government? 171 The views of BAROC leaders The first chapter asserted that the leaders of religious organizations can interpret theology, mediate the influence o f the culture around them and articulate specific views on policy that would in turn lead them to adopt specific policies. How does the leadership of the BAROC perform these functions? The central determinant of the BAROC leaders' views is their collective experience relating to the KMT, which was discussed in the previous chapter. The leaders of the association agree among themselves about the best way both to transmit the theology o f which they see themselves as custodians and to mediate between the Buddhist tradition and its environment. Their religious views are orthodox and in tune with the Confucian tradition of deference to the secular leader. The experience of their interactions with the government has convinced them that, despite the few setbacks discussed above, cooperation with the government, on balance, represents the best means to preserve the religious tradition they uphold. This view sets the BAROC's leaders apart from the other members of the Taiwanese Sangha. 172 Upholding the theology ofYuanying The current differences between the B A R O C and rival organizations in mainstream Taiwanese Buddhism are similar to disagreements that were present within the association until the 1950s. A s discussed in the previous chapter, members of the Chinese Sangha at the beginning of the century held two different views about the best way for Buddhists to tackle the challenges they faced. Although all clerics agreed about the necessity to protect their property, they differed on the best method to ensure the vitality of the tradition. A majority of clerics simply wanted to preserve Buddhism as it was then, that is, as a loosely knit body comprising independent monastic orders led by clerics. Headed by the monk Yuanying, they were usually labeled as conservatives. 3 4 0 However, a vocal minority within the Sangha opposed their views. Headed by Taixu, this group urged the establishment of an association uniting lay Buddhists and monks, and giving the former more say in the affairs of the monasteries. Conservative clerics were reluctant to consider 3 4 0 Holmes Welch, Jiang Canteng, and Charles B. Jones all make that distinction. Kenneth Ch'en, who centers his narrative of Buddhism in China and notes its development in the People's Republic, does not and notes instead the early attempts by the Communist Party to impose Marxian dialectics on Buddhist teachings. See Buddhism in China, 463-470. 173 a greater role for the laity in the supervision of Buddhist affairs, because they feared that in the process the religion would lose its identity. 3 4 1 The divisions between the disciples of Taixu and those of Yuanying transferred to Taiwan. Initially, the reformers had the upper hand. According to Jiang Canteng, from 1952 to 1957, the factional disagreements reached a stalemate, and the Zhangjia L iv ing Buddha, a neutral figure, was chosen to head the organization. 3 4 2 After 1957, the traditionalists' main figure, Baisheng, led the association for almost three decades.3 4 3 He was succeeded by two of his disciples, Ven. Wuming j f }^ and Jingxin. 3 4 4 The control of the association by a small group of traditionalist monks, argues Charles B . Jones, explains why more energetic clerics and lay people identified with the disciples of Taixu preferred to operate outside of the B A R O C . 3 4 5 3 4 1 Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 71. 3 4 2See Jiang Canteng, Taiwan Fojiao yu Xiandai Shehui n^#ifc^S.ftlt# [Taiwanese Buddhism and Contemporary Society] (Taipei: Dongda Chubanshe M A H J ^ S M . , 1992), quoted by Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 253. 3 4 3 From 1963 to to 1967, Ven. Daoyuan MM, a disciple of Baisheng, was elected President. Baisheng was reelected B A R O C President in 1967 and 1971, remained a member of the Standing Committee after the abolition of that post in 1974, and was asked to fill the Presidency again when the B A R O C resume the post in 1978. Baisheng held that position until 1986. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 288-289. 344 Ibid., 290. 345 Ibid., 324. 174 The B A R O C suffers from the fact that its leadership does not reflect the current dynamic of Taiwanese Buddhism, which embraces the reforms proposed by the late Chinese monk Taixu that the association has rejected for the last four decades. A s mentioned above, Xingyun, Shengyan and Zhengyan are all on record for having adopted the this-worldly approach advocated by the reformist monk. His most important disciple, the monk Yinshun, has elaborated Taixu's ideas and encouraged his disciples to assume an active role in society, arguing that the focus on spiritual practice and individual salvation represents escapist attitudes, and that salvation is better reached through involvement in this world . 3 4 6 Yinshun is a well-known and respected figure in Taiwan, and some of his disciples, like Zhengyan, the head of C i j i , have become famous in their own right for implementing his views. Over the years, Xingyun, Shengyan, and others have explicitly stated their intention to carry out the ideals of Taixu. A s a result, the views of the reformist monk are extremely popular among lay Buddhists and active members of the Sangha outside o f the B A R O C . Its ideological position, therefore, prevents the B A R O C from developing the mass Buddhist support that might allow it to take a position of greater 3 4 6 The views of Yinshun have been translated in English. See The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions from a Modem Chinese Master, translation by Wing H. Yeung (Boston: Wisdom Publication, 1998). 175 independence from or opposition to the government. Were the leaders of the B A R O C constrained by the material and human resources of their organization to adopt such a strategy? Constraints on B A R O C leaders The resources of the B A R O C pale next to those of the other organizations studied in this dissertation and, compounding this difficulty, three characteristics of the B A R O C leadership are at odds with current trends in Taiwanese Buddhism. Firstly, the leadership of the B A R O C is under the control of ecclesiastics, even though the dynamism and the influence of the religion on the island are increasingly a function of lay people's activism. Secondly, men continue to govern the B A R O C despite the fact that women significantly outnumber men among Taiwanese Buddhists. Thirdly, the leadership of the association remains the preserve of people from the Chinese mainland, even though a majority of Buddhists in Taiwan, like most other inhabitants of the island, do not identify with China. This last aspect of the B A R O C leadership is especially important. Most leaders of the B A R O C remain attached to the ultimate goal of restoring their influence in China, a project 176 that is at best received with indifference by most Taiwanese Buddhists or at worst openly criticized. Although efforts to alter these characteristics of the association could change its future, it is unlikely its leaders would do so lest that would imply unacceptable compromises with their theological beliefs. The limited resources of the BAROC The efforts of the association to fulfill its objectives are hampered by its inability to gather enough resources for the pursuit of its activities. A s early as 1979, Shengyan, who would later become the abbot of Fagushan, complained that the B A R O C was ineffective in recruiting new adherents and advertising its activities to the population. These failures were caused by a lack of personnel and a huge financial burden, which was in turn aggravated by the fact that many members had not paid their dues to the organization for years. 3 4 7 One consequence of this lack of resources is that the heads of subordinated temples and organizations have become, over the years, inactive members of the B A R O C who focus their energies on their own temples or monastic orders. After the Law of 1989 3 4 7 Quoted by Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 321-322. 177 was adopted, these individuals could legally split from the association and restructure their organizations in ways that enabled them to challenge the association in matters such as ordination. Some of them have been so successful in their ventures that their own organizations are now better known and hold more resources than the B A R O C itself. Xingyun, the founder of Foguangshan, and Shengyan, mentioned above, are two well-known figures illustrating that trend. This discrepancy between the limited resources of the B A R O C and the wealth of certain other organizations is evident in their respective real estate holdings. The headquarters of the B A R O C in Taipei in the run-down Shandao | f M temple and the modest adjoining office on Shaoxing Street pale in comparison to the monumental complexes of Foguangshan, Fagushan, or Lingyanshan, some of which have emerged in recent years as major tourist attractions in their own rights. 3 4 8 The current financial difficulties of the association, however, do not determine its political behavior. In the mid-1960s, when the B A R O C held a monopoly of representation for Taiwanese Buddhists, 3 4 8 This was true with Foguangshan until its Committee for Religious Affairs decided in 1997 to return the complex in Kaohsiung County to its initial purpose of fostering monastic life. Before that year, the temple was a major stopover for foreign tourists and dignitaries. The next chapter elaborates on some of these prestigious visitors. 178 it consisted of 40,000 individuals and 1,900 organizations, but it was not more politically assertive. 3 4 9 The poverty of the B A R O C certainly limits its ability to mobilize politically its constituency. In order to conclude whether this is a key factor determining the strategy of the leaders of the association, however, it is necessary to look at the political behavior of other organizations that control more resources, such as Foguangshan and Ci j i . The absence of lay support The current control of the B A R O C by clerics goes to the heart of the feeling of alienation expressed by many lay Buddhists working outside of the association. The charter of the B A R O C allows for no more than a third of leadership positions, whether in the National Congress and at higher levels, or in local branches, to be occupied by lay people. 3 5 0 This dominance of the association by monks, in turn, is a function of the conservative views held by the faction currently controlling the B A R O C , which, as previously discussed, believes that control of the affairs of temples by lay Buddhists would 3 4 9 "Organizations" refer here to individual temples. ROC, Ministry of Information, China Yearbook 1965-66 (Taipei: China Publishing, 1966), 82. In the 1980s, government publications stopped giving numbers for B A R O C membership but still gave figures for the total number of Buddhists. 3 5 0 B A R O C Charter, Section 4, Article 23. See Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 331. 179 signal the decline of the religion. This belief may be unpopular among Buddhists and may compel many to jo in rival organizations, but for the monks currently heading the association and their predecessors, this is the price that must be paid to ensure that the tradition they represent maintains its integrity. That is, the leadership of the B A R O C prefers to preserve the principle of laity deference to the ecclesiastical order, even i f the enforcement of that standard weakens its authority over lay devotees. The absence of lay support certainly constrains the ability of the B A R O C to conduct large-scale campaigns to mobilize Buddhist adherents and might dictate the choice for more modest forms of political intervention, i f there were any indication that the B A R O C leadership were wil l ing to mobilize lay Buddhists to act politically. But as our prior discussion shows, the B A R O C leadership's theological beliefs and past experience both ensure that the B A R O C leaders would not seek such lay mobilization. The lack of congruence on the dimension of ethnicity The B A R O C appears as a throwback to the past, when waishengren politicians controlled the R O C and the K M T , because the ethnic composition of its leadership remains 180 dominated by waishengren, despite the fact that a majority of Buddhists currently identify themselves as Taiwanese bendiren?51 Many lay Buddhists and scholars have noted the indigenization [bentuhua 3f dLf-fc] of Buddhism on the island in the last few years,352 despite the efforts of the association to promote the ideal of Buddhism as it was practiced in China. This trend mirrors the evolution of Taiwanese society, which pays greater attention to local culture, history and geography, and tends often to consider China as a foreign country. Considering that a majority within the leadership of the BAROC has its roots on the Chinese mainland, it is natural to speculate that the decline of the association is related to this lack of ethnic congruence. However, our prior discussion has made clear that the BAROC leadership has never believed in the importance of reaching out to the overall Buddhist community. Therefore, it appears that the BAROC s failure to indigenize its organization is the effect of its leaders' 3 5 1 Although the inhabitants of Taiwan often emphasize the difference between the bendiren and the waishengren, all of them are ethnic Chinese [Hanzu §1^ 1], and distinct from the aboriginal Taiwanese [yuanzhumin M t t S , "the original inhabitants"]. Setting that semantic digression aside, however, the reader needs to keep in mind that the provincial cleavages have all the characteristics of other ethnic cleavages. On this issue and how it plays itself out in Taiwanese politics, see Andre" Laliberte, Taiwan: Between two Nationalisms, Working Paper 12 (Vancouver: Institute of International Relations, 1996). 3 5 2 Jiang Canteng, 20 Shiji Taiwan Fojiao de Zhuanxingyu Fazhan, 478; "Fojiao Yinggai Bentuhua Wi3f-iA\L [Buddhism must Indigenize]," Taiwan Shibao, 6 September 1996, 22. 181 theological beliefs, not the ultimate cause of its elitist behavior. A similar argument can be made with respect to the lack of gender congruence. The lack of congruence on the dimension of gender The traditional monastic Buddhist principle o f hierarchy and deference that places men above women also explains why the B A R O C has failed to gain the support of most female devotees.3 5 3 Most students of Buddhism in Taiwan agree that among the adherents of the religion, women exceed men several times in number, and in recent years, an increasing number of nuns have emerged as spiritual leaders and lay activists. 3 5 4 A look at the main figures o f the membership o f the Standing Central Committee over the years indicates that the B A R O C has never espoused that trend. Herein lies one of the other sources of attrition in the membership of the association: women who answer the call for a monastic life, or who want to become active lay Buddhists, would rather join other organizations than become involved in the B A R O C . A s the next two chapters discuss, 3 5 3 It should be kept in mind that the argument according to which Buddhism prescribes the subordination of women to men among lay people and within the ecclesiastical order is contested within Taiwanese Buddhism itself. 3 5 4 It is very difficult to find agreement on precise figures about the ratio of women to men in Taiwanese Buddhism because of the fluidity in the notion of membership. This topic is discussed in greater detail in the 182 Foguangshan and Ci j i are making great strides in representing women in their administrative structure. In letting women take positions of leadership, they are making their associations more attractive for lay women and nuns. While the B A R O C ' s inability to recruit women helps to explain the decrease in membership, does it also affect the organization's choice of strategy of lobbying? To answer this question, we need to examine our two other organizations, Foguangshan and Ci j i . Conclusion The B A R O C has reacted to the decline of its standing among Buddhists by attempting to influence the government in its favor, despite the opposition of other organizations, and did not support Chen Lti 'an. The members of the Sangha heading the association have adopted their strategy of lobbying because they believe that there is no alternative to cooperation with the ruling K M T . This belief is reinforced by the experience of relative following chapters on Foguangshan and Ciji , where women are more visible and influential. 183 success achieved in the past by the B A R O C when it cooperated with the government. The expected benefits of cooperation, including the hope for the passing of a law germane to the interests of the association, were compelling enough to prevent it from supporting Chen. These calculations, in turn, were shaped by the conservative theology adopted by the B A R O C leaders, according to which Buddhists should avoid intervention in politics. In sum, the conservative theology adopted by the association's leaders has shaped strategic political choices that have exacerbated its lack of popularity within its constituency, making it difficult to obtain material resources and lay support. Rather than the organizational characteristics of the B A R O C determining the views of its leaders, it appears that the leaders' theology and choices create or at least reinforce the organizational characteristics that might preclude mobilization against the government. Even i f it remains deprived of its previously privileged status, the association is likely to continue with the same strategy because most Buddhist devotees and members of the Sangha that hold different views, and hence could have been more interested in revitalizing the B A R O C , have preferred to jo in other institutions. Some of these organizations are already more popular and more 184 influential than the B A R O C , and have made different political choices. The next chapter turns to one of these organizations, Foguangshan. 185 Chapter Fou r F O G U A N G S H A N ' S H U M A N I S T I C B U D D H I S M A N D T H E D U T Y O F R E M O N S T R A N C E Introduction The Foguangshan monastic order, in particular its founder Xingyun, has worked closely with the K M T for many years, but in 1996, it demonstrated its opposition to the government of Lee Teng-hui by supporting a rival candidate, Chen Lti 'an, for the R O C presidency. Media that were usually critical o f the government called Xingyun a "political monk" and denounced the intervention of a religious leader in politics, arguing that it represented a dangerous precedent.3 5 5 Why did Xingyun, who had been an active member 3 5 5 "Yesu Jidu Shijjiamoni Dazhan I f t f^SIf P ^ ^ f g ^ ® c [The Jesus-Sakyamuni war]", Xinxinwen 3 September 1995, 10-18; "Linglei Zongjiao Zhanzheng ^ M T K W M ^ [The other religious war]," Minzong 186 of the B A R O C for decades, pursue a strategy so different from that of the B A R O C leadership? Does the Buddha Light International Association ( B L I A ) , the lay organization he has founded, represent a Taiwanese version of the Japanese Soka Gakkai and wi l l it eventually become a political party akin to the Komeitol In trying to answer these questions, the present case study looks into the ideas of Xingyun and his colleagues, and tries to assess whether the constraints and opportunities present in the monastic order and its affiliates influence the choice of strategies they make. The chapter is organized as follows: the first section introduces Xingyun and Foguangshan; the following two sections explore the goals and the structure of Foguangshan; and a fourth section discusses the political activities of Xingyun, especially during the 1996 presidential election. The final section examines the ideas of Xingyun and explores whether the material and human resources at his disposal shape his decisions. Ribao SlScSfg [People's Daily], 4 march 1996, 5. 187 Xingyun and the Development of Foguangshan Xingyun was born in Southern Jiangsu, and as a young monk in China, he briefly studied under the guidance of Taixu.356 After the CCP took over the former nationalist capital Nanjing, Xingyun moved to Taiwan as the head of a relief group.357 Settling in the remote and poor county of Ilan [Yilan ^M] in 1952, he established the Leiyin UHf Temple and a series of other institutions, including a radio station for the propagation of Buddhist doctrines.358 During those years, he was known as an energetic member of the BAROC, and in 1958 he even conducted a Dharma Meeting for the Protection of the Nation and the Averting of Disaster. In 1962, he moved to Kaohsiung County and established the Shoushan H?|JL| Temple, integrating into one single organization the two temples, as well as other institutions, for the propagation of Buddhism.359 In 1967, 3 5 6 Over the years, Xingyun has consistently identified himself with the Taixu faction within the B A R O C and has developed further the theological innovations of the latter. Among his many writings, see for example Xingyun, Foguang Yuan: Renjian Fojiao jj$yt%k:AM$i>%k [The Purpose of the Buddha Light: This-Worldly Buddhism], ed. Ceng Fengling #JEJp (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe f^?r:tBfiSHl [Fo Kuang Publishing House], 1994). 3 5 7 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 59. 358 Foguangshan Kaishan Ershi Zhounian Jinian Tekan #jyfc|il||g[JL|—+jl^|S^#f!l [A Special Issue Commemorating the Twentieth Anniversary of Foguangshan] (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe, 1988), 27-28. 359 Ibid, 28-29. 188 Xingyun formally founded the Foguangshan Monastery, which went through two phases of expansion before the organization as we know it today was established. 3 6 0 Over the next two decades, Xingyun either founded new branch establishments throughout the island and abroad, or incorporated smaller temples that were experiencing financial difficulties, the absence of a successor to the position of leadership, or internal strife. 3 6 1 Then, in accordance with the rule that he himself set for his succession, he resigned from his position as the abbot of Foguangshan in 1985. Xingyun and his organizations were by then increasingly pursuing activities outside of the B A R O C framework, a trend reinforced by the founding of branch temples abroad, outside of the jurisdiction of the official association. One of the most notable achievements of Xingyun in that regard was the founding of the X i l a i Temple near Los Angeles in 1986, under the auspices of the International Buddhist Progress Society [Guoji Fojiao Cujinhui Sp i f f ( IBPS). 3 6 2 This branch of the organization would later achieve considerable, albeit unsought, notoriety in the United States as the center of a Ibid, 33-34. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 199. Ibid, 341-361. 189 squabble over financial contributions to the Democratic Party.363 In 1991, the de facto autonomy incrementally achieved by the Foguangshan monastic order became de jure, when Xingyun established the BLIA and decided to devote his energies to the development of a lay organization on which monks and nuns could rely.364 Along with his activities as an institution-builder, Xingyun has written books and penned articles in the many periodicals published by his organization. He has also given speeches, traveled abroad to preach, greeted visitors in Foguangshan or other temples, ordained new monks and trained new generations of abbots and abbesses.365 Xingyun has also sought a rapprochement between the Mahayana, Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions and to that end, has traveled extensively from Japan to Southeast Asia to India. In 1984 and 1989, he went to the Xilai Temple near Los Angeles to greet the Dalai Lama, who reciprocated by going to Foguangshan during his historic visit in 1997. Xingyun has also been active in inter-religious dialogue with Christians and Muslims. His 3 6 3 "Temple-disguised DNC Contribution Confirmed," China Post 19 October 1996, 1. 3 6 4 Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, MWM^t^^WM^ [Buddha's Light International Association, R.O.C.], Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan — A A E ^ # f ' J [1995 Special Edition] (Taipei: Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, 1995); Xingyun, B.L.I.A.: A Message from the President (Fokuangshan, Kaohsiung county: Fo Kuang Publisher, 1994); "Guoji Foguanghui Shijie Dahui Zai Bali Jiemu S^f^Tfe [UW^i^fe^WMW [The Buddha Light International Association starts its World Conference in Paris]," Lianhebao, 5 August 1996, 7. 3 6 5 The catalogue for the Foguangshan publisher lists over 40 works written by Xingyun and about the same 190 organizations have sponsored events such as the international symposium on the contribution of religion to higher education in 1996. 3 6 6 In 1997, he held conversations with Pope John Paul II to develop more symposia, research exchange programs and cooperative international projects. 3 6 7 Through the various activities described above, Xingyun has sought over the years to achieve several objectives, which are encapsulated in the credo of Foguangshan: "promoting humanistic Buddhism and establishing a Pure Land on Earth." The next section introduces these aims. The Goals of Foguangshan The Foguangshan monastic order is an international organization primarily devoted to the proselytizing of the particular form of Buddhism taught by Xingyun. The literature number of tape recordings of his speeches. 3 6 6 The complete proceedings are available in "Yazhou Zongjiao yu Gaodeng Jiaoyu: Guoji Xueshu Huiyi Lunwenji iSMm^L^M^WS- Mf^MMitMmytM [Proceedings of the International Symposium on religion and Higher Education in Asia]," Foguangshan, 1996. 3 6 7 From a personal communication sent by Ven. Manhua MW, general executive of the IBPS, Foguangshan Buddhist Monastery, 2 May 1977. 191 from the monastic order states as a motto that its two goals are the promotion of humanistic Buddhism [tichang rensheng fojiao and the building of a Pure Land on Earth \jianli Renjian Jingtu ItjiAFaT^dt]-368 These two goals are to be achieved by the pursuit of four main activities: propagating the Dharma [hongyang Fofa 5A^f^t£], fostering talent through education \yijiaoyupeiyang rencai lHWCW^n^A.^], benefitting society through charitable activities [yi cishan full shehui I^M#l§^0litl"] and purifying minds through Buddhist practice [yi gongxiu jinghua renxin i^^flt^/fH^A'LV]-3 6 9 Foguangshan may be barely more than thirty years old, but it already ranks as one of the most widely known associations in the ROC. 3 7 0 Its reputation is such that it is advertised as one of the main attractions of the island,3 7 1 and until the mid-1990s372 it was a major stopover for many foreign dignitaries visiting Taiwan.373 3 6 8 Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, revised ed. (Foguangshan, Kaohsiung County: Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Religious Affairs Committee, 1995, 3; Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui \%it\i\^M^ J t # [Foguangshan Religious Affairs Committee], Women de Baogao: Foguangshan Zuole xie Sheme? $£ff1 :#3fcll|{$7*f+J!f ? [Our Report: What is Foguangshan doing?] (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe, 1991), v. 3 6 9 Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 4, 11. 3 7 0 Unfortunately, by the time of writing, the annals of Foguangshan commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the monastic order were not available. 3 7 1 The GIO claims it is a center of Buddhist scholarship in Taiwan. Republic of China Yearbook, 1997, 396. 3 7 2 Since 1997, the monastery of Foguangshan has been closed to outsiders and has reverted to its original vocation as a retreat for monks and devotees to practice their religion. See "Foguang Fengshan: Jingxin Xiuxing {^it^i^M'bWil [The Buddha Light Closes the Mountain to Quietly Practice Buddhism]," LingyanXinwen SiSfflM [New Eyes Magazine], 9-22 March 1997,48. 3 7 3 Among the personalities that visited the temple over the years were: the Dalai Lama, who attended a 192 Foguangshan has played a prominent role in the revival of Buddhism on the island, and accounts of the remarkable growth of the Buddhist tradition in Taiwan during the last three decades almost always mention its contribution.374 Moreover, the efforts of Foguangshan to spread the Dharma have not been limited to Taiwan: the monastic order has branches on all continents. To sustain the growth of the organization and maintain links with society outside of the monastery, the support of lay Buddhists has been essential. In 1990, Xingyun decided to provide them an organizational framework by founding the BLIA. The organization was chartered in Taipei in the following year and inaugurated in 1992 in Los Angeles, where it established its headquarters. As a result of this move, the BLIA helped Foguangshan increase the profile of Buddhism - and Taiwan - among overseas Chinese and non-Chinese communities.375 If Foguangshan seeks to intervene in ceremony during his six-day trip in March 1997, and Vice-President A l Gore, who came in 1990. "Dalai Lama Arrives in Taiwan for First Time," China News 23 march 1997, 1; Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 15. 3 7 4 See Jiang Canteng, Taiwan Dangdai Fojiao, 13-27; Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 107-184; Chen Zailai, Zongjiao yu Guanli, 5-11. 3 7 5 The bulletin published by the BLIA, FoguangShiji f^3fc:tS^5 [Buddha Light Newsletter], often presents evidence that some non-Chinese join the organization as lay volunteers and clerics. A measure of the success achieved by the BLIA abroad can be found in the attendance at the fifth BLIA conference in Paris: 4,000 representatives from over one hundred countries joined the event. Foguang Jikan flyfc^PJ [IBPS Quarterly], Winter 1996, 1. 193 politics and needs to mobilize the followers of Xingyun, the B L I A represents its most important asset. The B L I A was established in order to attain four objectives related to the spread of the Dharma: internationalization [guojihua Si^{li], "actualization [renjianhua APsHt]," preparation for the future [weilaihua 7^3J5{t,], and standardization [tongyihua M - ' f t . ] - 3 7 6 The goal of internationalization is self-evident: the B L I A stakes a claim to be a universal religion reaching out to everyone. With its objective of actualization, the association asserts that Buddhism should not be limited to monastic practice and that the Pure Land paradise can be built on earth. In the words of Xingyun, the achievement of that goal requires "the practice of asceticism, commitment to society and aggressive engagement in activities of Buddhist culture, education, charity and Dharma preaching." The goal of "catering for the future" demands spreading a "truth-based religion [zhenli de zongjiao striving to "humanize [...] economic lives [fohua de 3 7 6 The quotes are form translations provided by the editor of the Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 52-54. The original Chinese text is in Ibid., 4-5. 194 jingji shenghuo {${kffi%&¥$^j@i]"317 enriching the minds through "public services and selfless devotion," and cultivating "good merits for a better future [fude yinyuan The goal of standardization, finally, refers to the achievement of uniformity in monastic attires [sengzhuang fftiKl], titles [chenghu fj§tPp], and rituals \yUi {ftiSt]. In pursuing these ambitious goals, the B L I A seeks to transform Buddhism from a tradition of monasticism into a congregational religion that is active in society. The attainment of such ideals requires the performance of several practical activities that produce considerable economic benefits: sale of religious paraphernalia, books and tapes; provision of health care and education; and organization of public lectures and conferences. The wealth generated by these activities, however, has generated heated controversies on the island and elsewehere. 3 7 8 In Taiwan, numerous lay Buddhists criticize the monastic order for putting too much emphasis on the pursuit of wealth and 3 7 7 Note that in Chinese, "to Humanize" was instead to "Buddha-ize." 3 7 8 The criticisms found in some Taiwanese web sites run by expatriates supporting Taiwanese independence amount to slanderous comments. They vehemently criticize the monastic order for its close relations with the nominally pro-reunification K M T . In 1995, Foguangshan was also the target of terrorist threats whose authors were never identified. "Foguangshan Shaofang zhi 'Zha' Dan Xujing Yiyang i^ytiUMBlM <WF> W^M~'H [Foguangshan Victim of a False Bomb Threat]," Zhongyang, 21 September 1995, 7. 195 accuse its founder of commercializing Buddhism.379 More important for our purposes, however, many Taiwanese condemn Xingyun for his relations with the K M T old guard during the period of martial law and have labeled him a "political monk."380 To discuss this issue, it is necessary to begin with a look into the structure of Foguangshan. Far more complex than that of the BAROC, it allows the monastic order the opportunity to conduct a great range of activities besides proselytizing. The Structure of Foguangshan Xingyun and his associates have established over the years a structure that differs from that of the BAROC in two respects. Firstly, it is not intended to meet the demands of 3 7 9 These criticisms have been conveyed to me in the context of the many informal conversations I had during my stay in Taiwan with people in academia and in the media, as well as with lay Buddhists. The criticism of Buddhists about the fact that Foguangshan disposes of too much wealth, however, does not imply that it was acquired by fraud, but simply that it represents too much. Critical media reports however suggest that the wealth acquired by Foguangshan and many similar organizations almost amounts to extortion. See "Foguangshan de Haohua Lingwei: Kaijia Zai Sanshiwan Yuan Yishang i%%\MffiMWMi&MM:tE=-~i'~$i 7nlii,_h(The Starting Price for Funerary Tablets in Foguangshan: 30,000 New Taiwan Dollars)," Xinxinwen 27 October 1996,47-49. 3 8 0 Besides the slander mentioned above, I do not dispose of sources illustrating the reproach that Xingyun was too close to the K M T during martial law. However, these criticisms have been expresse often enough to generate a forceful response from Xingyun himself. See Infra. 196 the K M T and respond to government directives. Secondly, it is designed so as to ensure that the organization w i l l continue to prosper and expand abroad, even after its founders pass away or retire from the scene. The monastic order does not rely on the charismatic authority of its creator: it uses its own constitution [zhangcheng IjlcfM], which determines the procedures by which the abbot [zhuchi {if#] and the highest authority within the Foguangshan monastic order, the Committee for Religious Affairs [Zongwu Weiyuanhui ^ S£3?Ji1llj\ are to be selected.3 8 1 Since the last organizational change in 1995, the Committee, headed by an abbot selected from within its ranks, now oversees five councils [yuan The councils look after veteran [changlao JH^s] affairs; 3 8 2 temple supervision [doujian fP^] in Taiwan, supervision of temples abroad, education, and cultural affairs respectively. 3 8 3 In addition, the Committee administers the affairs of the IBPS, Fokuang TV, two cultural and educational foundations [wenjiao jijinhui ^^iSjfellt],3 8 4 three 3 8 1 For details, see Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, Foguangxue [Studies on Buddha Light] (Nd.: Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, 1997), 81-127. 3 8 2 This is the translation used by Foguangshan for elderly monks who are retiring from active duties. For a look at the Chinese terminology for these units, see Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, Women de Baogao, 84ff. 3 8 3 The council for cultural affairs publishes books and magazines, runs bookstores, and libraries and broadcast programs on T V and radio. For a complete list of these activities, see Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 8-11,16. 3 8 4 Both foundations are fund-raising associations that sponsor cultural and scholarly activities such as conferences, seminars, etc. Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 5-7. 197 committees for the organization of university education,385 the development of BLIA, and the advancement of religious affairs, as well as four other less important units. Like the BAROC, the leadership of Foguangshan is highly institutionalized, but not in ways that parallel the structure of the KMT. The monastic order strives to function according to a set of fixed rules rather than following a charismatic style of leadership. In order to prevent any person from gaining too much influence, members of the Committee for Religious Affairs are limited to a maximum of two six-year terms.386 As a result of this administrative practice, the succession to Xingyun in 1985 proceeded smoothly and a new generation of leaders has already taken over the management of the whole organization. Some of the successors to the founder of Foguangshan are remarkable spiritual leaders and capable administrators who have established good reputations of their own.387 3 8 5 The university educational activities of Foguangshan are oriented towards secular education and distinct from the monastic education. 3 8 6 According to the charter, the abbot can be re-elected a second time if two-thirds of the majority among the eleven members of the Committee for Religious Affairs decides so through secret ballot. Xingyun, under that provision, was abbot of Foguangshan from 1967 to 1985. See Foguangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 44. 3 8 7 For an introduction to the biographies of some of the successors to Xingyun, see Fu Zhiying, Xinhuo: Foguangshan Chengxianqihou de Gushi |fif ik'4$yfclM&9u^'i£ffi$(M [The story of Foguangshan founders' spiritual heirs] (Taipei: Tianxia Wenhua Chuban ^T^ffcufjJSt [Commonwealth Publishing], 1997). 198 A few have been educated abroad, possess advanced degrees and have a cosmopolitan outlook. 3 8 8 However, with perhaps the exception of Ven. Xinding ' L > ^ E , the current abbot of Foguangshan, 3 8 9 no monk or nun has yet emerged who possesses the charisma and the popularity enjoyed by the founder of Foguangshan. 3 9 0 The organizational structure and the resources of Foguangshan are such that the monastic order could adopt a strategy of remonstrance towards the government i f it decided to do so. The administration of the monastic order is thoroughly institutionalized and inspired by a clear sense of purpose, and could rapidly mobilize lay Buddhists. Its affairs, up to and including the supreme leadership, are conducted in accordance with a charter and follow a series of bureaucratic, routinized procedures within a well-defined hierarchy. Such institutionalization of Foguangshan makes the monastic order as capable as the B A R O C to adopt political strategies serving its interests. The following section looks into the achievements of Foguangshan in that regard. 3 8 8 Ven. Yikong -f-CcS?, a member of the religious affairs committee and the BLIA board of directors, is the first nun to hold a PhD, which she obtained in Chinese Studies at the National Taiwan Normal University of Kaohsiung. Ven. Yifa ffife is the first nun to receive a PhD from Yale. On the career of Yigong and Yifa, see Fu Zhiying, Xinhuo, 245-264,289-310. 3 8 9 /fe/., 113-134. 3 9 0 This may be a function of deference to the authority of Xingyun, and it is difficult to imagine that a monk or a nun within the organization would relish being seen as too ambitious by his co-disciples. 199 The Pol i t ical Behavior of Foguangshan A s we stated in the introduction, much of Foguangshan's political activity has involved cooperation with the K M T government and has served the interests of that government well . For example, the religious activities of Xingyun have served the interests of the R O C government very well as a form of informal diplomacy, 3 9 1 and as a possible channel of communication with the P R C . The numerous encounters between Xingyun and his counterparts in South Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka or India must be seen in light of the diminishing international presence of the R O C . In some of his international ventures, Xingyun continues to present an image of Taiwan as a progressive country. Recently, he has been instrumental in restarting the ordination of women in countries belonging to the Hinayana tradition. 3 9 2 In 1986 Zhao Puchu, head of the Buddhist Association of China ( B A C ) , invited Xingyun to visit the P R C , and in the spring of 1989 a 3 9 1 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 363. 3 9 2 "Daughters of the Buddha," Sinorama December 1997 (online edition: 200 delegation of 200 headed by Xingyun and the IBPS traveled to Dunhuang, Beijing and Chengdu, and met with such high-level party and government officials as L i Xiannian ^ 5 r j ^ and Yang Shangkun fJIfniJI.393 The religious meetings between Xingyun and the Dalai Lama also served a political purpose for the R O C : the mutual understanding between the Sangha of the Taiwanese monastic order and the exiled Tibetan leader invites a contrast with the lack of flexibility displayed by Chinese authorities. The informal diplomacy conducted by the Foguangshan and the B L I A , however, can sometimes backfire. In 1997, for instance, the good relations cultivated by Xingyun with U.S . Vice-President A l Gore after he visited Foguangshan in 1989 ultimately and inadvertently cast his organization in unfavorable light. The American press criticized Gore's lunch at the X i l a i Temple as an illegal fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee. 3 9 4 Along with his role as an informal ambassador for Taiwanese Buddhism and the R O C abroad, Xingyun also works closely with the government at home and is involved with the domestic affairs of his country. Since 1986, he has served as a member of the ruling 3 9 3 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 310-318. 3 9 4 "Hsing Yun dismisses fund-raising flap," China Post, 27 October 1996, 1,12. 201 party's Central Committee and as an advisor on party affairs.395 In 1997, he accepted an appointment by the cabinet-level Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission [Qiaowu Weiyuanhui ff1§J§3lJt^ |'] (OCAC) to a commissioner's post, becoming the first monk to assume a government position in Taiwan.396 All these activities on the part of Xingyun have won the attention of KMT officials, who have lavished praise on his good deeds and the organizations he has established. As we have seen, much of Foguangshan's political activity involves close cooperation with the KMT. However, Foguangshan's political strategies are not limited to such cooperation. In several cases, Xingyun has chosen a strategy which we have labelled "remonstrance." The best example of this is his decision in 1996 to support the candidate Chen Lu'an for the ROC presidency against the incumbent President Lee Teng-hui.398 This episode will be more fully described in the next section. 3 9 5 The Central Committee (CC) is distinct from the Central Standing Committee (CSC). In 1993, the former counted 210 members, and the latter 31. CC members meet only three days each year and elect members of the CSC. Membership in the C C is thus a rather honorary title, and as pointed by his biographer, Xingyun himself does not know for sure what the party expects from him in that capacity. See Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 245. 3 9 6 "Buddhist Master Named Commissioner of O C A C , " FBIS-CHI-97-032, 16 February 1997. Source: Taiwan Central News Agency WWW. 3 9 7 "Fokuangshan Receives Government Award for the 10 th Consecutive Year," IBPS Quarterly Summer 1996, 1; "Foguangshan Kaishan Sanshi Nian: L i Zongtong Zengbian f^3fci-L|PfllX|H+^^DIStSf H [President Lee offers tablet for the thirtieth anniversary of Foguangshan's founding]," Lianhebao, 17 May 1996, 5. 3 9 8 This was not the only instance where Xingyun supported an opposition candidate. In the Legislative 202 The presidential campaign of 1996 Seven months before the Taiwanese went to the polls to elect the R O C President, Xingyun publicly endorsed the candidacy of Chen Li i ' an , a respected politician, and triggered a controversy about the separation of religion and politics that lasted throughout the campaign. 3 9 9 Xingyun's move came as a surprise, given the many years of his cooperation with the K M T . What was even more surprising, however, was the rather lukewarm response of organizations such as the B A R O C and Ci j i . The previous chapter on the B A R O C has suggested that the association did not want to encourage lay involvement and therefore that it could not encourage Chen Lu'an 's bid. C i j i , which has a large lay following, like Foguangshan, has abstained from supporting Chen. Clearly, most other Buddhist organizations have preferred to continue supporting the K M T or to avoid political participation altogether. Why did Xingyun break ranks with other Taiwanese election of 1995, the founder of Foguangshan sponsored the candidate Jiang Shiping yX;5Mzfs as an independent [wudang MM] representative of the Taipei City multi-seat constituency and introduced him as a Foguangshan devotee. Jiang did not win the election. See Zhongguo Shibao (Advertisement for legislative election candidates), 11 November 1995, 55; "Disanjie Lifa Weiyuan Dangxuanren Jianjie IIHJHjTjSfl M IfjlAfill/t" [Introducing the Elected Candidates of the Third Legislative Election]," Ziyou Shibao, 3 December 1995, 14. 3 9 9 "Yesu Jidu Shijjiamoni Dazhan", Xinxinwen 3 September 1995, 10-18; "Linglei Zongjiao Zhanzheng ^ M^WtM^ [The other religious war]," Minzong Ribao, 4 march 1996, 5. 203 Buddhist leaders and decided to act politically against the KMT? It is necessary to provide some background information about the 1996 presidential campaign and Chen Lu'an in order to answer this question. The presidential campaign of 1996 was launched in the context of divisive struggles for power within the ruling party. Members of the K M T opposing a perceived drift towards support for Taiwanese independence had been calling for the formation of a "Third Force" ever since President Lee, a bendiren, came to power. The most disgruntled among these politicians founded the NP in 1992, while others vowed to effect changes within the party, as members of what the media soon labeled the non-mainstream coalition [feizhidiupai Z^E&IrM]-400 Members of the DPP, criticizing the K M T on the grounds of corruption and authoritarianism, rejected the claim of the NP and the non-mainstream K M T to represent a democratic alternative.401 The so-called "Third Force," they argued, was merely an attempt by waishengren to cling to their vanishing privileges. Support for this 4 0 0 Supporters of Lee within the K M T , naturally, were members of the zhuliupai mainstream faction. 4 0 1 Liao Liangchen JpMS and Chen Qimai ^ S j g , Xin Dang Zhendang ffEKIt [The New Party Tidal Wave] (Taipei: Xiwang #H, 1995). 204 assertion is found by looking at the constituencies that the "Third Force" politicians were courting. 4 0 2 During the 1996 presidential campaign, the "Third Force" found its standard-bearers in L i n Yanggang and Hao Bocun /fPfidW, two dissidents figures from the K M T who were both vice-chairmen of the party. 4 0 3 L i n had long been a rival of President Lee within the K M T , and Hao, a former general and premier from 1990 to 1993, was one of the last holdouts of the previous authoritarian regime. 4 0 4 Although L i n and Hao were identified with the K M T , their views did not differ much from those of popular N P candidates such as the colorful Zhu Gaozheng ^jUiIE. During the legislative elections of 1995, therefore, L i n and Hao supported the N P candidates (a move that led to their expulsion from the K M T ) , 4 0 5 and in return, the N P dropped its own bid for the presidency in 1997 and supported the Lin-Hao ticket. 4 0 6 Politics was thus polarized over the Tongdu M 4 0 2 "Lin Kaituo Bentu Piaoyuan, Hao Qiang Jungongjiao Piaoyuan 1fa\WB^±MWM^W&&MW [Lin caters to the votes of the "natives," Hao seeks the vote of the military, the civil servants and the teachers]," Ziyou Shibao, 17 November 1995, 2; "One party, two systems," Far Eastern Economic Review, 30 November 1995, 18-20. 4 0 3 The title was purely honorific and represented a demotion in the power structure of the party. 4 0 4 Wang Lixing ^J}'tt,Wukui: Hao Bocun de Zhengzhi zhi Lit MUMtefttiftfttinZM. [With a Clear Conscience: the Political Journey of Hao Po-ts'un] (Taipei: Tianxia Wenhua Chuban, 1993). 4 0 5 Both Lin and Hao apealed the decision but they were unsuccessful. Their campaign literature claimed they represented the true values of the K M T . 4 0 6 "Sense and Sensibility: On Taiwan's Political Future," China News Analysis 1558, 15 April 1996, 5. 205 issue, that is, the clash between advocates of reunification with mainland China [Zhongguo tongyi ^S&S^] and proponents of Taiwanese independence [Taiwan dull MWlL]*m The participation of Chen Lti 'an in the presidential election signaled an attempt to move beyond this issue. Chen Lu 'an When Chen Lti 'an early on declared his intention to run for the presidency, he seemed for the moment to present the country with a choice transcending traditional political divisions. 4 0 8 Chen's political program on the issue of national unity was not very different from that of other members of the "Third Force," insofar as he also opposed independence and advocated reunification with the continent i f the Chinese government abandons Marxism-Leninism. However, by arguing that his moral values, influenced by his links 4 0 7 "Xuezhe Kan Lin-Hao Pei Youxin Jihua Tongdu Zhizhan ^^^^MWM'kMitffiiMZM [Scholars note the Lin-Hao ticket likely to intensify reunification-independence controversy]," Ziyou Shibao, 16 November 1995, 8. 4 0 8 "Taiwan voters get another choice," China Post, 22 August 1995, 4; "Chen Li-an's spirit of sacrifice," China Post, 23 August 1995 4. 206 with the Foguangshan monastic order, constituted the foundations of his political action, Chen stood apart from the other candidates for the ROC presidency.409 The career of Chen has been remarkable both for its achievements and for the ways in which his political activities have been guided by his moral values. Chen is one of the sons of former governor Chen Cheng, a controversial figure blamed for the repression of native Taiwanese, but also credited for the land reform that paved the way for economic development.410 A professor at Taiwan University after his return from the United States in 1970, Chen became Education Vice-Minister in 1977.4" Two years later, he served on the K M T Organization Working Committee [Zuzhi Gongzuo Weiyuanhui I M . I ^ X f P ^ M 1 ^ " ] (OWC). In 1980, after the United States severed diplomatic relations with the ROC, he became K M T Vice-Secretary General and responsible for the party's foreign relations. In 1984, he was put in charge of the National Commission on Science and Education [Guojia Kexue Weiyuanhui ^ ^ l ^ f ' P ^ M ^ " ] (NCSE), and four years later was promoted to 4 0 9 Chen Lu'an's brother, Chen Ltibei PitHfip, is an eminent Buddhist scholar working for the Foguangshan Foundation for Buddhist Culture and Education [Wenjiao Jijinhui 4 1 0 On the influence of Chen Cheng on his son, see Xie Jianping i f ^ i l ^ P , Chen Lu 'an Zhenhan WMrSc:M.W. [The Chen Lu'an Effect] (Taipei: Yaxiya 1995), 59-72. 4 1 1 Wang Zhipan jBSSfl, Chen Lu'an deNeixin Shijie WM^ffiP^'lsWift [Chen Lu'an's inner world] (Taipei: Zhongsheng Wenhua Chuban ^ ^ f t t t i J i f c 1995), 376-389. 207 Economy Minister. In 1990, Lee Teng-hui made him the first civilian Defense Minister of the ROC, and two years later, he was named President of the Control Yuan [Jianchayuanzhang a watchdog body where he made his mark as an incorruptible politician. When he announced his intention to run for the presidency in 1995, he resigned from his positions in government and in the KMT. What did Chen propose to the voters? The first element of Chen Lu'an's electoral platform, the idea of a president above the parties [zongtong yingchao dangpai WfiftM^k 3S-M],412 was very popular at the beginning of the campaign. His most notable proposals were to transform Taiwan into a service economy [fuwuxing guojia fl|xf^t4ffl^] and to "humanize society [renxinghua shehui Attftfilt"].'' To implement these goals, Chen advocated such general principles as clean government, a less confrontational stance in cross-strait relations, social welfare, environmental protection, a fair judiciary, and gender equality, under the slogan "peace will save Taiwan [hepingjiu Taiwan fU^Mln$?]•" The management of his campaign by well-qualified strategists conveyed an image of Chen and his running mate Wang Qingfeng EE#l l# as modern-looking rather than traditional 4 1 2 The source for this paragraphs is from campaign material used by Chen Lti'an and Wang Qingfeng. 208 politicians. The main faults of his campaign, however, were in the vagueness of his proposals and his excessive use of moralistic language. A s time went on, Chen Lu 'an increasingly focused his attacks on President Lee and supporters of Taiwanese independence, whom he blamed for triggering the P L A missile tests of March 1996, rather than against the candidate L i n Yanggang. 4 1 3 Chen Lu 'an could not rely on the support of any political party, so he had to count on the assistance of civic organizations, and to that end, asked Wang Qingfeng, a noted social activist and fellow Control Yuan member, to be his running mate. Wang had been a lawyer and had headed the Women Rescue Foundation [Funu Jiuyuan Jijinhui MtcMcW^^.^] • In accordance with the election laws of the R O C , Chen and Wang had to launch a signature campaign in order to have the right to run, because no political party had nominated them. Chen and Wang managed to get enough support to legally establish a campaign committee. Both financial support and campaigners came from various religious organizations, 4 1 4 and the campaign was managed by a cultural and educational foundation, the Huayu Wenjiao Jijinhui ftW^Ci^S^t, 4 1 3 "Chen Lu'an: L i Denghui Haoyong Douhen, Zhonggong N i Shangdangle WM^-^^MftWW.&g; {ft-hUT [Chen Lu'an: President Lee's provocations may bring the communists in]," Lianhebao, 10 March 1996, 6. 4 1 4 "Sense and Sensibility," 5. 209 and an affiliated Buddhist publishing house [Zongsheng Wenhua ^ ^ ^ f t ] . 4 1 5 Although Chen and Wang competed with L i n Yanggang and Hao Bocun for the support o f voters who disapproved of the D P P candidate or the incumbent President, they benefited from the endorsement of religious groups hoping to influence politics. It is in this context that Xingyun's support of Chen must be considered. Xingyun's support of Chen Lii 'an's campaign Xingyun's support for Chen's candidacy initially triggered reactions in the media ranging from enthusiastic support 4 1 6 to criticism, ridicule, and the denunciation of alleged Machiavellian plots. Several journalists argued that Xingyun was setting a dangerous precedent by supporting a politician. There were hysterical editorials and somber 4 1 5 The foundation published a monthly, Shanyou Shanbao #Wfifjz [literally, "kind deeds pay rich dividends to the doer] whose editor is Chen himself, as well as a glossy quarterly that was entirely devoted to his campaign, The Great Vow [Dayuan AJU]-4 1 6 Chen Lii'an Yanchu 'Fotiaoqiang' Yinbao Zongjiao Dongyuanzhan M-M^'M^i^^^ IM^WiWim. 1$ [Chen Lu'an's lecture on Buddhism inspires religious mobilization], HeibaiXirrwen, 27 August 1995, 27-29; "Fojiaojie Faqi Lianshu Zhichi Chen Lii'an {ft^^^&W^'&WMMS: [The Buddhist circles join forces to support Chen Lii'an]," Lianhebao, 21 August 1995, 5; "Shengyuan Chen Wang pei Fojiaojie Dongyuan ^WMS^M^L^-WiM [Buddhist circles arise in support for the Chen Wang ticket]," Minzong Ribao, 3 march 1996, 14; "Chen Lii'an Fodao Xinzong Zifa Zhushi WM^WMia & S %&®3^ [Chen Lii'an and the spontaneous support of Buddhists]" Lianhebao, 12 March 1996, 9. 210 warnings pointing to an upcoming war of religions. 4 1 7 These interpretations, however, were more often sensational schemes to attract readers than they were serious analyses. Cynics also derided Xingyun's support for a candidate who was not endorsed by the ruling party and therefore stood little chance of winning. 4 1 9 Finally, some other commentators speculated that Chen's presidential bid was actually a ploy to steal votes from President Lee's opponents and that Xingyun supported this goal . 4 2 0 The consequences of Xingyun's actions turned out to be less drastic than initially feared. A s any observer of the campaign could testify, religion never became a contentious issue. To be sure, the Presbyterian Church provided help to the D P P candidate and the Yiguandao supported President Lee, and most candidates made a point to 4 1 7 "Xingyun Yong Chen Fan L i Yinfa Zongjiaojie Yao Yuanzheng Duozhan MMWM.fc^\W£Wi¥&£W [Xingyun's support for Chen triggers competition within religious circles]," Guohui Shuangzhoukan S#MMf'J, 1 September 1995, 12-15; "Dang Jiasha Pengdao Shizijia ^Ig^SffillJ+ l^tg [When the Cassock meets the Cross]," Guohui Shuangzhoukan, 1 September 1995, 16-19; "Yesu Jidu Shijjiamoni Dazhan" Xinxinwen, 3 September 1995, 10-18; "Zongjiao Leyuan, Minzhu Fenchang ^W^WMI^MWi [The 'religious paradise' is the 'graveyard of democracy']", Minzong Ribao, 11 September 1995,3; "Zongjiao Juanru Xuanzhan, Zhengjiao Shuangshu tt$%$£XW$&, WMMM [When religion gets involved in the electoral competition, both politics and religion loose]," Lianhebao, 22 December 1995, 11. 4 . 8 The more serious criticisms censured Xingyun for violating the principle that religion ought to be separated from politics. See for example the editorial written by Academia Sinica scholar Qu Haiyuan "Zunzhong Zhengjiao Fenli Yuanze WM.WM5^WM3A [Respect the principle of separation between politics and religion]," Zhongguo Shibao, 30 August 1995, 11. 4 . 9 "Xingyun Neng Huchi Chu Zongtong Tudi ma S f f f g f l J f IftMMlWiM [Can Xingyun protect his pupil when he is President?]?" Shangye Zhoukan j S j ^ J l f U [Business Weekly] 25 December 1995, 39-40; "Chen Lii-an Xuan Fojiao Jiaohuang W-M^Mi^^L^L^ [Will Chen Lu'an choose the next supreme spiritual master of Buddhism?]?" Minzong Ribao, 14 November 1995, 5. 4 2 0 "VP choice will show if Chen's for real," China Post, 12 September 1995, 4. 211 pay their respects to religious leaders. 4 2 1 But this kind of behavior was not unusual in Taiwanese politics. The pattern of the vote did not follow religious cleavages. While many Buddhist voted for Chen Li i ' an , there was an even greater number of self-described Buddhists who did not: out of the 4.9 mill ion Buddhists in Taiwan, less than 1.4 mill ion voted for Chen. That said, it is interesting to note that this figure comes close to the claimed membership of the B L I A . The support provided by Xingyun to Chen L i i ' an was also not as considerable as some in the media had claimed. During his campaign, Chen repeatedly sought to downplay his Buddhist beliefs. 4 2 2 Although many B L I A members may have supported him, they likely did so because they agreed with his ideas and those of his spiritual mentor, and not as a result of mobilization by the B L I A or Foguangshan. The bulletin and periodicals of the organizations were not used to promote the campaign of Chen, and, as we have seen above, an outside publisher with no relation to Foguangshan produced Chen's 4 2 1 '"Zongjiao Pai' Ling bu Ling? 'mWiWWPfM. [The "religious card," is it working?]?" Zhongshi Wanbao, 4 November 1995, 7; "Xianghuo, Libai yu Xuanpiao ^'XM^^MM [Incense, prayers, and the vote], Lianhebao, 1 November 1995, 4. 4 2 2 "Chen Lii'an: Xue Fo, Can Xuan fei Denghao WM£- ^ f p , # l ! # # 5 ^ [Chen Lii'an: to study Buddhism and to participate in elections are two different things]," Ziyou Shibao, 11 September 1995, 2; "Qiangdiao bu Yunzuo Fojiao Tuanti Zhichi Canxuan Hif^SM$i£Bfl;£J##sl [Emphasizing Buddhist groups are not used to support candidates]," Zhongyang, 4 September 1995. 212 campaign literature. That is, although Xingyun publicly supported Chen in the early stages of the campaign, his organization avoided appearing too involved in Chen's campaign, and Chen, in turn, emphasized that he was not the "Buddhist candidate." 4 2 3 Although Chen finished last, it would be wrong to consider his bid as a failure. The participation of Chen certainly demonstrated that many lay Buddhists ignore the B A R O C ' s views, disagree with Ci j i ' s approach and do not shy away from involvement in politics. The votes received by Chen demonstrated that a substantial number of Buddhists represent a constituency that matters in the R O C , but it also revealed that Buddhists do not vote as a bloc. One has also to measure the achievement of the candidate in light of the obstacles he faced. Chen did not have the support of any political party, while the three other candidates benefited from party resources. Lee Teng-hui and Lian Zhan were supported by the mainstream faction of the K M T and moderate supporters of the D P P ; Peng Mingmin and X i e Changting received the endorsement of the D P P members that favored Taiwanese independence; L i n and Hao were helped by the N P grass-roots organization. This lack of support from any political party, furthermore, made it difficult for Chen and Wang to 4 2 3 By the end of his campaign, Chen rejected the idea that he was the "Buddhists' candidate," but had problems in convincing the medias. "Chen still wooing Buddhist votes," China Post, 21 November 1995, 213 receive supportive coverage in the press. 4 2 4 A s mentioned above, press commentary was often critical, i f not derisive, of Chen's religious background. Chen also failed to receive the support of all Buddhists. The leaders of other Buddhist organizations, such as Zhengyan, were careful not to give the impression that they were supporting Chen, 4 2 5 and it is likely that many Buddhists affiliated with other organizations found that two of the other candidates could best represent their interests. L i n Yanggang's daughter is a noted member of C i j i , and, although the latter did not endorse the non-mainstream K M T candidate, the refusal of this charity organization to endorse Chen was a setback for h im. 4 2 6 Although neither Lee nor Lian were Buddhists, many adherents of the religion may have preferred to support the incumbent President, keeping in mind that one of his close collaborators, Wu Boxiong, is also close to Xingyun . 4 2 7 More 16. 4 2 4 Most newspapers were supporting Lee and Lian, but the Lianhebao, the third daily in importance in the country, was supportive of Lin and Hao. The Lee-Lian ticket received until the last day of the campaign more air time on T V than the other three pair of candidates combined. "Sense and Sensibility," 7. 4 2 5 The day Chen announced his candidacy, Zhengyan, the head of Ciji, declined to express any opinion on the matter to journalists. "Zhengyan Fashi: Ciji Guanxin dan bu Jieru Zhengzhi WtWtfiM'- WMM'hA'SPfiY X&ifa [Dharma Master Zhengyan explains: Ciji cares about but does not get involved into politics]," Lianhebao, 21 August 1995, 3. 4 2 6 In addition, his teacher in Buddhist philosophy was Wuming, a B A R O C figure mentioned in the previous chapter. 4 2 7 In fact, Wu is a lay devotee who has been elected as head of the BLIA, ROC, and it is after consultations with Xingyun that he decided not to run as K M T candidate for the position of Governor in the Provincial election of 1994. "Xingyun Weihe Quantui Wu Quanjin Chen MMMi^W]M^:W}MM [How Can Xingyun Exhort Wu to Desist while Exhorting Chen to Run?]?" Ziyou Shibao 19 August 1995, 12. 214 significant, however, is the fact that neither Foguangshan nor the B L I A mobilized their members to support Chen. Xingyun was wil l ing to bless the campaign of Chen on the basis of shared values and the track record of the former President of the Control Yuan. It is dubious that fear of conflict with the ruling party prevented the founder of Foguangshan from mobilizing his organization on behalf of Chen. After the presidential campaign of 1996, Xingyun became more politically assertive, not less. Clearly, other considerations came into play. Xingyun may have preferred not to jeopardize his reputation or waste the resources of Foguangshan and the B L I A for a candidate that stood few chances of winning. Concerns about the separation between politics and religion may have come into play as well . This issue remains pervasive in the R O C , as the criticism of Xingyun mentioned above has indicated, and the leader of the B L I A may have wanted to avoid the fate of the Soka Gakkai, which has been submitted to intense criticism in Japan for its intervention in politics. The most likely explanation, though, of Xingyun's decision personally to support Chen, is his theological belief discussed below: Xingyun believes that Buddhists have a responsibility to participate as individuals in politics. 215 The aftermath of the campaign Although Chen Lu 'an was not punished for his participation in the presidential campaign, he has no future in Taiwanese politics. After the campaign, he spent most of his time travelling abroad, including three times to the P R C . The purposes of his trips were to help the poor, contribute to the repair of temples and pursue charitable activities. Chen alleges that he was kept under surveillance by secret agents, and there have been rumors, which he has denied, that he wanted to emigrate to Macau. 4 2 8 Besides making proposals on cross-strait relations that he made during a non-official visit to Beijing in 1998, 4 2 9 Chen has been politically inactive and not supported by any party, and he has gradually withdrawn from politics. The charge that Xingyun was helping the candidate Lee Teng-hui by sponsoring Chen Lu 'an has been largely discredited by the fact that the monastic order has apparently been punished for supporting Chen. Although members of the monastic order refrain from 4 2 8 Chen Lu'an did express that view during an interview in Taipei, 11 June 1997. "Former President has no Plans to Emigrate," FBIS-CHI-98-035, source: Taiwan Central News Agency WWW. 4 2 9 "Chen Li-an Recommends E U Model of Chinese Unification," FBIS-CHI-98-118, source: Taiwan Central News Agency WWW. 216 saying that they have suffered any overt government punishment, they point to the problems that the organization has been experiencing with the Kaohsiung county government. 4 3 0 Newspapers reported at the end of 1995 that the local administration "suddenly" found out that most of the structures at Foguangshan are illegal. According to the chief of Tashu [Dashu A H f ] township [xiang $!|$], where Foguangshan is established, the mountain area in which the monastery was built was initially designated for the preservation of water resources. In most cases, argued local authorities, Foguangshan has failed to file the necessary applications for the construction of buildings. Although the department of building standards admitted that the monastery supported its case with relevant documents in the last phase of its construction on the site of Foguangshan, existing zoning laws still compelled the local government to proceed with demolishing the illegal buildings. The only reason they were still standing was attributed to a shortage of manpower in the demolition crew. 4 3 1 4 3 0 Private communication from Manhua, 31 May 1997. 4 3 1 "Foguangshan Weijian: Gaoxianfu Tongzhi Jinsu Tinggong BytlM^sM^WM^i^MWli [Foguangshan's illegal structure: the Kaohsiung county government orders work to stop immediately]," Lianhebao, 21 December 1995, 6; "Buddhist Center may have to be demolished," China Post, 21 December 1995, 14. 217 Considering the stream of government officials who have visited Foguangshan over the last thirty years without ever having mentioned zoning regulations, the attitude of the local government was, at best, disingenuous. A member of the IBPS pointed out to me that a regulation issued by the Ministry of Interior on March 26, 1997 stated that according to regulations for hillside land development, Foguangshan is a recreation zone. Therefore, it is not subjected to water preservation restrictions and does not need to apply for construction permits. 4 3 2 The timing of the whole affair speaks volumes: concerns about compliance or non-compliance with zoning regulations suddenly emerged only after Xingyun came out publicly in support of Chen Li i ' an . The dispute between the local K M T government and Foguangshan, however, was not indicative of a fundamental rift between the party and the religious organization because the incident has not deterred Xingyun from accepting in that same year a government appointment as head of the O C A C . Although Xingyun's adoption of both cooperative and defiant attitudes may appear inconsistent, an underlying logic motivates his behavior. Private communication from Manhua, 2 May 1997. 218 E x p l a i n i n g the P o l i t i c a l B e h a v i o r o f F o g u a n g s h a n A single thread runs through the antithetical decisions of Xingyun to support the candidate Chen against Lee in 1996 and then to join Lee's cabinet barely one year after: his deeply held belief that Buddhists should get involved as individuals in public affairs. As Xingyun's support of Chen in 1996 illustrates so well, his beliefs set limits to the manner in which his organizations affect Taiwanese political developments. To clarify this issue, it is important to consider the theological justification for political participation offered by Xingyun, as well as the limits on that participation imposed by the resources, structure and membership of his organizations. T h e t h e o l o g i c a l r a t i o n a l e o f X i n g y u n f o r B u d d h i s t p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n The political beliefs and actions of Xingyun are subordinated to his central objectives of "promoting humanistic Buddhism" and "building a Pure Land on Earth." Couched in a language that is rich in aphorisms and pithy sayings, his political ideas are not organized into a systematic body of thought, and he has no articulate plan of action to propose. The 219 founder of Foguangshan usually writes on the meaning of humanistic Buddhism, i.e., the realization of a Pure Land, and seldom writes about social affairs, much less on politics. 4 3 3 It is nonetheless possible to discern theological foundations that shape Xingyun's approach to politics. To this end, it is useful to consider first his definition of humanistic Buddhism and Pure Land, and then to look at the ways in which these religious concepts are transformed into justifications for political behavior. The religious ideals of Xingyun The theology of Xingyun, for the most part, represents the continuation and actualization of doctrinal changes advocated by Taixu in China before 1947 and further elaborated by Yinshun in Taiwan over the past few decades. Their views are encapsulated in the two expressions "this-worldly [rensheng A^fe]" or "humanistic [renjian A Pal]" Buddhism. 4 3 4 They represent the response of reformist Buddhists to the individual 433 Fojiao de Zhengzhiguan \%Wiffi®dhW. [Buddhist Views on Politics] (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe, 1984). 434 Rensheng: human life, or life; Renjian: the world of mortals. The recent usage of these concepts is confirmed by their absence in the William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous dictionary, compiled in 1934. See A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms, revised by Shih Sheng-kang, L i i Wu-jong and Tseng Lai-ting, 1962 (Kaohsiung, Fokuangshan Press, 1994). 220 Salvationist practices of traditionalists. 4 3 5 Simply stated, reformist Buddhists believe that salvation is not obtained in a next life, but can be attained by any lay devotees in this world, through the performance of good deeds. A s explained in the previous chapter, this opinion contrasts sharply with the traditional doctrines which state that the clergy is responsible for ferrying the souls of others through their own individual ascetic practices. Taixu, Yinshun and Xingyun all agree that monks and nuns must involve themselves in society. This engagement can take many forms. A s we w i l l see, for the leader of C i j i , Zhengyan, it is limited to the pursuit of charity work. For the nun Zhaohui, it implies political participation in order to effect social change. 4 3 6 For Xingyun, it implies political participation, but within certain limits. In a speech in 1984 at the Sun Yat-sen memorial hall in Taipei, Xingyun explained what form Buddhist political participation should take. His political philosophy is rudimentary: his description of the Buddhist political attitude amounted to less than four 4 3 5 Although the teachings of Yin Shun expand those of Taixu, there is no need in this discussion to go into the exegesis of both writers. The curious reader who wants to know more about this-worldly Buddhism can consult the exposition of Xingyun himself, in Foguang Yuan, 3-42. 4 3 6 "Cij i Beihou you Minyi Bukao Zhengke Laiqinglai WMWlk^^MPfW&^^WW [Beyond Ciji's popularity: the public perception that politicians cannot be relied upon to deliver]," Heibai Xinwen 31 October 1993,21-22. 221 hundred characters. He outlined the contributions of Buddhists through the ages to the maintenance of good government, and then commented on the appropriate attitude that Buddhists must adopt towards the state.438 He explained that the faithful must abide by four principles. Firstly, Buddhists must prioritize good moral ethics as the foundation of their politics, an injunction he calls "ethical democracy [minzhu daode de zhengzhi JI: JEM l l ^ i l & i n ] . " Secondly, Buddhists should "foster a social climate where everyone respects each other [xianghe hujing de shehui l¥f PS^Fi^iii±#]." Thirdly, they should "strive for a rational economy [qushe heli de jingji l$L&i'n S^JlM^t]," that is, an economy without too many inequities. Finally, Buddhists should seek to lead optimistic and industrious lives [leguan qinfen de shenghuo ^WM]^^j^f^V Apart from the openly political principles enunciated above, Xingyun also propagates religious principles that have conservative political implications. Despite his avowed intent to implement a modern, humanistic and this-worldly Buddhism, the practices he encourages are in fact traditional. The founder of Foguangshan reasserts the importance of conventional and orthodox beliefs and practices in the religion when he includes the 4 3 7 Xingyun, Fojiao de Zhengzhiguan, 29-30. 4 3 8 The speech, taped in Mandarin and Minnanhua [Uj^ fSS, is also written down. Xingyun, Fojiao de 222 "purification of minds [xinlingjinghua ^M^fb]" among the four goals of Foguangshan and the B L I A . 4 3 9 This "purification" is to be achieved through purely religious practices such as meditation [Chan zuo /W i^], sutra recitation [nian Fo retreats [fingjin Fo qi fraiWi^ 'tr, baguan zhaijie AlSllf#£], and pilgrimages [chaoshan fjj[J_[].440 Although the goal of "purification" is purely religious in its essence, some of its political implications can be surmised. Xingyun clearly believes that Taiwanese society is currently corrupt, and therefore in need of reform. According to him, the source of the violence, "unreasonable pursuits [wangqiu ^ ^ ] , " and other sufferings of modern society, is to be found in "self-attachment [wozhi $Sc#l]," ignorance [wuming 4ffiH£J] and other individual human failings. 4 4 1 The political implications of these beliefs were displayed in a 1997 campaign dubbed the "Caravan of Love and Mercy [CibeiAixin Lieche WM^'lJ ^[Jift]," which coincided with a grass-roots movement of protest leading to the resignation of Premier Lian Zhan. The latter movement was sparked by the kidnapping and sordid murder of Bai Xiaoyan E Z J ^ P R E , the daughter of the famous Taiwanese Television actress Zhengzhiguan. An abridged version is also available,in Xingyun, Foguang Yuan, 175-178. 439 Fokuang Shiji, 16 June 1997, 1. 4 4 0 Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 35-42; Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, Women de Baogao, 72-80. 4 4 1 Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 53-54. 223 Bai Bingbing SYTK^JC.442 The feelings of anxiety generated by the inability of the police forces to capture the kidnappers, and the lack of professional ethics on the part of many journalists filled the population with disgust, and demonstrations demanding the resignation of Premier Lian Zhan spread throughout the country. The B L I A joined the movement, and during the official launch of its Caravan in Taipei, then-Minister of Justice, Liao Zhenghao 0 I E I § E had to listen to Xingyun's views. The founder of Fokuangshan then argued that the best answer to the ills of "insatiable desire, anger, ignorance and violence," was "wisdom, morality, virtue and conscience." 4 4 3 A major limitation in Xingyun's theological system is the idea that criticism is just another source of disharmony in society and cannot represent a step towards social reform. In his speeches, Xingyun is careful not to antagonize any particular person or organization when he tries to single out the sources of suffering in human society. The inevitable conclusion reached by Xingyun - that the reform of individual behavior is the key to the betterment of society - leads to the development of a political vision with complex ramifications. On the one hand, it suggests that a Buddhist political program would not be 442 Foguang Ship, 16 June 1999, 1. 443 Ibid., 4. 224 limited to changing a few policies, but would aim at more far-reaching transformations. Implicit in the views of Xingyun is the idea that without the inspiration of Buddhist values, politics devoid of the moral principles upheld by his religion are not likely to solve social problems. This has resulted in considerable ambiguities. Xingyun has had to answer many critics in the past, because while his doctrine denigrates current policies as the source of moral decline, social malaise and crime, his organizations must cooperate with the politicians that he blames for these problems. The political implications of Xingyun's religious ideals Representatives of Foguangshan have had a hard time countering the criticism that Xingyun is a "political monk" who has simultaneously supported Chen Lii-an and cooperated with the regime that Chen opposed. Xingyun's sponsorship of Chen Lii-an certainly makes sense in light of the ideas that both men share within the tradition of humanistic Buddhism. The calls for "clean government [qinglian zhengfu ^MWMMV "rectification of the national morale [duanzheng renxin $rffiIEAyLs],"and "talent nourishment [peiyu rencai f#WA^"]," by Chen Lu 'an during his campaign, were not far 225 removed in essence from the mottos of Foguangshan about "purifying minds" and "fostering talent." Because of his views on the future of the R O C and his past record as a politician with moral integrity, Chen was the most qualified leader for the country in Xingyun's opinion. 4 4 4 Finally, Xingyun's sponsorship of Chen was perhaps inevitable given the fact that the former President of the Control Yuan had once been a disciple in the Dharma of X ingyun. 4 4 5 While it makes sense that Xingyun would support Chen, however, it is more difficult to explain the collaboration between the founder of Foguangshan and a government that does not share his values. To do so, one must consider the implications of the ideal of humanistic Buddhism. Xingyun has justified both his support for Chen and his continuing collaboration with the government on the same grounds: since the government has the power either to perpetuate or alleviate suffering among the people, Buddhists, who are concerned with the welfare o f al l , must get involved in polit ics. 4 4 6 One representative o f the monastic order pointed out to me that the behavior of Xingyun conforms to an old tradition that dates back 4 4 4 From a written correspondence with Manhua, 2 May 1997. 4 4 5 "Chen LU'an Shi Wode Tudi, Yiding Yao Zhichide ^5!f#W ["Chen LU'an is my disciple, of course I support him."]," Lianhebao, 16 September 1995, 6. 4 4 6 The material for this paragraph is from correspondence with Manhua, 2 and 31 May 1997. 226 to the Tang dynasty, when emperors sought spiritual counseling from Buddhist monks. Traditionally monks have been obliged to advise, as part of their duty to serve and benefit society, but they are not to be lawmakers themselves. Although supporting the candidate Chen Lti 'an for the R O C presidency was the most principled attitude to adopt for the founder of Foguangshan, it was inevitable that the organization would accept the verdict of the people and continue collaborating with the government even i f Chen lost. Underlying these pragmatic considerations stands the theology advocated by Xingyun, which seeks harmony within society rather than confrontation. The pragmatic theology advocated by Xingyun owes much to his personal experience. Three times the authorities have arrested him. He was incarcerated once by the C C P and once by the K M T on the mainland, suspected of espionage by each camp. He was also sent to ja i l for three weeks after the R O C government relocated to Taiwan because, like other monks seeking refuge on the island, he was affected by a rumor alleging that 300 monks came to Taiwan for spying and lacked proper identification papers. It was after these episodes, recalls one of his biographers, that Xingyun reached the conclusion that the 227 Sangha and lay Buddhists would fare better i f they communicated with those in power. Disciples of Xingyun whom I have interviewed in the Foguangshan monastery took this last episode as a rebuttal to the accusation that Xingyun only befriended politicians in power and supported K M T conservative politicians during the period of martial law. His close disciples argued that he had no choice but to collaborate with the authorities for the benefit of Buddhists and the people in general during that period. 4 4 8 What has emerged clearly from these conversations is that over the years the attitude of the Committee for Religious Affairs, the ruling body of Foguangshan, has changed. The strategy of remonstrance is more likely to be adopted in the future because some of the leaders likely to succeed Xingyun disagree with many K M T policies. This raises the issue about the extent to which Xingyun and other leaders below him, in making their choices of strategies, are free from constraints inherent to the organization. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 82-84. Interview with Yikong in Foguangshan Monastery, 1 November 1996. 228 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l resources a n d c o n s t r a i n t s To what extent has the strategy of remonstrance adopted by Xingyun in the 1990s been determined by the resources it controls, lay support and congruence between leaders and members of the organizations? Before exploring this issue, it is important to note that although this chapter has used the term "members," there is no lay membership per se in Foguangshan. The term "members" refers to the devotees offering alms and donations to Foguangshan, those who jo in pilgrimages and retreats in temples owned by the monastic order, and those subscribing to some of its publications. Although there are no comprehensive data available on the social background of the followers of Foguangshan, some preliminary observations can be made on the basis of participant observations and the research of other scholars. 4 4 9 Abundance of resources Foguangshan attracts enough resources to convince many Buddhists that it is capable of spreading the Dharma, but its considerable wealth, symbolized by the huge temple 4 4 9 The research done by Kang Le and Jian Huimei holds data about the age, educational, geographic and ethnic background of those who belong to the Sangha, and some figures about the attendance of lay followers 229 complex built in Kaohsiung County, has also generated suspicion about the real nature of the organization and has put its leadership on the defensive. The Foguangshan Monastery, where the headquarters of the whole organization are located, is the primus inter pares among three main branch temples, 4 5 0 5 4 smaller Taiwanese branch temples, and the 94 affiliated institutions established abroad. 4 5 1 On the island alone, Foguangshan possesses, among its network of temples, 16 Buddhist colleges and seminaries, 3 public universities, 26 libraries and 9 art galleries. 4 5 2 With an estimated value of U S $ six b i l l ion 4 5 3 in assets, Foguangshan claims to be self-sufficient. It relies on donations from devotees,4 5 4 and finances its own expenses through the sale of its books and magazines, memorabilia and souvenirs, and tuition charges for its kindergarten and schools. 4 5 5 Whatever the real amount, the assets owned by Foguangshan are conspicuous enough to raise criticism about the nature of the monastic order by outsiders who believe that to events organized by Foguangshan. See Xinyangyu Shehui, 144-145, 169-173. 4 5 0 The Taipei Temple, the Universal Gate Temple [Pumen Si H f f " ^ ] , also in Taipei city, and the Universal Virtue Temple [Puxien Si H r j f i n Kaohsiung city. 4 5 1 These figures have been provided by the liaison representative of Foguangshan through personal correspondence in the spring of 1997. 4 5 2 From a personal communication sent by Manhua, 2 May 1977. 4 5 3 Still far behind the top ten list of the wealthiest religious corporations in the island. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 212. 4 5 4 Like traditional temples, Foguangshan conducts repentance ceremonies and services for the death. 4 5 5 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 208. 230 monks should make a vow of poverty. 4 5 6 Xingyun is aware of the apparent contradiction between the enormous wealth of his organizations and traditional Buddhist practices, and has responded to that issue in his lectures. According to his own interpretation of the religion, Buddhism is an affirmation of the value of worldly life, and therefore, wealth should be rated positively: " . . . [it] is a blessing [and]; knowing how to expand wealth is wisdom." 4 5 7 Xingyun also points out that he distinguishes between his own wealth and that of the monastic order, that he does not maintain his own temple and that he does not raise funds for his own use. Finally, he wonders why Buddhist organizations should be faulted for being prosperous while Catholic and Protestant Churches are acclaimed for their business-oriented approach to medical and educational work. 4 5 8 Sangha initiative and lay support The achievement of religious goals by Foguangshan is unlikely to have much political consequence as long as the organization remains centered on its monastic community, and 4 5 6 "Foguangshan de Caili Daodi You Duo Xionghou {^^^W^JlMlSM^WM [Actually, how Considerable are the Financial Assets of Foguangshan?], Shangye Zhoukan 25 December 1995, 42-44. 4 5 7 "Qian, Yongle Caishi Cijide t l , ff lT^l l i t l3f i*J [Once it is used, money still belongs to oneself]," Yuanjian Zazhi WiRMM-, [Global Views], 15 April 1993, 50-53. 4 5 8 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 205,459. 231 as long as its lay affiliate, the B L I A , does not consolidate its own institutions. According to its founder Xingyun, the B L I A was not only supposed to offer monks and nuns an organization that would help them, but was also intended to give lay people the chance to take the initiative in spreading the Dharma. Despite this intention, the lay organization has yet to reach that goal seven years after its establishment. While its founder may have advertised it initially as an attempt by Buddhists to move from the confines of their monasteries to lay society, 4 5 9 the M O I nevertheless registered the B L I A as a religious organization in 1994. 4 6 0 The association also claims to offer lay Buddhists an institutional framework for the propagation of their faith, but the B L I A remains subordinated to members of the Sangha that are ordained in Foguangshan and its associated temples. 4 6 ' Members of lay organizations, not being bound to monastic life, are less likely than members of the Sangha to intervene in politics strictly within the confines of a Buddhist organization. Unlike monks, lay people have many concerns that go beyond those of the 4 5 9 Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 54. 4 6 0 Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu, 114-115. It could be argued that once the monastic order established by Xingyun is nominally under the supervision of a lay organization, it becomes possible for the whole structure of Foguangshan to avoid falling under the authority of the B A R O C . 4 6 1 The purpose of the organization is to rely on lay devotees, but the composition of the current leadership may be a measure of the efforts that remain to be done. The organization is headed by Xingyun, who acts as President [Lishichang MW-M, Chairman of the Board of Director], and by a nun, Ven. Cirong WM, who is Secretary-General [Mishuchang $£liJ|]. On Cirong, see Fu Zhiying, Xinhuo, 89-112. 232 Buddhist community. For many of them the K M T is a far more efficient means to propagate some of their ideas, especially when some of these lay Buddhists, such as W u Boxiong, are in positions of power within the party. The large number of lay people adhering to the precepts of the Foguangshan monastic order nonetheless indicates that the organization could achieve considerable political influence i f its leaders decided to mobilize them. In 1994, the Foguangshan monastic community numbered about 1,100 monks and nuns. 4 6 2 This relatively small number contrasts with the figures for lay devotees in the B L I A . Barely three years after its founding, sources from that organization boasted that its membership had reached about one mill ion devotees,4 6 3 and already ranked as the world's fourth largest private non-governmental organization after the Rotary Club, Lion 's International, and Kiwanis . 4 6 4 Although the headquarters of the B L I A are located in the California-based temple of X i l a i , and although the organization now has a hundred branches in 30 countries, 4 6 5 the most 4 6 2 Figures for 1994 indicate in addition that 937 of the clergy was female, a majority was aged between 21 and 40 years, 70% had post-secondary education, 35 had a M . A . and three a PhD. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 179. Kang Le and Jian Huimei further note that 56% of the monastic community is involved in administrative duties. See Xinyangyu Shehui, 144. 4 6 3 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 377. 464 Ibid, 279. 4 6 5 Unlike the B A R O C , the Foguangshan monastic order is not organizationally linked with the government and therefore has felt free to expand across the shores of the ROC in the nineties. 233 dynamic components of the association remain in the R O C headquarters [Zhonghua Zonghui 4J,¥Mti']> with 342 sub-chapters in Taiwan alone. 4 6 6 The reader must keep in mind, however, that the number of lay followers is difficult to ascertain, because the B L I A is not a congregation meeting on a regular basis. Thus the figures above are only suggestive and tentative. Despite the absence of specific figures for membership, evidence suggests that the lay community affiliated with Foguangshan and the B L I A is quite large. The biographer of Xingyun indicated that in 1995 a total of one mill ion people had "taken refuge [guiyi $x that is, one out of five Buddhists in Taiwan has been converted in one of the temples belonging to the network of Foguangshan since its founding in 1966. In the first half of 1994, notes the same source, more than 10,000 devotees "took refuge" in various temples in Taiwan and abroad. During the same year, more than 200,000 people offered alms to finance the expansion of the site in Kaohsiung county. 4 6 7 In 1997, over 400,000 free subscriptions of the magazine "Awakening the World" were distributed. 4 6 8 Statistics from 4 6 6 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 373; Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 45. 4 6 7 Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 244-245. 4 6 8 This is the claim made on the cover of the magazine. 234 the monastic order also point out that in the year 1995 alone, 1,200,000 visitors came to the site. 4 6 9 However, sociologists Kang Le and Jian Huimei, in discussing the attendance of devotees at a Repentance Dharma function [dabeichan fahui A^'littStlr] and other events in the Taipei Temple [Daochang WlM] during the same year, suggest more modest figures. They indicate that attendance numbered around 35,000 people during a period of 49 days. 4 7 0 The numbers of those who participated in the "Caravan of Love and Mercy" campaign organized in May 1997 and who attended the rally in Taipei in October of the same year, however, are more significant, because they relate to a political event sponsored by the B L I A . A s discussed above, the Caravan was launched in the wake of recurring public protests in front of the Presidential Office building against the administration of Premier Lian Zhan, some of which drew as many as 50,000 people. Attendance at the launch of the Caravan did not reach that figure, even though the popular actress Bai Bingbing and the Minister of Justice were present. The Caravan, which was divided into two groups departing on M a y 25 t h from Taipei and Kaohsiung respectively, was concluded 4 6 9 Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, rev. ed., 12. 4 7 0 On exception was over 50,000 visitors for an exhibit of paintings organized by the Temple. 235 in Hualien [Hualian on June 15th in front of a crowd that numbered six thousand people. In its second stage, which consisted of volunteers delivering speeches on the Dharma, the campaign numbered about two thousand participants.471 The rally organized in October by the BLIA and presided over by Xingyun planned to draw 80,000 people to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.472 The meeting clearly demonstrated to the government that the founder of the Fokuangshan monastic order has the ability to mobilize lay Buddhists. The guests sitting next to Xingyun were Vice-President Lian Zhan, the new Premier Xiao Wanchang MMM, BLIA Vice-President and KMT Secretary-General Wu Boxiong, as well as foreign dignitaries.473 Waving banners with slogans such as "purification of the minds," and "peaceful society [anding shehui 3£ jEt\ti=[]" that echoed the government's campaign of "spiritual reform" launched a few months before by President Lee, the gathering was not advertised as an anti-government rally. However, the presence of Wu, as both a high-ranking BLIA member and a high-ranking KMT official,474 underlined that the influence of Hsing Yun reaches far. 471 Fokuang Shiji, 16 July 1997, 4. 4 7 2 Press release from Foguangshan, 5 October 1997. 473 Jueshi l ^ i [Awakening the World] 1377, 20 October 1997, 19-22. 4 7 4 Wu sat at the right of Xingyun, wearing on his shoulders the sash bearing the B L I A insigna. Jueshi 1377, 20 October 1997,21. 236 Near congruence on the dimension of ethnicity Perhaps due to his theology of harmony, Xingyun, despite being a waishengren himself, has adopted over the years many practical measures to recruit, train, and promote into the hierarchy disciples from the local population. Among the thirteen permanent members of the Foguangshan monastic order's Committee for Religious Affairs, the majority are natives of small localities in Taiwan.475 The same approach has been applied to the lay organization. Wu Boxiong, who was elected in January 1998 as the president of the most important section of the BLIA, the ROC headquarters,476 is a popular K M T politician with a Taiwanese Hakka background.477 Xingyun has not only avoided favoring disciples with mainland backgrounds, but he has also set up his headquarters far from the centers of political and economic power in 4 7 5 At least five members of the Committee on Religious Affairs are from Ilan county, in Northeast Taiwan, and two are from Yunlin i f # , in Central Taiwan. The immediate sucessor to Xingyun as abbot of Foguangshan, Ven. Xinping >\y$-, was also from Ilan, and the current abbot, Xinding, is from Yunlin. See Fu Zhiying. Xinhuo. 476 Fokuang Shiji 30, 16 January 1998, 1. 4 7 7 The Bendiren population comprises Taiwanese whose ancestors hail from the province of Fujian and who speak Southern Fukienese [Hokkien, or Minnanhua], and other Taiwanese whose ancestors came from Guangdong and speak Hakka, [Kejiahua ^-^M]. The latter group represents less than 15 percent of the Bendiren population but constitutes a majority in the city of Hsinchu. See John F. Cooper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? 10-13. 237 Taipei and Kaohsiung. The distribution of temples affiliated with Foguangshan throughout the island supports the claim that the monastic order represents a cross-section of Taiwanese society. 4 7 8 Finally, Foguangshan started to proselytize in Minnanhua, the native language of most Taiwanese bendiren, at a time when it was still forbidden by the government to teach it in schools. 4 7 9 Despite the promotion of native Taiwanese Buddhists into the leadership ranks of Foguangshan, however, we cannot say that the organization is entirely ethnically congruent. The background of Xingyun on the mainland influences his ideals, and, for many Taiwanese Buddhists, his professed affinity with his hometown Nanjing demonstrates to them that he cannot be a credible representative of their values and interests. 4 7 8 In 1996, there was at least a temple [si TF, daochang JMM], a lecture hall [jiangtang WsL] or a Pureland Center [Chanjing Zhongxin WW^'iA m every county on the island, with the exception of Nantou county in Central Taiwan. See Fu Zhiying, Zhuan Deng: Xing Yun Dashi Zhuan \%%t.MMJtM&- [Handing Down the Light: The Biography of Venerable Master Hsing Yun] (Taipei: Tianxia Wenhua Chuban, 1995), 363; Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 496. 4 7 9 A 1987 catalogue of speeches made by Xingyun and recorded on tape indicate that all of them were already made available in Mandarin and Minnanhua. Speeches in Minnanhua were usually recorded by others. The lecture on the political thinking of Buddhists, for instance, was read by Ven. Cihui MM, one of 238 Near congruence on the dimension of gender Over the years, Xingyun has placed many women in positions of responsibility, and they now form a majority at all levels within the monastic order. Foguangshan comprises 1000 nuns and only 300 monks, and all five heads of departments within the order are women. The importance of women in the monastic order has been a characteristic of the organization since its beginning. Four of the thirteen members of the Committee for Religious affairs are women who belonged to the first generation of Xingyun's disciples and worked with him while he was a monk in I-lan. In 1978 a nun whom Xingyun sent to California spearheaded the internationalization of Foguangshan through the IPBS. In 1988 women headed most branch temples of Foguangshan in Taiwan. 4 8 0 The same seems to hold true for B L I A members. For example, sociologists Kang Le and Jian Huimei find the most important figures within the Committee for Religious Affairs. 4 8 0 Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, The Fo KuangShan (Chunghe [Zhonghe dpfU], Taipei County: Cosmos Publishing House, N.D.). The only exception to the greater role played by women in Foguangshan is the position of paramount leader for the abottship of Foguangshan. Spokespersons for the organization argue that although no rules preclude that possibility, it is unlikely that an abbess could head the monastic order because women who decide to join the monastic orders do not like to be too visible. This argument, however, does not apply to Ciji , which is headed by a woman, and does not depict the more flamboyant behavior of a few individuals such as Zhaohui. Sinorama December 1997 (online edition: 239 that among lay devotees attending various events in Taipei, women outnumbered men by nearly two to one. 4 8 1 There is no doubt that women in the monastic order enjoy the respect of their male peers and lay devotees. For instance, the organization has abandoned the traditional Buddhist etiquette of female deference to male colleagues, 4 8 2 and as participant observation has confirmed, nuns do not bow when they see monks of the same ranking. Female members of Foguangshan are not only caretakers of the monastery, but are also involved in public relations with outsiders, and act as scholars. The cliche that women who jo in the monastic life either have a shadowy past or are uneducated does not fit any of the individuals I met in Foguangshan and in the Taipei Temple. 4 8 3 Some have even pursued higher education abroad. In sum, the situation of gender congruence within Foguangshan is much like that of ethnic congruence. Xingyun himself is male, but he has promoted 481 Xinyangyu Shehui, 169. The comments below on the orientation of women in Foguangshan are limited to the members of the Sangha because data on the social background and ideas of lay Buddhists were unavailable at the time of writing. The only things that are worth mentioning is that lay Buddhist women are active in charity work, enthusiastically join events organized by the BLIA, but they have yet to reach a level of visibility comparable to men like Chen Lti'an or Wu Boxiong. Women influence lay Buddhists within the BLIA only to the extent that it is nuns that manage the latter. 482 Sinorama December 1997 (online edition: 4 8 3 During the Qing dynasty, according to the words of one folk song, out of every ten nuns, nine were former prostitutes and the tenth was mad. Ibid., 240 large numbers of women into the leadership of the organization, who represent well the predominantly female Buddhist laity in Taiwan. Conclusion In this chapter, we have seen that Foguangshan, under the leadership of Xingyun, has adopted a different political strategy than that of the BAROC. Rather than lobbying the K M T in order to achieve his objectives, Xingyun has used his own authority and his organization's resources for the purpose of creating a more morally pure government. Although often willing to cooperate with the KMT, the Foguangshan's strategy of "remonstrance" was demonstrated by Xingyun's support for the non-KMT candidate Chen Lti'an during the 1996 presidential campaign, as well as in Foguangshan's participation in the 1997 campaign for the resignation of then-Premier Lian Zhan. An examination of Xingyun's theological beliefs has provided strong support to the hypothesis that leadership beliefs can shape an organization's choice of political strategy. 241 Xingyun's adherence to the "this-worldly" or "humanistic" Buddhism of Taixu, in contrast with the B A R O C leadership's rejection of such interpretations, has led him to the conclusion that Buddhists must participate in politics, although within limits. This set of beliefs explains well Foguangshan's mixed strategies of cooperation and remonstrance with the K M T . When we turned to examine the constraints and opportunities presented by the organizational characteristics of Foguangshan, we found the hypotheses set forth earlier about the influence of resources, lay support, and ethnic and gender congruence also apparently confirmed by the data. Foguangshan has greater resources, more lay support, and a higher degree of ethnic and gender congruence than does the B A R O C , and it also follows a more politically activist strategy. This is what we would expect. In sum, the contrasting behaviors of the B A R O C and Foguangshan appear to confirm the importance of both leadership views and organizational characteristics in shaping the choice of political strategy. In the next chapter we w i l l explore whether the third organization, Ci j i , also provides support for the importance of both these sets of variables. 242 Chapter Five C I J I ' S H U M A N I S T I C B U D D H I S M A N D T H E A V O I D A N C E O F P O L I T I C S Introduction The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Association (Ciji) is the largest Taiwanese Buddhist organization in the R O C , and its leader Zhengyan is one of the most prominent public figures on the island. Ci j i ' s resources and its membership give it the potential to be a major player in politics. However, its leader affirms she is not, and does not want, to become involved in its "complexities." Although the presidential candidate Chen Lti 'an represented the values that Ci j i upholds, she refused to endorse his campaign. This is surprising in view of the fact that Zhengyan also subscribes to the theology of Taixu's 243 humanistic Buddhism, which inspired Xingyun, the founder of Foguangshan, to adopt a very different political attitude. How is it that a shared theology has led these two leaders to adopt such strikingly different forms of political behavior? Why would humanistic Buddhism inspire a strategy of remonstrance on the part of Foguangshan and a strategy of avoiding intervention in politics on the part of Ciji? Does the apoliticism of the latter derive from Zhengyan's own philosophy and interpretation of Taixu's theology, or is it the result of some constraints imposed by the resources of the organization she has built over the years? To what extent do lay support and congruence between Ci j i ' s leaders and followers affect her decisions? To examine these issues, this chapter is divided in four parts. The first section looks into the religious goals of C i j i , the second one examines the structure of the organization, and the third section explores the political behavior of C i j i . The last section introduces the specific beliefs held by Zhengyan, and examines to what extent Ci j i ' s resources, lay support and congruence on the dimension of ethnicity and gender have influenced its choice of strategy. 244 The Goals of C i j i C i j i is officially registered as a charitable foundation and a lay organization, but it is in fact a religious organization under the authority of a charismatic leader. 4 8 4 Its activities in the provision of relief and free health care to poor people, vocational education for nurses and its campaign for a bone marrow registry have made it the largest of its kind in Taiwan. The label Fojiao [Buddhism] in the official name of the foundation and in its main constituent units, such as the Buddhist Compassion Relief Ci j i Association [Fojiao Kenan Ciji Gongdehui {%WC^MWMPjW^] or the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation [Fojiao Ciji Cishan Shiye Jijinhui {j$|fcM^M#¥H3i^1i"L reminds us of the Buddhist identity of the organization. In addition, the founder and current leader of the foundation, Zhengyan, is a Buddhist nun who is well-known for her numerous speeches on the Dharma. She never tires of explaining that she draws her inspiration from the 4 8 4 Ciji is not listed in the official registry of religious organizations in Taiwan compiled by the MOI, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu. 245 teachings of the Buddha. 4 8 5 The available literature on the activities of the organization always emphasizes that when members perform their duties, they become boddhisattvas.4 8 6 Visitors to the Taipei branch building of the foundation in Chunghsiao [Zhongxiao ^jt] East Road or to its spiritual center at the Abode of Still Thoughts [Jingsi Jingshe %$]§, fi#] in Hualien County are also reminded of the Buddhist nature of the foundation by the Swastikas that adorn both buildings. 4 8 7 Attendants at seminars introducing the organization are taught not only about the missions of C i j i , but also about the proper way to worship the Buddha. Finally, the foundation's publishing house offers titles introducing Buddhism to children, as well as sayings by Buddhist masters. 4 8 8 The religious goals of C i j i Zhengyan originally established Ci j i to perform a mission of "helping the poor and educating the rich [jipin jiaofu ^flfifcil ]•" Since 1997, the organization has advertised 4 8 5 Yun Jing Qian Shou Foxin: Zhengyan Fashi iM?pfi$>l>: WMWM [Master of Love and Mercy: Zhengyan] (Tainan ^ \ % : Daqian Wenhua A^^Cik, 1995). 4 8 6 Douglas Shaw, ed., Still Thoughts, 24. 4 8 7 The Swastika has been used for centuries by Buddhist organizations and sectarian religions in India and China to represent the movement of the Dharma wheel. Most people in Asia look at the Swastika as a religious symbol and they are often unaware of its negative meaning in the West. 4 8 8 The contribution of Ciji to Foxue is however modest when compared to Foguangshan's. 246 its goals under the motto of the "eight footprints [bada jiaoyin J \ i \ JPEP]" left by C i j i . 4 8 9 The first of these "footprints" is the charity work undertaken by the organization: long-term aid, disaster relief, medical assistance, and even funeral assistance for those who cannot afford i t . 4 9 0 The second one, which the brochures of Ci j i describe as a "mission of culture," is better described as proselytizing: publishing materials on Buddhists ethics and the teachings of Zhengyan, as well as organizing outreach activities. The third "footprint," medicine, follows the stance of Zhengyan that sickness stands as one of the major causes of poverty and, accordingly, the curing of illness is the most meritorious of the good deeds.4 9 1 The "footprint" of education is closely related to medical relief. Its primary objective is to train nurses and doctors who exercise compassion in their relationship with patients, and to foster moral and civic education among the population at large. The provision of international relief, the campaign on behalf of a bone marrow donor registry in Taiwan established in 1993 in collaboration with eleven hospitals 4 8 9 For a detailed presentation, see the website of Ciji at "". 4 9 0 Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation, Foreign Language Publications Department, All Loving & All Merciful (Taipei: Tzu Chi Buddhist Cultural Center, date N/A) . 4 9 1 Douglas Shaw, ed., Still Thoughts, ,167. 247 throughout the country, community work, and environmental protection are the other intended "footprints" of the organization. 4 9 3 The religious dimension of Ci j i ' s social work is evident in its educational activities. Ci j i is developing its own university, comprising colleges of liberal arts, management, religion and fine arts along with its medical college. The founders of the Ci j i Colleges, 4 9 4 which represent the first steps towards the achievement of that goal, have described the curriculum they offer as an opportunity to teach students who are not only technically capable, but also morally good. 4 9 5 Besides activities primarily aimed at the training of medical personnel to staff its own hospitals, C i j i also seeks to offer civic and moral education to the population in general. In its effort to reach out beyond its own school system and encourage the propagation of Buddhism in society, Ci j i has, since 1986, granted scholarships to meritorious students at the junior high level and above in the fields of 4 9 2 For details on the campaign's goal, see Tzu Chi Taiwan Marrow Donor Registry, My Brother Couldn't Wait for Me to Grow Up, (Taipei: Tzu Chi Buddhist Cultural Center, date N/A) . 4 9 3 The data on the community outreach activities and the activities of environmental protection undertaken by the Foundation were part of the Ciji Web page they published until November 1997. After that date, however, the organization entirely changed its set up and went back to a definition of its activities as "four missions." Its charity operations are divided between domestic, overseas and Chinese mainland operations. The Ciji Web page can be consulted at the following site: "http//www." 4 9 4 The first steps in that endeavor were the establishment of the Tzu Chi College of Nursing [Ciji Huli Zhuanke Xueyuan M^MMM^A^^l] in 1989, and the opening of the Tzu Chi College of Medicine [Ciji Yixueyuan WMW^&z] in 1994. 4 9 5 "Cultivating Whole People: The New Wave of Buddhist Universities," Sinorama (April 1994), 43. 248 medicine, nursing, Buddhism, and fine arts.4 9 Typical of the way in which Ci j i has grown from grass-root initiatives, some elementary school teachers use texts from Zhengyan to teach their students good manners, patriotism, tolerance, and other values. 4 9 7 Besides encouraging a moral education that favors the political status quo, other activities of Ci j i have positive consequences for the government. T h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f C i j i ' s r e l i g ious goals i n the s o c i a l - p o l i t i c a l a r e n a The members of Ci j i enthusiastically perform their charitable activities because they believe it brings them spiritual merit. The provision of emergency relief after natural disasters is a typical example of the organization members' beliefs put into practice. After modest beginnings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, 4 9 8 the number of people receiving Ci j i ' s assistance increased dramatically in the following decades. 4 9 9 In 1995 alone, 3,823 4 9 6 In 1992, last year for which detailed figures are available, 99 scholarships were granted to students writing on suggested topics such as "Buddhism and life." Shi Zhengyan PPIifi, ed., Ciji Nianjian M^^-&, 1966-1992 [Ciji Yearbook, 1966-1992] (Taipei: Ciji Wenhua Chubanshe. WM5C{kttjM± [Ciji Culture Publishing, 1993), 314, 322-323. 4 9 7 "Love in the Classroom: Teaching with the Aphorisms of a Buddhist Master," Sinorama (June 1996), 33-41. 4 9 8 Between 1966 and 1972, the number of people to whom Ciji offered its assistance increased more than ten times, from 31 to 361. 4 9 9 Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 92-93. 249 island households (representing 12,043 people) received support from C i j i 5 0 0 and in that same year, the organization provided medical assistance to 1,840 individuals. 5 0 1 Detailed figures on a county by county basis suggest that Ci j i was helping to resolve problems in every region of the country. 5 0 2 Between 1966 and 1992, Ci j i became increasingly skilled at fund-raising. In 1966, it managed to raise a mere NTS 17,000. In 1973, for the first time, it collected over a mil l ion N T $ , a figure multiplied ten times in 1979, and a hundred times by 1987. 5 0 3 In 1995, Ci j i received contributions totaling NT$4,647 mil l ions. 5 0 4 These numbers are indicative of the rapid growth of Ci j i and the quantitative increase in the number of households it reaches. The enthusiasm of Ci j i members for charity work is not limited to the R O C . The provision of international relief started in 1991, when the American branch of Ci j i in Los 5 0 0 The most numerous instances of household helped being found in the area comprising Taipei County and Taipei City, Kaohsiung City and County, Taichung and Hualien, respectively. Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian,\995 [Ciji Yearbook, 1995] (Taipei: Ciji Wenhua Chubanshe, 1996), 23. 5 0 1 It also solved 1117 cases of emergency relief, offered help for 565 cases of funeral arrangements, and contributed to 14 instances of home reconstruction. Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian 1995, 25. 5 0 2 AW. , 23. 5 0 3 Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 92-93. 5 0 4 By the time these figures were compiled, US$1 was worth NT$25, Canadians 1 was worth NT$20. NT$2,185 millions was spent for the completion of the Tzu Chi Junior College of Nursing, as well as the College of Medicine. NTS 1,461 millions was distributed for domestic and overseas relief and emergency aid. NT$398 millions was disbursed to subsidize medical treatments and several projects. Finally, NT$ 142 millions was used for publishing and other cultural affairs. "Cij i Ruhe Mukuan, Yong Qian MfMtlUiujMiX, fflU [How does Ciji gains contributions and uses its money]," Shangye Zhoukan, 26 August 1996, 60-62. 250 Angeles helped victims of a cyclone in Bangladesh. 5 0 5 In 1993, the Taiwan headquarters sponsored projects undertaken by the organization Medecins du Monde ( M D M ) to restore the water supply, renovate clinics, run medical stations and provide care in Ethiopia. 5 0 6 The foreign policy of the R O C and its China policy also benefit from the activities of C i j i . The relief effort abroad helps the R O C to score points in the international arena: without official recognition at the United Nations since 1971, Taipei cannot use foreign aid to cultivate friends. Viewed from that perspective, Ci j i ' s relief efforts on behalf of refugees in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Ethiopia provide the K M T government with an important public relations service. In particular, the provision of emergency relief to countries afflicted by natural disaster or wars contributes to the improvement o f the standing o f Taiwan abroad. Some of the missions of Ci j i abroad were not reactions to pleas for help by international N G O s , but responses to requests from the government of the R O C to aid Overseas Chinese. In 1994, for example, the Cabinet-level O C A C asked Ci j i to help 5 0 5 Other branches of Ciji abroad have taken a series of initiatives. They have offered relief to victims of floods in Vietnam, Malaysia and the United States, victims of earthquakes in Japan and Indonesia, and victims of Typhoon in the Philippines, and provided shelters to people in South Africa, Argentina and the United States. Shi Zhengyan, ed., CijiNianjian, 1995, 332-333. 5 0 6 The foundation also collaborated with M D M in the refugee camps of Rwanda, and offered help to victims of drought in Cambodia. In 1995, it continued its projects in Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia, and gave assistance to the civilian population of Chechnya. Fojiao Ciji Cishan Shiye Jijinhui, Xinlian Wanrui: Ciji Yingxiang Sanshi Nian >LsMMM<'MMs0i$i=-~i'^ [Ten Thousand Lotus Blossoms of the Heart: Thirty 251 ethnic Chinese refugees in North Thailand.507 Some other ventures abroad have been consistent with the official claim that the ROC represents the government of China, and that Tibet and Mongolia remain under its jurisdiction.508 In 1992, at the request of the Red Cross Society in Taiwan, the foundation delivered food and clothing to children and the elderly in Mongolia. At the request of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission [Mengzang Weiyuanhui WW&^fk^] (MTAC), Ciji sent a fact-finding mission and provided relief to victims of a deluge in Nepal the same year. When Ciji volunteers provide relief in Mongolia, help Overseas Chinese in Asia or North America, or assist flood victims in the PRC, they seek to demonstrate in a very tangible way to Chinese all over the world that humanistic Buddhism is more than just a matter of religious practice. They also believe it is the way of the future for China. Members of the organization in Taipei and Hualien hope that their organization will be years of influence from Ciji] (Taipei: Ciji Wenhua Chuban, 1997), 282-283. 5 0 7 "Guanhuai Hebei Shuihuan, Cijizu Tuanbo Aixin SS'HM^t^K^^^lflHSS'L^ [Concerned for victims of flood in Hebei, the organization Ciji propagates love]," Zhongyang, 3 September 1996, 9. 5 0 8 Since 1991, however, the ROC has abandoned the claim that it represents the legitimate authority of China. The official policy since then is to acknowledge the existence of two governments in China: the PRC and the ROC. The claim to Outer Mongolia has been abandoned in 1997. 5 0 9 Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Love Responding to International Disaster Relief (Taipei: Tzu Chi Buddhist Cultural Center, date N/A) . 252 called upon to serve as a mediator between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.510 However, other Taiwanese see the role of Ciji differently. Pro-KMT media use the activities of the organization to demonstrate that Taiwan, under KMT rule, is both a prosperous and caring society.511 Some other Taiwanese have criticized Ciji for doing too much in China but not enough in Taiwan. To be sure, the operations of Ciji in China constitute a sensitive issue.512 The Foundation acts carefully to ensure it does not contradict the official policy of the ROC and it is careful to suggest neither that the ROC is part of the PRC nor that Taiwan and China are two different countries. Even if the many activities undertaken by Ciji have the side effect of favoring the political status quo, however, the following section on the structure of the organization documents that Ciji - unlike the BAROC and in ways comparable to Foguangshan - is not a KMT transmission belt. 5 1 0 From discussions with members of Ciji in Taipei and Hualien. s " "Cij i de Zhengzhi Renmo Mffi$ftl8&aXM [The Political Connections of Ciji]," Shangye Zhoukan, 26 September 1996, 57. 5 , 2 Although members of Ciji have answered most of my questions on a variety of subjects with remarkable candor, they stonewalled when I started discussing the issue of Ciji providing relief in the PRC. 5 l 3 To that end, it places the relief work directed to populations of the PRC since 1991 in a category distinct from both domestic relief and overseas relief. See Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 394-464 for comprehensive details about the work of Ciji in the mainland in 1991 and 1992; Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1995,26, for figures on the year 1995; and Fojiao Ciji Cishan Shiye Jijinhui, Xinlian Wanrui, 230-251, for an overview of the whole 1991-1996 period. 253 The Structure of Ci j i Ciji and Foguangshan were both established when the BAROC was granted its monopoly of interest representation of Buddhism, but their strategies of growth have differed. Unlike Foguangshan, Ciji was not registered as a religious association, but as a charity, and therefore was not nominally competing with the BAROC. Ciji was from the start entirely independent of the "official" Buddhist organization because of its mandate, a fact that remains true today. While its inception depended on the will of Zhengyan, its continued growth has resulted from the efforts of a large number of volunteers.514 The founder herself often emphasizes that the achievements of Ciji result from the collective efforts of individuals within the foundation, as well as from outsiders' goodwill, and shies away from taking much of the credit for the growth of the organization. Members of Ciji, 5 1 4 For an introduction to Ciji via an account of its founder's career, see Qiu Xiuzhi f x f l i E , Da ai: Zhengyan Fashiyu Ciji Shijie ^^MM&ffl^MM'&iff- [Universal Love: Master Zhengyan and the world of Ciji] (Taipei: Tianxia Wenhua Chuban, 1966). See also Jiang Canteng, Taiwan Dangdai Fojiao, 28-35; Taiwan Fojiao Bainianshi zhi Yanjiu, 1895-1995,457-47'4; 20 Shiji Taiwan Fojiao de Zhuanxingyu Fazhan, 447-470; Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 53-106. 254 in return, while acknowledging Zhengyan's humility, nevertheless praise her as the founding spirit and the driving force of the foundation. Despite the assertion that everyone within the organization is equal in status, however, it is clear that the functioning of Ciji rests entirely on the authority of its charismatic leader, whose decisions are not questioned. Although people both inside and outside Ciji are reluctant to call Zhengyan "leader," there is no question as to the source of authority within the foundation.515 In the publications produced by Ciji, she is respectfully referred to as Shangren _LA, that is, a title reserved to Buddhist masters with a high level of wisdom.516 In the words of sociologist Wu Zhenghuang ^ H E ' J l L she is the irreplaceable leader under whose sanction the decision-making elites can further their initiatives.517 She presides over the first meeting of the commissioners every week, and no matter what is discussed, she has the final say on the decisions.518 Her awe-inspiring authority is sustained by 5 1 51 could observe myself that even though the head of the organization may herself feel uncomfortable about her position of prominence, her authority sanctions decisions, and members of Ciji do not question her words. 5 1 6 This is the fifth highest degree in a scale of seven. 5 1 7 "Cij i Gongdehui, Taiwan Shijie Zhanwanghui he Zhonghua Lianhe Quanmu Xiehui Juece Jingying Fuliguan j i qi Xiangzheng Fuhao zhi Bijiao Yanjiu M^W^^MW^W^W^M^MU^tkW. W ^ l l f IJHS^^tlff ^3MWf% [A Comparative Research on Decision-Makers' View on Welfare and the Symbolism of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Ciji Foundation, World Vision-Taiwan, and United Way-China]," (M.A., National Taiwan University, Taipei, 1996) 30. 5 1 8 Feng Wenrao M~%M, "Zhiyuan Fuli Fuwu Zuzhi Xingcheng j i Yunzuo zhi Tantao: yi Ciji Gongdehui wei Lie ]£MmmmmmMRWftZmm-MMm]3^mq [An Inquiry into the Formation and the Achievements of Voluntary Welfare Provider Organizations: Using Ciji as an Example]," (M.A. Thesis, 255 devotion to her within the organization and admiration from the Taiwanese media, which dub her as the "Mother Teresa of Taiwan."519 Devotion to Zhengyan is encouraged by the publication of her thoughts in about thirty titles,520 hagiographies in Chinese and English languages,521 recordings of her speeches, daily broadcasts on cable TV and radio stations all over Taiwan,522 numerous public lectures,523 and high-profile meetings with members of the government.524 Zhengyan heads the Ciji Foundation, the Compassion Relief Ciji Association, sits on the Board of Directors [Dongshihui Hill!"] 5 2 5 and oversees the mission of charity. She National Taiwan Chungcheng cfiE University, Chiayi [Jiayi HIH] County, 1993) 144. 5 1 9 "Taiwan Jingyangzhong Zui Dongren de Yizhang aWfi&Mtfi1zkWjAff3^M [The most moving personality in the "Taiwan experience"]," Yazhou Zhoukan ISMfSffli [Asia Week ], 9 May 1996, 22-24; "Tihui Zhengyan H#H1I [Understanding Zhengyan]," People 26 (February 1995), 85-90. 5 2 0 Numbers taken from the catalogue of the Tzu Chi Cultural Center's publications in Taipei during the summer of 1996 indicated 28 titles in Chinese and two English language translations. 5 2 1 Not all of these works are published by the organization itself. See Qiu Xiuzhi, Da ai; or Yun Jin, Qian Shou Foxin. 5 2 2 For a complete and detailed list, see Fojiao Ciji Cishan Shiye Jijinhui, Ciji ZhiyeXunli MM^WWM. [An Overview of Ciji's Purpose] (Taipei: Ciji Wenhua Chubanshe, date N/A.) , 128. 5 2 3 Between June 1990 and October 1992 alone, she delivered twenty-five speeches in various auditoriums across the country. See Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 630. 5 2 4 In 1992, for example, she granted audience to over a hundred forty politicians, media personalities, academics, and businessmen. For a detailed list of the visitors, see Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 578-562. 5 2 5 After 1992, Ciji went through a structural reorganization. Its Board of Directors is assisted by four policy-making committees [Juece Weiyuanhui ^HSM#] for its four missions, as well as a general 5=n administrative center [Zongguanli Zhongxin ii§1t;341;fj>] subdivided into eight functional bureaus [Sh For ten years, the Board of Directors has included a special unit, the Honorary Board [Rongyu Dongshi iHI], comprised of generous contributors who offered more than NT$I million to Ciji . For the motivations behind the decision of wealthy businessmen to join Ciji , see "Hou Bowen Yu Ciji de Xin Gushi {^WSC^kW-[The Story Hou Puo-wen and Ciji]," Tongling Zazhi Mf l$ t !£ [Leader Magazine] (December 1994), 28. In 1993, two thirds of its 3,780 members were from the Greater Taipei area. Kang Le and Jian 256 is assisted by three Vice Chief Executive Officers [Fuzong Zhixingchang W\WM$l^k\, each one in charge of the other three missions of medicine, education, and culture. Zhengyan also supervises the commissioners,526 who are subdivided into two groups. "Soliciting commissioners [Quanmu Weiyuan U]IISIJIIL" ask the public for contributions, while members of the second group [Muhou Weiyuan i§^] perform diverse functions such as accounting for funds received.527 Although Zhengyan cannot oversee the work of every volunteer or members of the paid staff working for Ciji , 5 2 8 she regularly visits the branches of the organization throughout Taiwan. She employs a paid staff in accounting, publishing, and broadcasting at the Ciji cultural center in Taipei, doctors and nurses for the General Hospital, and teachers at the College of Nursing and the Medical College. Besides the commissioners, who represent the backbone of the organization, Zhengyan supervises with the Board of Directors another important unit of volunteers: the male-only Faith Corps [Cichengdui WMW], also known as "perfect husbands and Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 88. 5 2 6 Chen Zailai, Zongjiao yu Guanli, 21; Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 34. 5 2 7The role of the soliciting commissioners is to collect on a monthly basis the donations pledged by contributors, and visit the poor families receiving assistance. The activities undertaken by the other commissioners require recruiting qualified personnel in the areas of accounting, management and administration. Chen Zailai, Zongjiao yu Guanli, 21. S 2 8 The staffs status is somewhat distinct from that of the commissioners and other volunteer workers, who contribute their time to accomplish diverse tasks. 257 fathers." When an event or a convention takes place, they control traffic, maintain order and clean.529 They are also in charge of other duties such as sweeping streets and parks around their houses, collecting and sorting garbage, and selling what can be recycled. In addition, they accompany commissioners to take care of those unable to look after themselves and lend a hand during the distribution of emergency relief. Members I met in Hualien mentioned another duty they undertake: protecting Zhengyan against threats. Wearing navy blue uniforms, caps and Ciji badges, members of the "Faith Corps" could easily be mistaken for policemen. According to one account, the Corps consists of four battalions further divided into companies, which are in turn divided into platoons.530 Members of Ciji aspiring to join the Faith Corps go through a two-year training period before qualifying as full-fledged members, during which time they are educated about the spirit of Ciji. While some members of the Faith Corps are already working within the Ciji organization - male employees are encouraged to join, but not obliged to do so - others work elsewhere as businessmen or in the local media.531 5 2 9 Some of those I met in Hualien told me that they joined the organization either because their spouses encouraged them to do so, or because they felt they need some form of spiritual fulfillment beyond their professional activities. 5 3 0 Norman Yuan, "Faith Corps," Tzu Chi Quarterly (Fall/Winter 1994), 23-24. 5 3 1 In 1991, a disproportionate number of them, 54%, came from North Taiwan (the Greater Taipei area, plus 258 Along with the Faith Corps, the Honorary Board Members Association [Rongyu Dongshi Lianyihui ^®M^li$fiflllj and the Commissioners Association [Weiyuan Lianyihui HlJil^fl "H"], Zhengyan has approved the creation of eight other functional groups. Some of these groups are aimed at influencing certain sectors of society outside of Ciji. For instance, two of these associations, the Collegiate Youth Association [Dazhuan Lianyihui All^Uti"], 5 3 2 and the Teachers Association [Jiaoshi Lianyihui f^l^Hli'],533 seek to promote interest in and support for Ciji among students outside of the organization's own educational system. Another association, the Reformation Corps [Ciyudui MWH£], performs a role in reform schools comparable to that of the above mentioned associations.534 Some of the other groups are designed to reinforce cohesion within the organization. One of the most important among them is the Yi Teh Mothers and Sisters Association [Yide Mujiehui MMMtPp^], which provides guidance and advice Keelung [Jilong SH=] and Taoyuan). In 1993, there were 545 certified members of the Faith Corps. In 1994, more than a thousand men joined in, and in 1995, 476 others followed. More than half of the new members were from North Taiwan. Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 461; 1995, A1A-A11. 5 3 2 The Association is a federation of 25 associations representing students at the junior high, collegial and graduate levels. For details, see Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1995, 239. 5 3 3 The Association comprised in 1995 over 7500 teachers. 50% are teaching at the elementary [Guoxiao i /JN] level, 25% in junior high [Guozhong 13% in senior high [Gaozhong M^], and only 4% at college level or higher [Dazhuan AM] From Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1995, 238. 5 3 4 Its members giving speeches and using their personal experience to enlighten their audiences. 259 to the students at the Tzu Chi College of Nursing.535 Members sharing similar interests can meet and exchange their experiences in four other functional organizations.536 The reliance on the leadership of Zhengyan, apparent in the structure of Ciji, ensures that her will is executed, but it raises problems in the long term. This is the case because there are no rules for the succession to Zhengyan. This has led members, sympathizers outside of Ciji, as well as independent observers, to voice increasingly urgent concerns about what will happen to the foundation after Zhengyan passes away.537 The founder herself does not worry about the future of the organization: "We don't have to worry about the future. (...) Before he (the Buddha) attained nirvana, he did not appoint any successor, but his teachings have been passed on."538 Notwithstanding Zhengyan's views, this is a worrisome problem considering the enormous responsibilities of the head of the foundation. 5 3 5 For details about their role, see Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 238-242. 5 3 6 The Volunteers Team [Zhigongdui groups together those working at the Tzu Chi Hospital and in various kinds of activities organized by the foundation. The Ciji Choirs [Hechangtuan perform at special events and occasions. The Foreign language team [Waiyudui ^fHPtc] comprises members fluent in English, Japanese and other languages who serve as liaison in international affairs, translate Ciji publications, prepare information for overseas distribution, and host foreign visitors. The Writers Group [Bigengdui 4JE f^f He] is a loose association of people recording members' stories orally or in print in order to inspire the public. For the impact on the public of these stories, see "Dajia Qiangshuo Ciji Gushi ^^tMffoMffiJ&M [Everyone comes up with a story on Ciji]," Zhongguo Shibao, 31 may 1996, 39. 5 3 7 "Cij i Shijie de Yinyou Mf^W^fflfmS: [The latent fear within Ciji]," Yuanjian Zazhi, 15 December 1993, 46-48.- I have discussed the issue in both Hualien and Taipei and in both cases members of the organization agreed with Zhengyan herself and claimed that the issue will somehow sort itself out. 5 3 8 Tiao Men-peng, "Spread Great Love with Gratitude: An Interview with Cheng Yen," translated by Norman Yuan, Tzu Chi Quarterly (spring 1997), 9. 260 What w i l l happen in the future i f the successor to Zhengyan fails to match her ability to inspire? W i l l the organization split into different components i f there are disagreements among the members? In the absence of any checks to authority within the organization, what would prevent it from falling under the control of outsiders? What w i l l be the effect on the political strategy currently pursued by Ciji? Before answering these questions, the following section clarifies the nature of the political choices made by the leader of Ci j i . The Political Behavior of Ciji The organization discourages its members from getting involved in politics, a position that was understandable during the period of K M T dictatorial rule, but is at odds with current trends. This avowed disapproval of political participation, it should be noted, does not represent a strategy of remonstrance critical of K M T policies. On the contrary, Ci j i relies on government support for the implementation of its goals and its leaders are careful 261 in not opposing the government and working within the bounds of ROC laws regulating civic organizations. The apolit icism of C i j i Ciji has adopted a practice of "neither flattering nor criticizing the authorities, but practicing Buddhism and providing relief to the living."539 Although more than one politician has sought to harness the mobilization potential of Ciji for electoral gains, not one has succeeded in this attempt for the last thirty years.540 During the March 1996 presidential election, Zhengyan clarified her stand on politics, in response to speculation that she might throw her support behind Chen Lii'an. She said that she did not want Ciji to get involved in politics, wished all candidates the best of luck, and stated that she respected the democratic choice of the people.541 In an interview for the conservative Lianhebao, which is close to the K M T non-mainstream faction then led by maverick presidential candidate Lin Yanggang, she explained further: "Ciji is a religious organization 5 3 9 See Feng Wenrao, "Zhiyuan Fuli Fuwu Zuzhi Xingcheng j i Yunzuo zhi Tantao," 141. 5 4 0 "Cij i Gongdehui bu She Zhengzhi WM^W^^f^^Cfa [Ciji does not involve itself into politics]," Zhongguo Shibao, 28 November 1995, 6. 5 4 1 "Chen Lii 'an Baihui Zhengyan Fashi WMW^iSWMc&M [Chen LU'an implores Zhengyan]," Lianhebao, 21 November 1995, 6. 262 as well as a charity organization. Its ideal is the respect for all life and the affirmation of humanity." Therefore, she said, all it cares about is ".. .the security of the population, its happiness, safety, harmony, and prospects for the future."542 In an interview with a weekly magazine close to the pro-independence opposition, she admonished the volunteers working for Ciji that "religion and politics ought to be separated. [Volunteers] can go out and vote, but they cannot use the name of Ciji to help one candidate."543 The foundation does not engage in lobbying on behalf of the many people who receive its support, even though it possesses the organizational capacity to do so. Until the lifting of martial law, lobbying on behalf of Buddhists was inconceivable because of the monopoly held by the BAROC; but since then, such lobbying is not uncommon, as demonstrated in the 1990s by the activities of other organizations such as the BAROC and Foguangshan. So far, Ciji has not shown any inclination to articulate or represent the interests of its constituents. It gives relief to the poverty-stricken but does not articulate the interests of the "poor and the downtrodden," does not promote policies addressing the sources of poverty in the long run, and does not harbor views comparable to the 5 4 2 "Zhengyan Fashi: Ciji Guanxin dan bu Jieru Zhengzhi," Lianhebao. 5 4 3 " Ciji Meili Zhengtan Qingdao WMMtlMlMMM [The attractiveness of Ciji in the political arena 263 "preferential option for the poor" upheld by "liberation theology." Despite its importance for the social welfare of people in Hualien County, the organization does not seek to act as the political representative of this area.545 Although the foundation helps aboriginals, it does not claim to represent them.546 Because its financial assets have come from private sector funding, Ciji does not depend on government support. As the discussion on the resources of the foundation will demonstrate later, Ciji can afford to be critical of the government, or at least its policies. But whether the state remains under the control of the current ruling party or is led by its challengers, members of the foundation show no inclination to take advantage of Ciji's reach into society to mount a challenge to state policies. This indifference on the part of Ciji regarding political intervention persists, even though it is increasingly likely that parties opposed to the K M T will come to power.547 recedes]," HeibaiXinwen, 31 October 1993, 14-17. 5 4 4 This would seem anathema to Ciji , which advocates itself "help to the poor and enlightenment to the rich." 5 4 5 As documented later, most members of the foundation do not hail from that part of that country. Members, volunteers and workers of the Foundation now have roots in all Counties of Taiwan. 5 4 6 Two-third of them belong to the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations who already do lobbying on their behalf. Michael Stainton, from York University, is currently doing research on this issue. 5 4 7 As I write this dissertation, the K M T retained in the Legislative Yuan a majority made up of a single seat, with 80 seats out of 161. The second party in importance, the DPP, and a splinter group from the DPP, the 264 The poli t ical connections of C i j i Zhengyan may frown upon the perplexities of politics, but she often has had to rely on good relations with K M T politicians to ensure the growth and development of Ciji . 5 4 8 The foundation cannot afford to ignore the government. Although most of its resources come through small donations from the public, it still needs to collaborate with relevant ministries to obtain permission for construction, recognition of professional competence, etc. A look at the history of the organization reveals how governmental intervention was at times crucial to its growth. During the first thirteen years of the organization's existence, only the local government of Hualien County paid attention to Ciji. All this changed in 1980, after a fact-finding visit by then-Governor Lin Yanggang. President Chiang Ching-kuo himself stopped by immediately after that inspection and officially approved of the organization's projects. Over the next three years, the provincial government cleared the way for Ciji to TAIP, together control 54 seats. 5 4 8 A telling illustration about how close can be the connection between the government and Ciji is offered by an anecdote about the brochure Que dix mille lotus de la misericorde eclosent en ce monde, a French translation for an older edition of the Ten Thousand Lotus Blossoms of the Heart. Reacting to my surprise after I realized that the editor was the GIO, my interlocutor at Ciji explained to me that Hu Zhiqiang the director of the Office at that time - and ROC Foreign Affairs Minister during my interview- has many affinities with the foundation and that it is only natural he would help. (Taipei: GIO, 1994). 265 obtain the necessary construction permits.549 In 1983, the newly-appointed Minister of Interior Lin Yanggang was instrumental in helping the organization obtain land previously belonging to the Ministry of National Defense to build its hospital.550 Since 1984, ministers from the central government and heads of the K M T have paid visits to Ciji, inquiring about the needs of the organization, handing over donations from the public, or simply honoring Ciji with awards for its contribution to society.551 The relations between Ciji and the government have been so good that, in 1993, as an expression of gratitude, then-Interior Minister Wu Boxiong recommended Zhengyan to the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Ciji fulfills several needs that are appreciated by governments at every level, but its most important contribution relates to the provision of health care.553 The hospital in Hualien compensated for the inadequate services provided by the county government until the early 1980s.554 Many other specific services provided by the foundation continue to 5 4 9 Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 53-56. 550 Ibid., 56-57. 551 Ibid., 61-66. 5 5 2 "Ciji Meili Zhengtan Qingdao," HeibaiXinwen, 14-17. 5 5 3 Former Governor and current President Lee Teng-hui, who was instrumental in helping Ciji build its hospital, declared in a bout of enthusiasm in 1983, while joining the organization as a contributing member: "you do more social work than the government!" Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 59. 5 5 4 "Enlightened volunteers," Free China Review, December 1994, 32. 266 compensate for the kind of welfare that the Central government cannot afford: rehabilitation for mentally handicapped children, creation of a bone-marrow bank, research on the health problems faced by aboriginal people, and so on. 5 5 5 Another area that is important is the training of nurses in the Ciji Junior College of Nursing, designed to address a labor shortage across the country. The manner in which Ciji has become involved in the implementation of health care policy illustrates its general strategy of avoiding political participation. Ciji and the KMT health care policy Ciji does not become involved in public debates that bear on health care policy-making. It appears content to provide services to the population, in accordance with existing policies, if not at the explicit request of the government. At the same time, the ruling party policy of encouraging the private sector to take up initiatives for the provision of health care needs organizations like Ciji. The most obvious illustration of this convergence of interests is provided by the Ciji hospital in Hualien. The foundation 5 5 5 " Ciji Meili Zhengtan Qingdao," HeibaiXinwen, 14-17. 267 needed the authorities' permission, land, and financial help for the construction of its hospital; the K M T was all too eager to encourage a private initiative to fill a gap in that traditionally impoverished region. To understand more clearly the role of Ciji in the implementation of K M T health care policy, it is necessary to provide some background information. Health care issues and policies Health care issues in Taiwan in the 1990s have been typical of those faced by industrialized societies, as demonstrated by statistics on life expectancy and the causes of mortality.556 Massive urbanization, serious environmental degradation and a rapidly aging population have all contributed to changes in these indicators of public health. Particularly worrisome has been the welfare of the elderly. The shift from an economy based on agriculture to one based on high-technology industries and services has witnessed 5 5 6 In 1951 Taiwanese women could hope to live on average until the age of 57, and men until the age of 55. By 1994 women could expect to live over 77 years, men over 71. Changes in social-economic structures and in lifestyles, as well as improvements in health and medical care, have considerably changed the causes of death over the last decades. In 1952, mortality was most often the result of acute infectious diseases such as gastritis, enteritis, colitis, pneumonia and tuberculosis; in 1994, it was instead typically caused by chronic afflictions such as cancer and cerebral-vascular diseases. See the website of the Department of Health, The Executive Yuan, Taiwan, Republic of China, on "http://" QNovember 1997) Chapter One, section6. 268 an erosion of the extended family, the traditional provider of care for the elderly. The state has been, moreover, ill prepared to face the enormous burden of this looming problem.557 The country suffered in the 1990s from a severe shortage of nurses,558 and until 1994 only 54.1 percent of the entire population in Taiwan was covered by one of thirteen programs of health insurance.559 Official figures also pointed to important regional differences for the year 1994.560 In response to popular dissatisfaction with the state of health care,561 the authority in charge of health care in Taiwan, the Department of Health [Weishengju ffj^ijiu] (DOH), set up in 1995 a universal program of health care and a National Health Insurance Program.562 Barely one year after its establishment, however, instances of fraud among 5 5 7 The Free China Review has dedicated its issue of November 1997 to this problem. See in particular Kelly Her, "A.Long Gray Line," 4-15; Anita Huang, "Fate or the State?" 16-23; Su Men-ping, "Feeling One's Age," 24-29. 5 5 8 ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1994 (Taipei: GIO, 1993), 285. 5 5 9 ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1994 (Taipei: GIO, 1993), 287. 5 6 0 There were 219 hospital beds for every 10,000 people in Hualien County, on the east coast, while there were only 13.9 in Chiayi County on the West. Note that Hualien County is where the Ciji hospital was established in 1986. "1995 Taiwan Minqing Baogao 23 Xianshi Zongtijian 1995 SMBM^ka 23 |£rfj$g f i l w [A comprehensive report on the conditions of the Taiwanese population in 1995 across 23 counties and municipalities]," Yuanjian Zazhi 114, December 1995, 114-119. 5 6 1 "Jianbao Bandehao ma? Diantouzhe Budao Banshu MUffl^fflMM&WPFMArWl [Is health insurance well managed? Not even half approves]," Lianhebao, 26 February 1995, 3; "Gaoda Liucheng Minzong dui Quanmin Jianbao Buman MM^ffcJ£&^^&$£ffi^M[60°/<> unsatisfied with the current health insurance system]," Zhongguo Shibao, 24 April 1995, 3; "Jianbao: Manyide Minzong Yida Banshu MMffiSz, WitLWL^Wt. [Health Insurance: the number of satisfied beneficiaries does not even reach half of the population], Lianhebao, 3 October 1995, 5. 5 6 2 See the website of the D O H on "http://" (November 1997) Chapter Two, 269 members of the medical profession in 1996 raised questions concerning the fairness of the whole program.563 Taiwanese voters want the government to expand services, but they are also reluctant to see an increase in their tax rates. Meanwhile, influential voices from the business sector think the government is already spending too much.5 6 4 Understandably, politicians are hard-pressed to come up with solutions that would reconcile such differences.565 Recent policies have been designed as a response to an emerging consensus among politicians and sociologists: public welfare programs can succeed only if they complement private initiatives.566 Religious organizations have been expected to play an especially important role in this matter.567 Because Ciji had a good record in the provision of affordable or, in some section 1. 5 6 3 "Yijie Weigui Cengchubuqiong, Jianbaoju Fangbushengfang ^WMMM^m, mUJmffi^mffi [The National Health Insurance Bureau unable to cope with the repeated offenses committed by the medical circle]," Zhongyang, I march 1996, 9. 5 6 4 "Jianbao Zhengzhi Ganraobuxi, Zhidu Yongnan Jianli W^^^rW?^%.MWJ^^^L [The unrest over the health insurance policy can't stop: it's never easy to establish such a system]," Lianhebao, 29 February 1996, 15. 5 6 5 "Quanmin Jianbao Zeme Gai ^ K M f S ^ ^ B j f [How do we reform the National Health Insurance system?]?" Zhongshi Wanbao, 25 May 1997, 3. 5 6 6 "Social welfare: How much is too much?" Free China Review (March 1994), 41. 5 6 7 According to the legislation relevant to religious organizations, they are in fact required by the government to devote some of their resources to charitable activities. "Zongjiao Tuanti Zuo Gongyi, Qunian Quan'e yu Sanshiyi ^ ^ B f i t t & ^ . S ^ ^ ^ j i l H - t ' f l ! [The social welfare work of religious organizations amounted last year to more than three billions]," Lianhebao, 15 May 1995, 17. 270 cases, free health care to the public, the government has been particularly interested in enlisting the assistance of Zhengyan and her organization for the implementation of its policies. The foundation has established its own hospital in the county of Hualien, is building a new one in Chiayi County, and currently plans a third one in Taipei.568 Ciji offers the government a way out of the conundrum of reconciling the need for qualitative and quantitative increases in the provision of social welfare services while holding down taxes. Although the organization willingly helps the government implement its policy, however, it has not participated in the design of the policy. The input of Ciji into the health care policy of the ROC is limited to addressing the problems that the government is unable to face, and it does not include questioning or advising the state on the best ways to tackle them. 5 6 8 The Tzu Chi General Hospital [Ciji Zonghe Yiyuan MffititFaWfic] provides almost half the required beds and practicing medical personnel for the entire county, whose population was about 360,000 in 1995. This figure is based on a comparison between numbers throughout the country and within Hualien, for the same year, on the availability of beds and practicing medical personnel for 10,000 people. See the DOH site at "http:// chi.html" (November 1997) Chapter One, section 5. 271 The acquiescence to government directives Ciji may encourage individuals to feel responsible for the welfare of fellow citizens, but it does not nurture the participation of citizens in the design of health care policy. Taiwanese sociologist Feng Wenrao has observed that, while the foundation's activities go further than the schemes of volunteer work generally encouraged by the government,569 they nevertheless remain within the bounds of state-approved grass-root actions. This is because the actions of Ciji are never used as opportunities to assess, evaluate, or criticize any element of government policy. On the contrary, by providing relief to the needy with the full support of the state, Ciji gives short shrift to demands for social change. The foundation does not intervene in the debates between opposing groups, some of whom call for a more comprehensive health care system and some of whom feel that the state should cut back existing programs. Such a combination of volunteer work and aloofness in public debate goes a long way in supporting the government's argument that health care managed by private organizations is more efficient than state-sponsored plans. In sum, by doing much and not saying anything, Ciji gives its tacit approval of government policy. 569 "zhjyimn Fuli Fuwu Zuzhi Xingcheng j i Yunzuo zhi Tantao:" 146. 272 This attitude, in turn, is reinforced by the philosophy adopted by the organization with respect to political participation. In performing their charitable activities, members of Ciji differ very much from organizations like the Presbyterian Church, which have reached the conclusion that the advocacy of social reform is the logical consequence of their Salvationist ideals.570 This is apparent in the tone adopted by Zhengyan with respect to the many issues addressed by the Church over the years. While the Presbyterian organization has called for Taiwanese independence since 1971, she has always been very evasive on the independence-reunification issue, merely saying that she is primarily concerned with national security. In contrast to the "social gospel," which advocates social change to address the issue of poverty, she offers a different diagnosis: poverty is caused by disease; once cured of their ills, people will be able to escape the scourge of deprivation.571 By not questioning the 5 7 0 On comparisons between Ciji and the Presbyterian Church, see Wang Shunmin 3E)I@S, "Zongjiao Fuli Sixiang yu Fuli Fuwu zhi Tanjiu - yi Ciji Gongedhui, Taiwan Jidu Changlaohui wei Lie ^iiwlf 0® 311^ 8 ^MBZM^-iiiWMW^t,aM^M^MM [Religious Thought on Welfare and the Provision of Welfare: An Enquiry Using the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation and the Presbyterian Church as Examples]," Taichung: Tunghai [Donghai jfC$g] University, 1991, photocopied. 5 7 1 Kao Hsin-chiang, ed., Still Thoughts by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, trans. Lin Chia-hui (Taipei: Still Thoughts Publication, 1994), 154. 273 economic conditions that give rise to disparities in well-being, Zhengyan and the members of Ciji accept the current socio-political status quo.572 Although Ciji occasionally cooperates with other organizations for relief work, it has never sought to join other like-minded civic groups for the purpose of lobbying the government for improvements in social welfare or health care policy. In 1995, for example, it did not join the alliance of thirty-seven social welfare associations and seven academic groups that pressured the government for the implementation of legislation for the welfare of children, even though the foundation has an interest in the rehabilitation of children.573 In the area of legislation on religion as well, Ciji is also non-cooperative: it refused to join other Buddhist organizations in opposing or approving the proposals of the BAROC concerning a law on Buddhism.574 5 7 2 Wu Zhenghuang, "Cij i Gongdehui, Taiwan Shijie Zhanwanghui he Zhonghua Lianhe Quanmu Xiehui Juece Jingying Fuliguan j i qi Xiangzheng Fuhao zhi Bijiao Yanjiu.". 5 7 3 On that same day, candidate Chen Lii'an came to pay a visit to Zhengyan. See "Luoshi Ershao Fufa: 44 ge Tuanti Jiemeng ^ItJ^^flS: 44 fHBfifail [44 civic groups join forces to push for the implementation of the legislation on the social welfare of children and young people]," Lianhebao, 21 November 1995, 17; "Chen Lii'an Baihui Zhengyan Fashi WMIif^iiWWliM [Chen Lii'an implores Zhengyan]," Lianhebao, 21 November 1995, 6. 5 7 4 Most Ciji people I talked to don't hold in high esteem the B A R O C , and since that organization was spearheading the movement for a BFA, they were not keen on joining a group which, in their view, has too many obvious connections with the government. 274 Although the practical consequences of its religious ideals are germane to the implementation of the neo-liberal policy of minimal state intervention in social services advocated by the current ROC government, this does not mean that Ciji is working for the KMT. Failing to respond to government calls to provide relief would be problematic for Ciji because by doing so, the organization would act in a way that contradicted its raison d'etre, which is based entirely on its Buddhist ideal of compassion. But if its beliefs require active participation in improving human welfare, why would Ciji not also adopt a strategy of remonstrance, similar to Foguangshan? To explain this, we will examine below the ways in which Zhengyan's theology differs from that of Xingyun. Expla in ing the Pol i t ical Behavior of C i j i The discussion above has underlined that Ciji has adopted a strategy that differs substantially from that of Foguangshan. How can we best explain that difference? Do we look primarily to such factors as organizational resources and the composition of 275 membership, or do we focus more on the personalities and preferences of leaders? To address these questions, this section begins by looking at the ideas of Zhengyan. C i j i as humanistic Buddh ism in action The leadership of Zhengyan needs to be situated in the context of the ascendancy of humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan in organizations like Foguangshan, as opposed to the more conservative trends that remain dominant in the BAROC. As we have seen before, the approach developed by Taixu and his disciple Xingyun in Foguangshan emphasized the importance of the laity and charitable activities in the propagation of the Dharma. Judged by these criteria, Ciji clearly represents the embodiment of humanistic Buddhism: it is primarily a lay organization and it advertises itself as a charity. In her speeches, Zhengyan airs her own views on social problems such as environmental degradation, a rise in crime, and international crises. In one important respect, however, Zhengyan differs from Xingyun: she shuns participation in politics. Considering that both leaders claim to be the disciples of the humanistic Buddhist monk Taixu, why such a difference? 276 The Thought of Zhengyan: the legacy of Taixu seen through Yinshun The key to that answer is the role played by Yinshun, the prestigious monk whose fate has been mentioned briefly in the second chapter. Yinshun is celebrated as the protege of Taixu and he is seen outside Taiwan as the "Chinese monk-scholar of our generation."575 The style of Yinshun could not be more different from that of Xingyun, the other living disciple of Taixu. Yinshun does not head a large monastic order like Foguangshan or Fagushan. Despite this low profile, he is deeply admired by Taiwanese Buddhists, an appreciation that is naturally transferred to his disciples, of which the most famous is Zhengyan. The point to note here is that Yinshun departs in some important and significant ways from Taixu, who is perceived by some of Yinshun's admirers as a mere "pamphleteer" rather than a scholar.576 Yinshun emphasizes a return to appropriate religious practice and charity activity on the part of lay Buddhists rather than political activism for the defense of the religion. In his views about the proper conduct that monks and nuns should adopt, it is clear that political participation is seen as a degrading activity. His opinion is worth quoting: 5 7 5 Whalen Lai, "Introduction," Yin-shun, The Way to Buddhahood, xx. 576 Ibid. 277 "They [monks and nuns] should not go to places where there is singing and dancing, or visit brothels, red-light districts, bars, and political organizations, because doing so could easily arouse defiled thoughts and deeds."577 Although lay Buddhists are not forbidden from political participation,578 it is clear tha