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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 ORGANIZATIONS IN T A I W A N , 1989-1997  by ANDRE LALIBERTE 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 IN 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 FOR T H E D E G R E E OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department o f 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 BRITISH C O L U M B I A 27 September 1999  © Andre Laliberte, 1999  In  presenting  degree  this  at the  thesis  in  University of  of  department publication  this or of  fulfilment  British Columbia,  freely available for reference copying  partial  and study.  by this  his  or  her  POUT'Cfl-L  representatives.  £C(ENSC£  DE-6 (2/88)  I* s  0Ct08£t^  l^q  requirements that the  I further agree may be It  thesis for financial gain shall not  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  the  I agree  thesis for scholarly purposes  permission.  Department of  of  is  an  advanced  Library shall make it  that permission for extensive granted by the understood  be  for  allowed  head  that without  of  my  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT  This dissertation looks at the political behavior o f three Taiwanese Buddhist organizations since 1989: the Buddhist Association o f the Republic o f China ( B A R O C ) , the Buddha Light Mountain monastic order (or Foguangshan) and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu C h i Association (or Ciji).  It concentrates on trying to understand the rationale  behind the different strategies that each o f them has adopted in its interaction with the government.  The B A R O C has adopted a strategy o f lobbying i n an attempt to remedy the  steady decline o f 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 o f remonstrance to advance its religious  ideals between 1995 and 1997: its founder Xingyun supported the bid o f his lay disciple Chen L i i ' a n for the presidency o f the Republic o f China ( R O C ) and launched large public demonstrations critical o f the government that followed that election.  During the same  period o f time, C i 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 o f its kind i n Taiwan.  The theological views o f 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 o f material resources,  lay support, congruence between leaders and their followers on the dimension o f ethnicity and gender are explored as possible sources o f constraints on the leaders.  ii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS 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 C O M P A R A T I V E PERSPECTIVE 1 Introduction 1 Buddhist Organizations and Politics i n Contemporary Taiwan 5 Buddhism in contemporary Taiwan 6 The political environment o f Taiwan 11 Defining political participation 15 Explaining the Political Participation o f Buddhists 17 The implication o f theology 18 The impact o f culture 22 The relevance o f state structure and state policy 29 Buddhists in East Asian Marxist regimes 30 Buddhists in East Asian non-Marxist regimes 35 Understanding the Politics o f Taiwanese Buddhist Organizations 42 The case studies 43 The political behavior o f Taiwanese Buddhist organizations 44 Explanatory variables 48 The catalyst o f leadership 51 Mediating theology 52  iii  Mediating culture 54 Relating to state policy 55 Organizational characteristics and their influence 56 Scarcity or abundance o f material resources 56 Lay support 57 Congruence on the dimension o f ethnicity 59 Congruence on the dimension o f 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 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 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 o f the Sangha and the laity to state policy 79 Buddhism in modern China 86 The involvement o f lay Buddhists 87 Organizing Buddhism 90 Surviving the circumstances o f war 95 Summary o f the findings 97 Buddhism and Politics in Taiwan Prior to 1989 100 Buddhists and politics in Taiwan before the arrival o f 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 o f 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 o f Buddhism 115 Towards liberalization and the flourishing o f 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 O F 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 o f 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 o f the B A R O C 150 The Political Behavior o f 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 o f religion and Buddhism 166 Explaining the Political Behavior o f the B A R O C 169 Grounds for agreement with the K M T 170 The views o f 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 o f ethnicity 180 The lack o f 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 O F R E M O N S T R A N C E 186 Introduction 186 Xingyun and the Development o f Foguangshan 188 The Goals o f Foguangshan 191 The Structure o f Foguangshan 196 The Political Behavior o f Foguangshan 200 The presidential campaign o f 1996 203 Chen L u ' a n 206 Xingyun's support o f Chen L i i ' a n ' s campaign 210 The aftermath o f the campaign 216 Explaining the Political Behavior o f Foguangshan 219 The theological rationale o f X i n g y u n for Buddhist political participation 219 The religious ideal o f Xingyun 220 The political implications o f Xingyun's religious ideals 225 Organizational resources and constraints 229 Abundance o f resources 229 Sangha initiative and lay support 231 Near congruence on the dimension o f ethnicity 237 Near congruence on the dimension o f 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 O F P O L I T I C S 243  Introduction 243 The Goals o f C i j i 245 The religious goals o f C i j i 246 The realization o f C i j i ' s religious goals in the social-political arena 249 The Structure o f C i j i 254  vi  The Political Behavior o f Ciji 261 The apoliticism o f Ciji 262 The political connections o f C i j i 265 Ciji 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 o f Ciji 275 Ciji as humanistic Buddhism in action 276 The thought o f Zhengyan: the legacy o f Taixu seen through Yinshun 277 The influence o f resources, lay support and congruence 282 The predominance o f the laity 286 Congruence on the dimension o f ethnicity 291 Congruence on the dimension o f gender 292 Conclusion 293 Chapter Six. C O N C L U S I O N S 296 Introduction 296 Summary o f the Findings and their Relevance 297 Explaining the different strategies adopted by Buddhist organizations 299 The political views o f 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 OF A P P E N D I X E S  Appendix One. N A M E S O F P E R S O N S C I T E D 334 Appendix Two. N A M E S O F P L A C E S I N T A I W A N C I T E D 337 Appendix Three. L I S T O F 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. L I S T O F P O L I T I C A L P A R T I E S , 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  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 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 o f 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 o f the Foguangshan  monastery for their hospitality and making my visits there an unforgettable experience. am grateful to Ven. M i a o Y u [Miaoyu  tyMUl],  I  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 K u n g [Yikong f^c^g] for her patience in answering my questions, Lee Chin-ching [Li Jijing  for helping me gain access to  the archives o f the Foguangshan monastery, and Ven. M a n Hua [Manhua help with "perplexities" and arranging for an interview with Chen L i i ' a n .  for her The lay people  and the nuns and monks o f Ciji also deserve special mention for their assistance. especially grateful to L i u King-pong [Liu Jingpeng  Shengshou  M^Ii],  I am  Steve L i n Sen-shou [Lin  and Chen Yueyun [^F^ff] at the Ciji Cultural Center in Taipei, for  their collaboration, their willingness to answer my numerous questions and to allow me to spend days examining the archives o f their organization. Shiou-huei [LiuXiuhui  W$?M~\,  I also want to thank Eileen L i o u  Mariana W u [WuXunzhi ^|43j££], and Zachary Tse  [XieYinggui ^ § f ; ] at the Ciji 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.  M a n y 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 o f America, and Randall Nadeau at Trinity University, for giving me the opportunity to discuss my findings at earlier stage o f the research and for their extremely useful suggestions.  I am also grateful for the  numerous clarifications on Taiwanese Buddhism provided by Dr. Marcus Giinzel o f Gottingen University.  Frs. Poulet-Mathis and Benoit Vermander at the R i c c i Institute in  Taipei also deserve my appreciation for providing me with useful sources that greatly helped put my research in the context o f Taiwanese politics.  I also want to thank Frs.  Dominique Tyl and M i c h e l Masson, and Dr. Kuan Ping-yin [Guan Bingyin  Iflfltjll],  at the  Socio-cultural Research Center o f Furen University's College o f Law, who have provided me with insights on the social context o f Buddhist organizations i n Taiwan.  It goes  without saying, however, that none o f 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 o f Education and the Association o f Universities and Colleges o f Canada for the year 1993-94, and a Grant for Language Training from the Canadian Department o f 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 o f the phase o f  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 H o at U B C , who, through their advice and many other forms o f support, have provided me with helpful opportunities and a very congenial environment for the completion o f the thesis.  Finally, I am extremely grateful to the members of my thesis  committee, Drs. N i n a Halpern, Diane Mauzy, and my thesis supervisor, Dr. Pete Chamberlain.  They really went beyond the call o f duty in their sustained encouragement,  their constructive criticisms and their thorough review o f 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 OF A B B R E V I A T I O N S AACL  Asian anti-Communist League  BAC  Buddhist Association o f China, Beijing, 1953  BAROC  Buddhist Association o f the Republic o f China, Shanghai, 1929  BCA  Bureau for C i v i l Affairs  BFA  Buddhist Federation o f Associations  BLIA  Buddha Light International Association  BSA  Bureau for Social Affairs  B YA  Buddhist Youth Association o f the R O C  C BA  Chinese Buddhist Association, Nanj ing, 1912  CBAPS  Chinese Buddhist Association for the Protection o f the Sangha  CBLA  Chinese Buddhist Lay Association  CBLPS  Chinese Buddhist L a y Proselytizing Society  CBSA  Chinese Buddhist Sangha Association  CBTA  Chinese Buddhist Temple Association  CC  Central Committee  xi  CCP  Chinese Communist Party  CLA  Council for Labor Affairs  CSA  Commission for Social Affairs  CSC  Central Standing Committee  DOH  Department o f Health  DPP  Democratic Progressive Party  DPRK  Democratic People's Republic o f Korea  DRV  Democratic Republic o f Vietnam  GIO  Government Information Office  IBPS  International Buddhist Progress Society  KMT  Kuomintang, Nationalist Party  KWP  Korean Workers' Party  MND  Ministry o f National Defense  MOE  Ministry o f Education  MOI  Ministry o f Interior  MTAC  Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission  NCSE  National Commission on Science and Education  xii  NLF  National Liberation Front  NP  N e w Party  OCAC  Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission  OWC  Organization Work Commission  PRC  People's Republic of China  ROC  Republic of China  ROK  Republic o f Korea  SSBA  South Sea Buddhist Association  TAIP  Taiwanese Independence Party  TPBA  Taiwan Province Buddhist Association  VCP  Vietnamese Communist Party  WBSC  World Buddhist Sangha Council  YMBA  Young M e n Buddhist Association  xiii  C h a p t e r One  T H E POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF TAIWANESE BUDDHIST  ORGANIZATIONS INCOMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE  Introduction  The political participation o f religious organizations o f different denominations and i n  different cultures is a major phenomenon in contemporary global politics. 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  1  starting to understand the politics o f religious organizations identified with Christianity,  Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikfiism around the world, we know much less about the 2  politics o f 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 o f  this relatively unexplored topic by looking into the multifarious involvement o f Buddhist organizations in the politics o f a society that is unquestionably part o f the Chinese cultural area, the Republic o f China ( R O C ) established in Taiwan.  4  In particular, it examines the  factors that can best explain the variations observed in the range o f political behaviors adopted by these organizations.  The quietism o f 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). 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). 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. Taiwan and the Republic of China (ROC) are used interchangeably in this dissertation. 2  3  4  2  with the boldness o f the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which has been calling for the islanders' right o f self-determination for more than two decades.  During the presidential  election o f 1996, however, Ven. Xingyun [Xingyun Fashi MftSfelW] the leader o f a wellknown 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 L u ' a n  WWiiC-  One year later, Xingyun joined a campaign pushing for the removal of then-  Premier Lian Zhan ^ I l t  Since then, the interplay o f 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 | ] ( D P P ) comparable to Christian Democracy is emerging in Taiwan.  5  There is no  organization that can claim credibly to represent the views o f most Taiwanese Buddhists. Furthermore, the many Buddhist organizations found in Taiwan adopt a wide range o f  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., 5  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 C h i Association [Ciji Gongdehui W^^JjW^]  (hereafter  Ciji), to cooperation with the government, as is usually the case with the Buddhist Association o f the Republic o f China [Zhongguo Fojiaohui ^W\%Wi^il] ( B A R O C ) , to political opposition, as demonstrated by Foguangshan.  The inability o f 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 Ciji refused to endorse the candidacy o f Chen L u ' a n 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 o f 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 o f Taiwanese Buddhist organizations, this thesis focuses on organizational characteristics, exploring whether the views o f organizations' leaders or the nature o f their membership are more important.  Buddhist Organizations and Politics in Contemporary Taiwan  The relative importance o f Buddhism among religions i n Taiwan and the favorable political conditions that currently prevail i n the R O C after a decade o f 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 X i n g y u n have started to take advantage o f political liberalization to mobilize Buddhists.  This new phenomenon  indicates that Taiwanese Buddhists are not always apolitical and that some o f 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 o f these recent trends.  Buddhism in contemporary Taiwan Buddhism in Taiwan is undergoing a remarkable revival.  6  Prominent members o f  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 o f titles  on Buddhist studies; one television channel is devoted entirely to the broadcast o f lectures  "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. 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 [biqiufctJx]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  7  6  by several Buddhist Masters; huge temples have been built throughout the country.  In  1992, according to statistics issued by the Interior Ministry, 48% o f the population that  claimed to believe i n one or more religions identified themselves as Buddhists.  8  The reliability o f these figures is routinely questioned on the grounds that self-  declared Buddhists are not necessarily considered genuine adherents o f the faith by clerics  and scholars.  9  Nonetheless, these numbers are highly significant i n one respect, especially  when they are compared with figures from scientific surveys using more rigorous  Figuresfromthe 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). 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. 8  9  7  definitions o f belief in Buddhism and practice o f the religion.  Investigations carried out in  the late 1980s by Academia Sinica sociologist Q u Haiyuan WMM, about observance o f Buddhist beliefs and practices, for example, suggested that only between 7 and 15% o f the Taiwanese population could be considered "real Buddhist devotees."  10  The enormous  discrepancy between these numbers suggests that the label "Buddhism" is prestigious i n Taiwan.  In other words, relatively few people actually practice Buddhism but many  profess belief.  Some observers o f religion in Taiwan argue that the stature o f 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 o f people's growing appreciation o f the religion."  Other figures help provide an idea about the importance o f Buddhism in Taiwan. For  example, statistics about the distribution o f temples in the country combined with  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 t e E l ± # S M S 4 f ] I S I ^ I S [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). "Religions in Taiwan Today," China News Analysis 1538-39 (July 1-15, 1995), 3. 10  ,  ;  11  8  —  demographic data indicate that Buddhism is practiced all around the country.  12  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 o f education, they administered twenty-four seminaries,  two universities, two colleges, eight high schools and seventy kindergartens. of social services, they operated ten nurseries and five orphanages.  In the realm o f health  care, they owned fifty retirement homes, seven hospitals, and three clinics. area o f culture, they administered forty-eight publishing houses.'  In the area  Finally, in the  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 o f 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 o f Value) and its political arm, the Buddhist political party Komeito (the Party  12 13  Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Minzhengsi, Zongjiao Jianjie, 563-566. ROC, Government Information Office (GIO), Republic of China Yearbook, 1997 (Taipei: GIO, 1997), 468.  9  for Clean Politics).  14  When members o f the Sangha seek to demonstrate their opposition  to specific policies, most o f 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 o f the executive, legislators, or civil servants in meetings or conferences.  O n these occasions,  representatives o f 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 o f 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 Ciji refused i n 1996 to support Chen L u ' a n 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  See Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994), 49-56. 14  10  are numerous and organized enough to be politically assertive, most o f 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 o f government policies and have been willing to express publicly their disagreements with state officials.  A s previously mentioned, Xingyun, although a  member o f the K M T Central Committee, openly supported in 1996 the candidacy o f a politician belonging to the party's non-mainstream faction for the presidency o f 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 o f political behavior and attitude that are more assertive than those preferred by the leaders o f the B A R O C and C i j i .  T h e political environment of Taiwan  The current political attitudes o f Buddhist organizations need to be put in the context of the more open environment in which they can articulate their own sets o f concerns. Until 1986, the R O C was under the regime o f martial law, and political participation by actors outside o f 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 o f governance, the ruling party also extended its control over different sectors o f society by influencing the choice o f 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 o f the Garrison Command, the organ charged with the implementation o f martial law, to restrict civil rights, including the right to practice religion.  17  A s the next chapter w i l l document in greater  detail, a combination o f other factors also dampened the political participation o f 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 o f the regime by the Sangha, let alone the emergence o f a Buddhist political party, was fraught with enormous difficulties.  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. Hung-mao Tien, The Great Transition: Political Change and Social Change in the Republic of China (Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1989), 43-54. "Ibid, 111. 15  16  12  Buddhist organizations no longer face such limitations in the current climate o f democratization in Taiwan: as o f 1996, 82 political parties have been registered in Taiwan.  18  Opportunities currently available to Buddhist organizations are the result o f decades o f effort by a few K M T liberals and many independent activists, who, despite government repression, pushed for more accountability from authorities.  Thomas B . G o l d has counted  close to 2,900 demonstrations between 1983 and 1988 by social movements for a large variety o f causes, from opposition to the building o f a dioxide plant near the traditional city of Lugang ftl$£, to rallies for the rights o f teachers.  19  Movements for environmental  protection, women, workers, aboriginal people, and veterans' rights, anti-nuclear activism, and the removal o f partisan (read K M T ) influence on the school curriculum have proliferated since the lifting o f martial law.  20  ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1997, 99. "Civil Society and Taiwan's Quest for Identity," in Cultural Change in Postwar Taiwan, ed. Stevan Harrell and Huang Chun-chieh (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994), 47-68. Hung-mao Tien indicated that during the 1970s, despite the regime of martial law, the KMT allowed a considerable number of interest groups to emerge. In 1987, the ROC had a total of 11,306 civic organizations. Of these, the 302 farmers associations, fifteen irrigation associations, over 2,300 trade unions and 1,799 associations involved in commerce and industry were quasi-government associations having close relations with the government. A "thousand" of professional associations and public interest groups; as well as the 80 religious associations registered in 1985, operated with minimum intervention from the government. See The Great Transition, 45-54. For a survey of these movements, see Xu Zhengguang ^JETTJ and Song Wenli , eds., Taiwan Xinxing Shehui Yundong ^iffStt^MKl [Newly Emerging Social Movements in Taiwan] (Taipei: Juliu M$L 1994). 18  19  20  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 o f them pose as impartial bystanders in the central debate o f R O C politics between partisans o f Taiwanese independence and supporters o f reunification with China, not agree among themselves on many other issues.  21  they do  This emerged clearly in 1995-1996,  when the lay Buddhist candidate Chen L i i ' a n ran for the R O C presidency but failed to gain the endorsement o f 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 o f most Taiwanese Buddhist organizations.  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 f H i 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. Hung21  14  Defining political participation At this point, it is important to clarify the dependent variable o f this study, the political participation o f Taiwanese Buddhist organizations.  The political behavior o f  religious organizations can take extreme forms, ranging from quietist withdrawal from politics, on the one hand, to the waging o f "holy war" for the establishment o f a "purified" polity, on the other hand.  22  Taiwanese Buddhist organizations during the 1990s have  displayed behaviors ranging from the more quietist at one end o f the spectrum to moderate at the other, and none has adopted an attitude that can be described as militant.  Therefore,  the findings o f this thesis do not relate directly to the growing body o f literature dealing with fundamentalism, religious nationalism, and other radical movements based on religious values.  23  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. On the extremist potential of religion in all traditions, see Gunther Lewy, Religion and Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974). 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 22  23  15  political parties, j o i n with other pressure groups, sensitize public opinion through the media, mobilize their adherents, sponsor their leader for government position, or form religiouslyinspired political parties.  24  The leaders o f the B A R O C , C i j i and Foguangshan have all, to  some degree, used their personal connections with members o f the executive and legislators to gain a hearing.  Their relations with political parties remain limited to the K M T , and  none o f 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 o f the  courts to address issues o f concern to them. However, similarities in the political behavior o f the three Taiwanese Buddhist organizations examined in this dissertation stop there.  Foguangshan and Ciji 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 o f his lay disciples for the presidency o f the R O C .  C i 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). "Politics and Religion in the Modern World: An Overview," in Politics and Religion in the Modern World,  24  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 o f Foguangshan and C i j i , on one hand, differs remarkably from that o f the B A R O C , on the other. Hit  In terms o f resources, the organizations established by Xingyun and Ven. Zhengyan 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 o f other organizations in Taiwanese politics.  What are the factors explaining these differences?  E x p l a i n i n g the Political Participation of Buddhists  This section examines three explanations often advanced for the attitude o f Buddhists,  both in Taiwan and elsewhere, towards politics.  Although each o f these explanations  sheds light on particular aspects o f Buddhist political behavior, none o f them is fully  adequate.  First is the argument that Buddhists are not likely to become involved in  7.  17  politics because o f 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 o f the government determines the political participation o f Buddhist organizations.  In evaluating these arguments, I employ a comparative perspective  describing data on the behavior o f Buddhist organizations elsewhere in Asia.  T h e implication of theology There exists a widespread perception that Buddhists do not concern themselves with  worldly matters and that they have no interest in politics.  25  Buddhist religious  organizations, with the exception o f 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 o f  religion in South Asia, has proposed an explanation for the relatively apolitical behavior on  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 25  18  the part o f Buddhists.  The only factor within Buddhism that could facilitate the political  mobilization of the laity, he indicates, is the organizational capacity o f the ecclesiastical order.  He argues that a lack o f 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 o f 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.  26  Evidence from countries where Buddhists are politically active suggests that Smith's conclusion needs to be modified.  Monks and lay members o f the Y M B A (Young M e n ' s  Buddhist Association), for instance, provided early leaders with techniques and ideologies for anti-colonial resistance i n Burma.  27  The political participation o f Buddhist  organizations i n Sri Lanka during the first decade o f independence has decisively shaped  Rights, ed. Damien V. Keown, Charles Prebish, and Wayne R. Husted (Richmond, UK: Curzon, 1998). "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. Trevor Ling, Buddhism, Imperialism, and War: Burma and Thailand in Modern History (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979), 81. 26  27  19  developments on the island.  28  The involvement o f 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, where Buddhism is the state religion, this has not 29  prevented the emergence o f a movement o f reformist monks who promote a program known as Dhammic socialism.  30  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 [.. . ] . "  31  A s Bruce Matthews indicates in his own work comparing Thailand and Burma,  two countries sharing the same Theravada Buddhist tradition, the diversity o f Buddhist  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, 453488; 489-509;510-530; Stanley J. Tambiah, Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, Politics and Violence in Sri Lanka (University of Chicago Press, 1992). Peter A. Jackson, Buddhism, Legitimation, and Conflict: The Political Functions of Urban Thai Buddhism (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia, 1989), 222-225. 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 ofArticles, 2 edition (Bangkok: Thai-Inter-Religious Commission for Development (TICD), 1990). World Conqueror and World Renouncer (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 402. 28  29  30  nd  31  20  responses points to the flexibility o f the religion and its capacity to respond legitimately in different ways to the challenges associated with change.  32  A variant o f Smith's perspective on the constraint o f tradition on political participation by religious organizations emphasizes differences between schools or doctrines within Buddhism.  For instance, Hajime Nakamura argues that the Mahayana  (Great Vehicle) tradition that prevails in East A s i a 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 .  33  When one observes the  activist movements in Thailand and Sri Lanka that belong to the Theravada tradition, the analysis o f Nakamura does not appear to explain contemporary Buddhist behavior. Could the diversity o f behavior among Buddhists in South and Southeast A s i a be attributed to the cultural diversity found in that part o f the world?  If culture matters, we  should expect to find similar patterns o f political behavior among Buddhist organizations in East Asia, since societies in that region share a common cultural heritage.  "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), 135149. "Mahayana Buddhism," in Buddhism and Asian History, 237-238. 32  33  21  T h e impact of culture Taiwan shares many cultural traits with China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea, the legacy o f the ethical teachings known as Confucianism.  5  notably  Peter M o o d y 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 .  36  Lucian W. Pye, in particular, has identified as the  foundation o f Confucian culture the view that the family provides the proper model o f government, with the result that patriotism has a sacred dimension in East Asian countries.  37  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 o f countries influenced by Confucianism:  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). 0n 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). 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. See Asian Powers and Politics, 61-62. 34  35  36  37  22  The Confucian principle that political power resided only in formal government [...] meant that religion did not generally provide an alternative center o f power. [...]  A s a consequence o f treating formal government as the  only proper arena o f 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 . "  38  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 o f medieval times that i n China could have exerted a political influence above the state.  The  presence o f that legacy, however, does not necessarily lead to a lack o f political participation on the part o f 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 o f a common Confucian legacy, Buddhists in Japan, Korea and Vietnam have approached politics differently since the nineteenth century. In colonial Vietnam, the attitude o f Buddhists has been very different from that o f their Chinese co-religionists o f the late Qing period.  Ibid, 88.  23  Local movements o f resistance to  French colonialism were inspired by a heterodox Buddhist whose teachings would later motivate the creation o f 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 ) , 1955.  41  40  and four o f its members even joined the first cabinet of N g o Dinh Diem i n  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 o f them  were instrumental i n the overthrow o f the Diem regime and led demonstrations against the American intervention during the war o f 1965 -1973.  42  Although these groups did not  create any formal political parties, their dramatic demonstrations, through acts such as selfimmolation, contrasted with the absence o f similar gestures on the part o f Chinese  Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Millenarianism and Peasant Politics in Vietnam (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 3. Ibid., 130-131. 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. 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.  39  40  41  42  24  Buddhists, who also experienced the circumstances o f foreign intervention, national division and dictatorship.  While Buddhists were involved in anti-colonial resistance and advocated a policy o f neutrality in Vietnam, their co-religionists on the Korean peninsula were not as active. The attitude o f Korean Buddhists can be compared to that o f their Chinese co-religionists. After the Japanese achieved control o f the Korean peninsula in 1910 and attempted to implant their own form o f Buddhism, the Sangha did not react like their Vietnamese 43  counterparts and only a few monks participated in the Korean independence movement o f 1919.  44  This lack o f political participation on the part o f Buddhists contrasted markedly  with that o f their Christian compatriots during and after the colonial period.  45  In the R O K ,  there is no record o f Buddhist institutions opposing military regimes, as did some Christian churches.  46  South Korean Buddhists are likely to have passively supported the  James Huntley Grayson, Korea: A Religious History (London: Clarendon Press, 1989), 221-222. Wi Jo Kang, Religion and Politics in Korea Under Japanese Rule, Studies in Asian Thought and Religion (Lewiston, NY.: Edwin Meller Press, 1987), 50. On the political activism of Christians in Korea since the nineteenth century and on both sides of the 38 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). On the ambiguous attitude of Christian churches, see Kim Kwang-ok , "Rituals of Resistance," in Asian Visions ofAuthority: 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. 43  44  45  th  46  25  government because o f its opposition to the atheist authorities o f the D P R K .  In the  current climate o f democratization, they have yet to get involved politically and remain divided by serious factional infighting.  48  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.  49  The most radical among these  individuals, such as Takagi Kemmyo, worked at the turn o f the century for the liberation o f the Burakumin (outcastes).  50  A majority o f Buddhists, however, leaned towards more  conservative positions and adopted strategies o f accommodation with the government in exchange for state protection o f their institutions.  51  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  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. See "Buddhist Order Erupts into Bloody Factional Clashes," Korea Herald (online edition), December 2, 1998. http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/kh 1202/m 1202105.html. 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. Ibid, 169. 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). 47  48  49  50  51  26  militarist regime.  In 1964, the Soka Gakkai sponsored the creation o f the Komeito to  promote a policy o f pacifism and "humanistic socialism."  53  In 1993, the party joined the  government on the strength o f the fifty-one seats it had won in the Diet (parliament), and  four Komeito leaders, all Soka Gakkai members, served in the Hosokawa cabinet.  54  Although this government was short-lived, it demonstrated that many Buddhists were keen to join the mainstream o f Japanese politics. Can we attribute greater political participation by Buddhists in Japan to the fact that the indigenous culture o f the latter is less permeated with Confucian influence; or, as the theorists o f the Nihonjinron assert, does it reflect the exceptional nature o f Japanese civilization?  55  This argument could not apply to Vietnam, a country that has been deeply  influenced by Confucian ethics and other aspects o f Chinese civilization.  Political  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. 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. Daniel A. Metraux, "The Soka Gakkai," 395. 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. 52  53  54 55  27  participation by Buddhist organizations, especially before the reunification o f the country, was more important than in China or Korea.  In sum, the variations in the behavior o f  Buddhist organizations in East A s i a call into question the argument that Confucianism causes Buddhist organizations to be less politically assertive. Another factor also limits the utility o f Confucianism as an explanatory variable. This is the erosion o f Confucianism itself, either through forced eradication, or through other, more benign, influences.  That is, political processes o f nation building,  modernization and secularization that have been underway since the late nineteenth century accelerated throughout the region after the end o f World War Two.  They have culminated  in the establishment o f states that have sought to prevent the manifestation o f traditional cultural characteristics, including those o f Confucian ethics and Buddhist teachings.  This  suggests the need to examine a third possible explanation for the quietist political behavior of Buddhist organizations i n Taiwan: the impact o f government policies.  28  T h e relevance of state structure a n d state policy The constitution o f each country in East A s i a since the end o f World War Two proclaims that the state is secular, and, contrary to what has occurred i n the Middle East or South Asia, none o f the countries in the region has established a specific faith as the state religion.  56  Since the revolutionary upheavals o f the mid-Twentieth Century, however,  important differences have emerged among East Asian states with respect to their policies towards religion.  O n the one hand, the P R C , the Democratic Republic o f Vietnam ( D R V )  and the D P R K , as states governed by Marxist-Leninist parties, assert tight control over religious activities.  O n the other hand, the polities o f Japan, the R O K and the R O C have  all adopted constitutions enshrining freedom o f conscience, making it legitimate for Buddhists to become involved politically.  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. 56  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 o f religious revival in countries that have emerged from the former  Soviet Union shows that Marxist regimes have been unsuccessful at achieving that goal.  57  Some partial evidence from the P R C suggests that this is even the case in countries where the communist party still rules.  58  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 o f religious organizations.  In China, the state seeks to restrict  religious activity within the confines o f five recognized religious organizations that are overseen by the Religious Affairs Bureau.  57  59  In Vietnam, religious organizations have to  John Anderson, Religion, State and Politics in the Soviet Union and the Successor States (Cambridge  University Press, 1994). 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. 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 nonbelievers 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). 58  59  30  j o i n officially sanctioned mass organizations such as the Vietnam Fatherland Front.  In  North Korea, the local variant o f Marxist ideology, the Juche, functions as a quasi-state  religion that is even less tolerant o f independent political activities on the part o f religious organizations than the more orthodox brands o f socialism practiced i n China and Vietnam.  61  It is entirely reasonable to expect that in countries ruled by Marxist-Leninist parties, Buddhists would not attempt to participate i n the politics o f 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 o f the Sangha and the laity in the P R C have been closely supervised.  Buddhists.  62  There is no evidence o f dissident political activity on the part o f Chinese  This is understandable in light o f what Buddhists have experienced in China  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,"  60  in Render Unto Caesar, 355-372.  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. 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 Mahayana 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 61  62  the Politics of the People's Republic of China (London: Routledge, 1998), 30.  31  over the last five decades.  63  Even though the Sangha adopted early on a policy o f  collaboration with the C C P , this did not prevent monks, nuns and lay people from becoming targets o f persecution during the Cultural Revolution.  Members o f 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 o f the Buddhist Association o f 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 o f suspension."  64  Although Deng Xiaoping  §P/h ? 2  allowed  religious organizations to resume their activities i n 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 o f religious policy.  65  However, it is difficult to conceive that the Chinese  Sangha w i l l represent a source o f opposition to the regime in the foreseeable future.  66  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). 63  64  Ibid., 362.  Philip L. Wickeri, "Reinterpreting Religion in China," China News Analysis 1485 (May 15, 1993), 7. 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  65  66  32  The Vietnamese Sangha is more restive than its Chinese counterpart.  A s Sallie B .  K i n g reports, after the reunification o f Vietnam i n 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 o f 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 ( V C P ) , however, fearing challenges to its legitimacy,  sought to suppress any Buddhist activity independent o f the mass organizations it had  previously brought under its authority.  Consequently, after it achieved control in the  Southern part o f the country i n 1975, the V C P banned all independent activities on the part  o f 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 i n exile or  under house arrest, continue to assert the right o f their organization to resume its  activities.  68  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, http://www.falundafa.org/. "Thich Nhat Hanh and the Unified Church of Vietnam," 355-356. Ibid., 356. 67 68  33  Korean Buddhists, politically inactive before the partition o f the peninsula, did not get involved in anti-government activities in the D P R K after 1948.  This is not surprising, in  view o f 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 o f political activism outside o f the Korean Workers Party ( K W P ) .  69  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 w i n friends for the regime among co-religionists abroad.  70  The silence o f 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 o f Korean Buddhists before  the division o f 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 o f the Marxist-Leninist regimes o f the P R C , D R V and  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), 169171. For reference in the Korean language on the Buddhist Federation, see Don Baker, "World Religions and National States," 170, fn 23. 69  70  34  D P R K , led to similar outcomes in the three countries.  In these three cases, the political  participation o f 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 .  N o religion in  Japan, South Korea and Taiwan receives preferential treatment from the government, and none o f these three countries proclaims any faith as a state religion.  That said, in all three  countries, religious organizations must register as branches o f one o f the denominations officially recognized by government agencies i f they want to operate legally.  71  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," 152156. 71  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 o f military dictatorship in which  religious activities were constrained, despite the liberal provisions o f 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 o f Japan.  However, there remains one major difference between the religious  policies o f the R O K and the R O C , on the one hand, and those o f Japan, on the other.  The  former two states have institutions that are unambiguously secular, while a divinely sanctioned head o f state, the Tenno (the Emperor, literally Son o f Heaven), represents the latter.  72  Do the similarities and differences between the Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese states' religious policies correlate with certain patterns o f behavior on the part o f 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  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). 72  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 o f 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 o f Buddhist organizations, it is rather difficult to make this case  here.  O n the other hand, the fact that the political liberalization process i n the latter two  countries has occurred more recently than in Japan could perhaps explain the difference  between the activist behavior o f Buddhists in Japan, and that o f 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 i n 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 o f their  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 73  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.  Until the late 1980s, both countries had been ruled by authoritarian regimes using  emergency decrees to overrule the liberal provisions o f their respective constitutions. Under martial law, the participation o f religious organizations outside state-sponsored or state-controlled organizations was not impossible, but permissible only within the limits defined by the government.  74  The relatively recent liberalization o f the R O K and the R O C may explain the quietism o f Buddhists in these two countries compared to the assertiveness o f Japanese Buddhists, but it does not explain the high level o f activism o f the adherents o f other religions in both countries.  In my discussions with Buddhist individuals about the quietist behavior o f their  organizations when Taiwan was under martial law, they justified their cooperation with the government on the grounds o f their fear o f the regime's repression.  75  Although the  concern o f Buddhist organizations for their self-preservation is entirely understandable, this answer appears unsatisfactory in light o f the more assertive attitude o f other organizations  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. Interview of a lay Buddhist heading a charity foundation, Taipei, spring of 1997. Xingyun also reiterates 74  75  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 o f 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.  77  South Korean and Taiwanese Christians have, however, benefited from the strategic position o f their countries in a way that put them at a distinct advantage over Buddhists. D o n Baker argues that the highly activist attitude o f 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 o f 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  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 runnerup, Peng Mingmin a^HSJ, belong to the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church. 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 76  77  About Korea (Seoul: KOIS, 1998), 158;  ROC, GIO, Republic of China Yearbook, 1997, 466.  39  and jeopardized their main source o f foreign support.  A s a result, Christian pastors and  priests in both Korea and Taiwan have been more outspoken in their criticism o f governments than their compatriots who were adherents o f religions that did not have a significant international presence.  78  In other words, different religious denominations  have reacted differently to state policies towards religion. In particular, the greater the internationalization o f 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 ^ T f e l l t ] ( B L I A ) , the lay branch o f Foguangshan, and C i 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 o f South Korean and  Taiwanese Buddhists, compared to their Japanese - not to mention Vietnamese - co-  78  Don Baker, "World Religions and National States," 163.  40  religionists, remains unanswered.  Only ten years after the end o f the militarist regime i n  Japan, a major Buddhist lay organization, the Soka Gakkai, successfully ran 53 (out o f 54) candidates as independents in the local elections o f 1955.  79  That precedent in turn paved  the way for the creation o f a full-fledged Buddhist political party, the Komeito, i n 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 o f writing. Having so far pointed to differences between Buddhist organizations in different countries, it is now necessary to shift the focus o f attention to variations among Buddhist organizations in Taiwan.  In particular, the nascent activism o f Foguangshan observed i n  1995-1996 and 1997 suggests that the diversity observed in the political behavior o f Buddhists across East A s i a to some extent parallels variance in the political behavior o f Taiwanese Buddhists.  This leads us into the central question raised at the beginning o f the  chapter: What explains the variations in the political behavior o f 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. holistic view of religion and culture.  That is, these approaches adopt a  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.  Understanding the Politics of Taiwanese Buddhist Organizations  In 1994, thirty-six Buddhist organizations were registered under the M O I as associations [shehui tuanti  Jjtt#HHf] or legal corporations [caituan faren M B & A l  m  the National registry for religious organizations [quanguoxing zongjiao tuanti minglu  The registry includes individual temples registered as national  organizations or federations of temples [sixiehui ^fWilk], groups of lay devotees [jushihui  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,  8 0  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 o f Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism, have their own organizations.  81  The case studies This dissertation has selected Foguangshan and Ciji as case studies because they both stand out as the largest Buddhist organizations in the country: in number o f lay adherents, they together comprise half of the self-declared Buddhists in the country.  A s such, they  are representative o f 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 Ciji than on any other organizations as representatives o f trends within that religion.  82  1994). 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. 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 81  82  43  For an understanding of Buddhism in Taiwan, however, it is also necessary to look at  the B A R O C , 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. Charles Brewer Jones is to my knowledge the only scholar that has written in English about the BAROC during that period. 83  44  their external environment.  84  While the three religious organizations being studied in this  dissertation are similar in pursuing strategies o f acquiescence and compromise, they differ from one another in their readiness to adopt strategies o f lobbying, remonstrance, and avoidance.  During the period o f martial law, the few Buddhist organizations that were authorized to operate legally adopted a strategy o f acquiescence to government directives.  85  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 o f liberalization, in which Taiwanese  Buddhist organizations can express their concerns more directly and frankly, they generally pursue a strategy o f compromise with the government in trying to achieve their goals.  In  cases where Buddhist organizations' interests and those o f the governments differ significantly, however, they have adopted varying strategies.  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. 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. 84  85  45  A number o f organizations participate in politics in one o f two contrasting ways. O n 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 o f power, is not entirely appropriate for B A R O C . 86  "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^] ( C B T A ) , which use  more assertive methods to achieve their goals, including censure o f the ruling party.  The  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. 86  46  strategy o f defiance is pursued by organizations when their norms and interests diverge from those promoted by government policies.  87  Because the term "defiance" implies an  attempt to establish an alternative source o f power outside o f 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 o f Foguangshan.  The latter adopted that approach in 1995-1996, after years o f  acquiescence to K M T supervision, when it supported Chen for the Presidency o f the R O C .  Many other Buddhist organizations, such as C i j i , Fagushan and Zhongtaichan, however, do not get involved in politics. as avoidance™  They adopt a strategy that can be best described  Organizations adopting that approach publicly state their refusal to  encourage political participation.  This strategy differs from acquiescence to the extent  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. 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 ofSociology 83 (1977), 340-363. 87  88  47  that i n 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 o f the Sangha?  W h y has Foguangshan adopted a strategy o f remonstrance  towards K M T representatives in the executive branch o f government?  W h y has Ciji  refused to get engaged in politics, even though such an involvement could help it achieve its goals?  D o differences i n the leadership and membership o f these three Taiwanese  Buddhist organizations explain differences in their political participation?  D o changes i n  these variables bring about changes i n the propensity o f these organizations to adopt specific forms o f political behavior?  E x p l a n a t o r y variables A s the focus o f analysis i n this thesis has shifted from religious traditions as holistic  categories to specific religious organizations, the literature on the politics o f religious  organizations i n the United States w i l l prove helpful.  89  89  This literature proposes two  Among the most useful sources for the study of religious organizations and politics: the Journal  Scientific  Study  of Religion,  Sociology  of Religion,  the  American  48  Sociological  Review,  and  for  Sociological  the  contrasting explanations for variations in the political involvement o f religious  organizations. In his analysis o f religion and politics among Protestants, Catholics and Jews, Robert Booth Fowler has noted four factors likely to influence the involvement o f religious interest groups i n politics: theology, opposition from forces in the environment, strategic location, and internal strength.  A m o n g these factors, the last-named stands out as particularly  appropriate for an understanding o f the factors behind variations i n the political behavior o f Taiwanese Buddhist organizations.  90  Significant variations exist among the Buddhist  organizations studied in this thesis along three o f the five dimensions o f internal strength and unity outlined by Fowler: financial wealth, lay support, and membership numbers.  91  Fowler's findings suggest that lay support represents a critical factor o f political behavior,  Analysis. These journals sometimes publish cross-national empirical studies, but they seldom address issues related to Chinese religions and politics. 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. Ibid., 170-173. Fowler also mentioned "organization," and "leadership," but he does not expand much on what he means by these terms. 90  91  49  while resources and size o f membership are only necessary conditions that help an organization to achieve its goals. In his study o f churches' social action policies, James R. Wood reaches different conclusions and stresses that the attitudes o f religious leaders stand out as a determinant o f political behavior o f religious organizations. issue that is central to this thesis.  92  In developing this argument, he raises an  Wood seeks to address Robert Michels's argument that  the actions o f organizations' leaders are constrained by the interests o f their followers.  93  The implication o f Michels' view is that organizational constraints have more weight than leadership i n governing the behavior o f organizations.  Wood tested this hypothesis i n his  study o f the involvement o f 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 o f ordinary members.  In  other words, Wood argues that religious leaders can convince their followers to get involved politically, on the basis o f the legitimacy conferred on their leadership by their  The otherfindingsof 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  92  Organization: The Controversy Over Social Action in Protestant Churches (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers  University Press, 1981), 70-71, 101. Political Parties (New York: Free Press, 1960), quoted by James R. Wood, Leadership in Voluntary 93  50  own organization.  This thesis provides a useful test o f the contradictory hypotheses o f  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 o f leadership and other organizational characteristics.  The catalyst of leadership The political participation o f a religious organization often depends on the vision o f its leader, as is the case in American Evangelist movements and in the pontificate o f John Paul II.  95  The leader who encourages political participation o f a religious constituency  need not be part o f the clergy.  Within the Hindu tradition, for instance, politicization o f  religious organizations has been inspired by lay people such as B a l Thackeray, leader o f the Shiv Sena (Shiva's A r m y ) .  96  Figures such as Ikeda Daisaku, the head o f Soka Gakkai,  Organization, 3-11.  Ibid, 88-95. 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  94  95  Religions and Politics. 96  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 o f Abrahamic religions.  97  Evidence from "engaged Buddhist movements" in South and Southeast A s i a further suggest that Buddhist leaders can also inspire and organize the laity for the purpose o f social and political reform, as well as establish durable institutions.  98  The charismatic  leadership o f nuns and monks such as Zhengyan or Ven. Shengyan H!ft  - the head o f  Fagushan - has yet to stimulate the political participation o f Taiwanese Buddhists. However, the involvement o f 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 o f the Soka Gakkai  out o f the teachings o f the monk Nichiren shows that an innovative leader can shape a religious tradition in different ways.  Nichiren articulated a nationalistic vision o f  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. Daniel A. Metraux, The Soka Gakkai Revolution, 147-165. See the contributions to Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King, eds., Engaged Buddhism. 97  98  52  most perfect form.  This example refutes Donald E . Smith's claim that religious tolerance  can explain the political quietism o f Buddhists."  Other examples could be added.  The  point to note is that under an activist and charismatic leadership, theology can be reinterpreted i n many ways.  A n account o f the philosophy o f prominent monks and nuns,  therefore, can yield important findings about how theology plays itself out i n 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 i n shaping the modernization o f Chinese Buddhism has been considerable.  Both monks have fostered the emergence o f a laity devoted to  social work, a significant departure for a religion that used to be focused on individual Salvationist practices.  The importance o f individual leadership is demonstrated by the fact  that both Xingyun, the activist leader o f Foguangshan, and Zhengyan, the advocate o f noninvolvement i n politics, claim to be the spiritual heirs o f Taixu and Yinshun.  Despite this  common background, however, their organizations have pursued very different paths.  99  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 o f the influence o f 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 Ciji 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 o f 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 o f the members o f Ciji to become politically involved, or whether Buddhist ethics o f compassion or Confucian ethics o f responsibility inspire the members o f Foguangshan to j o i n a political campaign.  Again,  culture may explain the political behavior o f specific organizations only to the extent that their leaders openly articulate how they interpret it.  54  Relating to state policy. The leaders o f 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 o f its leaders do not avoid the pursuit o f activities in social welfare and education, and often become entangled with politicians. A s mentioned above, the leaders o f "engaged" Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka and Thailand, argue that their religious beliefs enjoin their involvement in politics or social work. The dedication o f Buddhist leaders to secular activities related to government policies, such as the provision o f relief for the poor, education and health care represents indeed one o f the central features o f 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 o f their leaders.  The responses o f Buddhist leaders to  various government policies o f relevance to religious organizations are far from uniform. While some, such as Xingyun, the founder o f Foguangshan, believe that a religious leader should offer guidance to politicians and act as counselor, others, such as Zhengyan, the  55  head o f C i j i , would argue that spiritual leaders must avoid the corrupting influence o f  politics.  Organizational characteristics and their influence Below we elaborate on how four characteristics o f Taiwanese Buddhist organizations - the availability o f material resources, lay support for the clergy, and congruence along the dimensions o f ethnicity and gender between leaders and their followers - could influence the political choices o f their leaders. Scarcity or abundance of material resources. Few religious organizations dispose o f a wealth comparable to that o f the Catholic Church, which can afford an unrivaled independence from state governments.  A s is often the case in Islamic countries, the  dependence o f the Egyptian Ulama on the Ministry for Religious Endowments for their income ensures that they are subservient to the regime.  100  Accumulation o f wealth from  private sources, as was the case in traditional China, brought Buddhist organizations under suspicions o f the state, and therefore, made them cautious and eager to demonstrate that  100  Glenn E. Perry, "The Islamic World," in Politics and Religion in the Modern World, 111.  56  they do not oppose the government.  101  D o the private sources o f 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 o f Foguangshan and Ciji because they manage abundant resources generated by the success o f 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.  102  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 o f Buddhism coincided with the decline o f the Sangha and the tenuous link o f the monastic orders with an increasingly assertive laity.'  101 102 m 104  04  In his survey o f Chinese sects belonging to heterodox or  This issue is discussed in the following chapter. Glenn E. Perry, "The Islamic World," 110-114. Ibid., 115-118, "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.  Is it always the case that when the relationship between the clergy and the state  105  is too close, the laity is more likely to become alienated and join dissident political movements?  Does the prevalence o f the laity in terms o f sheer numbers in some  organizations necessarily encourage a more activist orientation in politics?  Does the  preponderance o f lay members in Foguangshan and C i j i make them more politically assertive than the B A R O C ?  Above we have elaborated on the fairly straightforward organizational characteristics o f 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 o f the political strategies adopted by religious leaders. followers.  105  In its sociological dimension, he notes, leadership reflects the needs o f  "Successful leadership," Rustow asserts, "rests on a latent congruence between  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 o f the leaders and the social needs o f the followers."  106  The collection  of indicators that could point to the existence o f such congruence, however, goes well beyond the scope o f the research undertaken for this thesis and therefore the discussion o f this variable can only be suggestive and tentative.  In the absence o f data on leaders'  psychological needs and their followers' social needs, this study offers therefore as a substitute a survey o f congruence between religious leaders and their followers on the dimensions o f ethnicity and gender.  Admittedly rough indicators with which to evaluate  congruence between lay people and clergy, these two dimensions deserve examination because o f the centrality o f ethnicity in R O C politics Taiwanese B u d d h i s m .  107  and the importance o f women i n  108  Congruence between leaders and lay followers on the dimension of ethnicity. Theories o f ethnic conflict note that religious cleavages often coincide with ethnic  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. 106  107  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. "Daughters of the Buddha," Sinorama December 1997 (online edition: http://www.gio.tw/info/sinorama/en/8612/612082e8.html). 108  59  boundaries.  109  Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans have been fighting wars  over ethnic boundaries as much as over the protection o f 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 o f an abstract nature.  110  With respect to Buddhism,  Donald E. Smith long ago noted the interplay o f nationalism and religion in Sri L a n k a . " 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?  112  Do ethnic cleavages within the clergy, or within the  laity, influence the political orientation o f these organizations?  Does the previous policy  of corporatist control enforced by the mainlander-dominated K M T and carried on by the leadership o f B A R O C , who shared similar backgrounds, explain the deference o f this organization to the government?  Is the refusal o f the bendiren leader Zhengyan to sponsor  the Buddhist candidate Chen L i i ' a n related to the fact that he is a waishengren?  The research project currently undertaken by Ted Gurr on Minority at Risks at the University of Maryland explicitly uses this framework of analysis. Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? 11-15. "The Sinhalese Buddhist Revolution," 467-472. On this issue, see Christopher Hughes, Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism; Cheng Tun-jen and Hsu Yung109  110 111  112  60  Congruence between leaders and lay followers on the dimension ofgender. religious scriptures o f most traditions have relegated women to a subordinate status."  3  The  A  remarkable phenomenon o f the last two centuries, however, has been the emergence o f religious lay organizations with a large female membership, often led by women, involved in charitable activities in Western industrialized countries and in Japan.  114  These  organizations offer a striking contrast with exclusively male, militant groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [National A r m y o f Volunteers] (RSS) found i n India."  5  Many Taiwanese Buddhist organizations are led by nuns, who outnumber monks by a ratio of five to one in Taiwan," and are involved in charitable activities. 6  Does the  predominantly male composition o f the B A R O C leadership affect its preference for a more traditional theology that asserts deference to monks?  Does the large proportion o f women  ming, "Issue Structure, the DPP's Factionalism, and Party Realignment," 137-173. 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. For sources on charity organizations in nineteenth-century Western Europe and North America, see Chienyu Julia Huang and Robert P. Weller, "Merit and Mothering: Women and Social Welfare in Taiwanese Buddhism," The Journal ofAsian 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. " Walter K. Anderson and Shridhar D. Damle, The Brotherhood in Saffron, 84-85. 113  114  5  116  United Daily News, 1 March 1997, 5.  61  in C i j i influence the strategy o f 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 C i 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 o f 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 o f the B A R O C , Foguangshan and C i j i . Each chapter w i l l proceed with a description o f organizational goals and structure, and examine the organizations' political behaviors. religious and political views.  Each w i l l then explore the leaders'  Finally, each w i l l look into the constraints faced by  organizations' leaders in terms o f resource available, lay membership support, and congruence between leaders and followers on the dimensions o f ethnicity and gender. last chapter w i l l assess the relative importance o f leadership and internal constraints as factors influencing the political behaviors o f these Buddhist organizations.  62  The  Conclusion  This thesis explores which internal variables o f 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 C i j i have not supported Chen L i i ' a n for the R O C Presidency, despite the fact that he was the standard-bearer o f values which were in complete harmony with those o f these organizations' leaders.  It seeks to explore why X i n g y u n and Zhengyan,  who both claim to actualize the theology o f the same individual - Taixu - have ended up promoting modes o f 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 o f the three  organizations?  The exploration o f these matters w i l l be the subject o f the case studies.  First, though, we must examine the history o f Buddhism on both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to provide the necessary background for understanding the subsequent case studies.  64  C h a p t e r Two  TAIWANESE BUDDHIST ORGANIZATIONS AND POLITICS IN 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 o f that religion have been politically active, a fact that  demonstrates that the generally quietist attitude o f contemporary Buddhists in Taiwan is not  immutable.  The following survey o f 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 o f Buddhists in Taiwan.  The  religious doctrines themselves have not changed much for centuries and some o f 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 o f nationalism, socialism and liberalism, have considerably eroded its effects.  The second part o f 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 o f 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 o f the Buddhist tradition in China.  66  Buddhists and Politics in C h i n a Before 1949  Taiwanese Buddhism owes much to its antecedents on the continent. examination o f that tradition in China is deemed necessary.  Therefore an  In addition, many o f the most  prominent monks in contemporary Taiwan arrived on the island as refugees after the founding o f 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 o f Japanese colonial rule, the state o f contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism owes much to these members o f the Sangha, as they brought with them the institutional memory o f Buddhism in China.  Buddhists and politics in Traditional C h i n a The involvement o f 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 o f its introduction to China between the first and  sixth centuries, the Sangha sought the patronage and the protection o f the state to ensure its  67  growth.  In time, that association o f spiritual and secular authority made expressions o f  religious dissidence ipso facto political dissidence.  The Sangha and the state both had a  vested interest in preventing the development o f 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 o f the rival Confucian and Taoist traditions.  The adaptability of Buddhist theology. The features o f Buddhism mentioned by Smith in his ground-breaking study on the  political implications o f 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 ^  17  tradition adopted i n China.  These differences did not originate in religious schisms,  but resulted from additions that adherents o f the Mahayana school have made to the  original beliefs shared by all Buddhists.  Believers o f all persuasions have borrowed from  Donald Eugene Smith, "The Political Implications of Asian Religions;" 10-15. In Sanskrit, the Great Vehicle for universal salvation. 117  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 o f the past.  Another fundamental belief shared by all Buddhists is  the idea that this cycle o f 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 o f Theravada Buddhism emphasized the practice  o f a strenuous discipline known as the eightfold path to salvation.  Dissatisfaction with the  conservative character o f the Theravada school and its focus on individual salvation led to the rise o f the Mahayana school, which stresses devotion to the Buddha and universal love through compassion, charity and altruism. A n important element o f Mahayana Buddhism is the elevation o f the historical figure of Sakyamuni [Shijiamoni  WM^-ft], or Gautama  among many o f the Buddha.  Siddharta, as only one incarnation  According to that belief, the Buddha is an eternal being that  appeared on earth countless times and w i l l continue to do so in the future. o f the Buddha is Amitabha [Amitofo  118  119  Another form  P5fj$fP'£fj$] who presides over the mythical Pure 5  In Sanskrit, action, fate. In Chinese, H cause, and JH: effect. 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 o f the Buddha is the laughing Buddha, known before as the future Buddha, Maitreya [Milefo  ®iJjf$j].  His coming on earth, some devotees believe, w i l l purify the  world and restore the Dharma [Fa £fe].  A fourth form o f the Buddha is the deity  120  Avalokitesvara [Guanyin fU H ], a female deity that stands out as the symbol o f 1  compassion.  The intensity o f the devotion to each deity varies throughout history,  according to the particular aspect o f the religion that appeared more relevant to the concerns o f the faithful at specific times.  121  In periods o f trouble, for instance, worship o f  Maitreya as the Buddha o f the future prevailed and was central to the doctrines o f the millenarian movements engaged in anti-dynastic upheavals.  122  In contemporary Taiwan,  the compassionate figure o f Guanyin is the most widely revered form o f the Buddha, followed by Amitabha.  burned out. In Sanskrit, decree, custom. In Chinese, law, truth, the Buddhist way. Kenneth Ch'en has documented these changes from the year 500 to 720, from the Northern Wei Dynasty until the Tang. Buddhism in China: A Historical Survey (Princeton University Press, 1964), 172. Chen Hua M.^, "Zhongguo Lishishang de Mile: Weilaifo yu Jiushizhu ^P'l^M$.±^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. 120 121  122  70  Another important innovation o f the Mahayana tradition, for our purpose, is the religious ideal o f the bodhisattvas \pusa  jH], individuals qualified to attain Nirvana  because o f their accumulated merits, but who have chosen instead to remain in the world i n order to help all sentient beings attain salvation.  123  The ideal o f the boddhisattva signals a  shift from the Theravada religious practice o f salvation based on individual practice to the Mahayana religious ideal o f striving for the salvation o f all through charitable activities. Criticisms expressed by Taixu, which w i l l be reviewed below, about the attitude o f aloofness from society adopted by monks, suggest that too many Buddhists did not abide by this aspect o f their religion.  Current developments i n Taiwan demonstrate how much  the relative importance o f specific elements o f theology can change over time.  The ideal  of the Boddhisattva, as articulated by individuals like Xingyun and Zhengyan, is now the most striking characteristic o f contemporary Buddhism on the island.  124  Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 12-13. 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. 123  124  71  The ever-present challenge of Confucian cultural resistance From the beginning o f 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 o f the religion.  125  After the fall o f 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 o f Buddhism in the North - previously the heartland o f China - by foreign rulers who were reluctant to adopt Confucian ways, and i n the South, where Buddhist beliefs either competed or mingled with Taoist practices and spread with the advance o f Chinese colonists.  126  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.  127  In the North, controversies instigated by Taoists led to two waves o f  persecution, one in 446 A . D . and the second from 574 to 577.  Buddhist institutions  nonetheless weathered these challenges and experienced their greatest period o f 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 o f 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.  128  The rationale for the criticism o f 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 o f peasants and  Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 136-144. Ibid, 439-441.  73  laborers, and for undermining the rearing o f new generations through their vow o f celibacy.  129  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.  In contemporary Taiwan, the echoes of traditional Confucian criticism can still  130  be heard.  This much was apparent in the controversy surrounding the ordination o f  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 o f the duty o f filial piety.  131  That is, even i f the influence o f Western ideas and the repudiation o f  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. Ibid., 396. "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. 129  130  131  74  Confucianism by intellectuals at the beginning o f 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 H a n i n 220 A . D . , Chinese governments were weak and the North o f the country fell under foreign rule in 316 A . D . Chinese rulers i n 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 o f Buddhism under the Wei (386-534) and following dynasties came at a price.  The religion depended on the power o f the ruler for its survival.  This situation made the monastic community vulnerable to persecutions, as was the case in 446 and 574-577.  132  The religion nonetheless survived these persecutions and during the  reign o f Emperor Wen, founder o f the Sui dynasty (581-618), Buddhism became the unifying faith o f the Empire.  133  Although the Tang (618-906) rulers rescinded the policy  of Buddhism as state religion and favored Taoism, they practiced religious tolerance in  132  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."  134  Buddhism benefited enormously from the patronage o f some o f the Tang rulers, but intrigues in the court led to a third wave o f persecution i n 843-845.  135  This repression  took several forms: a majority o f monks were ordered to defrock and return to the laity; most Buddhist establishments, including monasteries, were destroyed; and land was confiscated.  136  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 M i n g (1368-1644)  Ibid, 213.  ,i4  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 135  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. Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 231-232. 136  76  dynasty was established after one o f these uprisings.  It was inspired by the belief that its  leaders were sent by the Buddha Maitreya, and the uprising led to the downfall o f 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 o f the M i n g rulers was more a function o f utilitarian  calculations than religious tolerance: they appreciated the values o f any religion, including Buddhism, as long as it could promote good order and sanction the regime.  137  During the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), the ruling Manchus sponsored their own practice o f 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 o f the empire were also adherents o f L a m a i s m .  138  However, this  ostensible support o f the religion could not prevent the recurrence o f rebellions instigated by Buddhist heterodox sects such as the White Lotus Society [Bailianjiao  E^SIfJG-  B y the end o f the Qing, the fortunes o f the religion had changed again as orthodox Buddhists faced a new and more serious challenge from the government.  137  138  Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History, 100-101. Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 454.  77  In an attempt to  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  j=|, for example, proposed in his 1898 memorial to the emperor Guangxii  JjtW  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, and, as Holmes 141  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.  Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968), 1011. Religion in Chinese Society, 325-326. Buddhism in Chinese History, 114-115. The Buddhist Revival in China, 28.  139  140  141 142  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 o f it being a parasitic institution.  But as long as rulers were willing to base  their legitimacy partly on Buddhism, the monastic order did not have to fear the wrath o f the state.  In return, the monastic community tacitly acknowledged the supremacy o f the  government that granted it patronage.  143  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§ail(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. status.  145  144  In other words, only the clergy enjoyed an autonomous and privileged  Lay Buddhists did not benefit from the state patronage o f their religion and, in  143  Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 257.  144  Ibid., 76.  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 145  79  times o f 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 o f 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 o f military and diplomatic counsel.  Because conflicts between the  various non-Chinese kingdoms had led to permanent strife, the monks needed state support and protection i n order to be able to propagate the religion.  146  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.  147  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. Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 92-93. 146  147  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 i n spreading the faith within the population.  148  During the Tang dynasty, the Sangha was supported by all elements o f society, from the imperial household, the nobility, and wealthy great families to the common people.  149  This was in part due to the fact that the conception o f Buddhism as a religion o f compassion aimed at the salvation o f all beings led to the development o f many welfare activities.  Secular rulers welcomed these social welfare activities, but as a consequence,  150  the Sangha came under the firm control o f the court.  Before the Tang, entry into the  Sangha was an individual act over which the state had no influence, but as the responsibilities o f the monks became increasingly important, ordination became regulated by the state.  151  A symbol o f the complete subordination o f the religion to the state can be  seen in the fact that civil servants rather than monks undertook supervision o f the Sangha.  Religious Sects in Chinese Society," Modern China 7, no. 2 (April 1981), 153-190. Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 77. 148 149  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 o f the secular rulers.  152  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.  153  Secondly, the revival o f 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 o f the country, fewer educated people were interested in joining the monastic order. laypersons.  The result was that many adherents o f Buddhism preferred to remain  154  There is a consensus among scholars that many o f the religious uprisings after 1351 were fomented by heterodox Buddhist societies that were opposed to the orthodox Sangha because o f its association with the established regime.  152 153  155  Some o f these uprisings had  Kenneth Ch'en, The Chinese Transformation of Buddhism (Princeton University Press, 1973), 124. Kenneth, Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 393-394.  154  Ibid., AM.  155  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;  82  Daniel  profound political consequences: the establishment o f the M i n g Dynasty followed a massive uprising generated by the widespread belief about an enlightened ruler HfjzE] announcing the coming o f the Future Buddha. to participate i n anti-dynastic upheavals.  157  156  [mingwang  Several motives drove lay people  The point to note is that while the social-  political order based on Confucian orthodoxy and the official Sangha proved its efficacy i n times o f tranquility and prosperity, it was inevitable that the same institutions would be discredited in times o f crisis, and that heterodoxy would have more appeal.  158  While the  Sangha remained generally passive during the five centuries o f 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.  159  L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 2; Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 429-431; Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History, 74.  Kenneth, K.S. Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 434-435. 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. 156 157  158  C.K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society, 228.  159  Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion, 12, 51-52.  83  The harassment of religious institutions during the last decades o f 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.  160  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 o f the Sangha. The physical survival of the religion depended then on the efforts o f a few determined lay devotees.  161  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 o f Confucianism, they upheld their religion as an ideology o f modernization.  162  However,  that specific project was doomed to fail because most Chinese intellectuals, whether they subscribed to the ideologies o f Republicanism and nationalism, or later on, liberalism, socialism and anarchism, believed that religion prevents the advance of progress and ought to be eliminated.  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 160  Catholic Church. 161 162  See The Buddhist Revival in China, 1.  Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 448-449. 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 o f 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  o f Buddhists to become involved, the efficiency o f 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 o f an ecclesiastical organization concerned with the  survival o f 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 o f individual spiritual practice as a response to the problem o f 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 o f the religion reasons to oppose them.  163  In sum, the  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. 163  85  Sangha, with its vested interests in state sponsorship, found itself challenged by the laity  when state authority was questioned.  B u d d h i s m i n modern C h i n a Buddhists did not get involved in politics during the Republican era, despite the efforts o f lay intellectuals to make their tradition more responsive to modernity. factors explain this situation.  Three  Firstly, cultural changes blunted the ability o f religion to  address the crises faced by China.  Secondly, the circumstances o f anarchy and division  deprived the Sangha o f state support.  Thirdly, the monastic orders resisted attempts by a  handful o f reformist individuals to reorganize Buddhism with the help o f the laity. The following section is structured chronologically, not thematically, because the Republican period represents a series o f upheavals and transformations with different consequences for Buddhists.  The first period o f fifteen years represents a period o f  development despite the hostility o f a repressive political environment.  After tumultuous  beginnings, the Nanjing decade (1927-1937) favored the growth o f the religion, but the ensuing periods o f war with Japan (1937-1945) and the civil 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 o f a total o f over seven hundred thousand.  164  The involvement of lay Buddhists during the era of uncertainty (1911-1927) For four years after the outbreak o f the Republican Revolution, local administrators in North China perpetuated policies already undertaken between 1902 and 1908 under the Qing dynasty. into schools.  165  They sought to appropriate temples and temple property for conversion Welch wrote about the excesses o f these campaigns: "Confucians,  Christians, modernizers, predatory officials, and bandits (the categories are obviously not exclusive) carried on expulsions o f monks and destruction o f monasteries."  166  Because o f  political divisions, these policies o f expropriation were never fully implemented, but they nonetheless provided lay Buddhists with the incentive to organize. local lay people decided to respond with a three-tiered strategy.  A few monks and  They sought to build a set  of institutions which could serve as a lobby for the Sangha, to establish a strong lay  Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967), 414. Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity: The Campaigns against Popular Religion in Early Twentieth-Century China," Journal ofAsian Studies 50, no. 1 (February 1991), 75-76. 164  165  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.  167  One o f the leaders o f that movement was Taixu, who would thereafter have considerable influence on the development o f Buddhism in Taiwan, even though, notes Welch, during his lifetime his authority was quite limited.  168  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.  169  H i s activities during the first decade and a half o f the  Republican Period represented a continuation o f endeavors he had already undertaken during the last decade o f the Qing Dynasty. one of them, O u Yangjian  [Zhongguo Fojiaohui  Most o f his lay disciples were socialists, and  Hfc^iff, the founder o f the Chinese Buddhist Association  ^S^finl"-  openly despising the Sangha.  170  not to be confused with the B A R O C ] was notorious for  Taixu had befriended the revolutionary monk Ven. Qiyun  M l , who had joined the Tongmenghui  167  168  169 170  (The precursor of the K M T ) , and by 1910,  Ibid, 28-29. /tod, 71.  The opposition was led by Ven. Yuanying |H5|. Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 71. 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 o f Chinese socialists and anarchists.  171  Most other  monks were ambivalent towards Taixu: they acknowledged the value o f his ideas, but he  did not fit their view o f what a monk should be.  172  Although the Sangha resisted reforms o f the monastic order, lay Buddhists actively worked for the preservation, promotion and aggiornamento o f their faith. 113  modernization o f Buddhism took various forms.  The  N e w 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.  174  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\.  Taixu participated in thefirststanding 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. Taixufinallygained 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 172  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.  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. 173  174  Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 1-9,  89  politics and run against their vows o f renouncing worldly matters.  In their efforts to  promote their interests, Buddhists petitioned the government for the protection o f their property, and between 1912 and 1929 formed at least eighteen separate Buddhist associations, most o f which ceased to exist after a few years.  176  Organizing Buddhism in response to the state modernizing zeal (1927-1937) A s a result o f the Northern Expedition o f 1926-1927, the K M T established a government which briefly provided some measure o f stability in central C h i n a .  177  In 1928,  its authority was limited to only four provinces: Jiangsu, Zhejiang, A n h u i and Jiangxi.  178  Incidentally, it was within the first two provinces that proportionally greater populations o f Buddhist devotees could be found.  175  176  179  After 1927, Buddhists faced a new challenge from  Ibid., 20. Ibid, 26.  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 177  and VII of James E. Sheridan, China in Disintegration: The Republican Era in Chinese History 1912-1949  (New York: The Free Press, 1975). 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. 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 178  179  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, which included sporadic attempts to confiscate 180  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. 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. 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. 180  181  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 182  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, 2 ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), 412. On the early Soviet policy, see Bohdan Bociurkiw, "The Shaping of Soviet Religious Policy," Problem nd  91  This second campaign was less successful, however, for two reasons. Buddhist community had become more cohesive.  Firstly, the  Secondly, as Chiang Kai-shek  consolidated his authority within the K M T , he sought to reduce the importance o f radical mass movements such as the anti-superstition campaign.  183  He disapproved o f them and  sent instructions to stop the implementation o f expropriation threats.  184  Eventually,  Chiang, who himself had converted to Christianity, went further and decided to emphasize the positive dimension o f religion in his effort to instill in the citizens o f the R O C a sense o f discipline.  185  ^E^WMi\i  a  In 1934, he launched the N e w Life Movement [Xin Shenghuo Yundong § f campaign advocating goals that were incompatible with the iconoclast views  o f the anti-religious activists.  186  The brief period o f anti-religious intolerance within the K M T was not, in the end,  likely to endure, because the ideology o f that party was not based on a rationalist teleology  of Communism (May-June 1973), 37-51. Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity," 78. 183  184  Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 44.  On the positive view of Chiang himself on religion, see China's Destiny, translated by Wang Chung-hui (New York, Macmillan, 1947), 78-79. 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. 185  186  92  premised on the eventual disappearance o f religion.  Rather, its policies toward religion  represented the continuation o f the perennial concern o f the state, prevailing throughout the traditional era, that it have exclusive authority in determining religious orthodoxy.  187  This  may explain why the authoritarian religious policies o f successive K M T governments, i n  tune with indigenous experiences, were never resented as a form o f 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.  188  The most efficient means to protect the Buddhist community, in the end, proved to be the involvement o f 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, Foguangshan and Ciji.  189  starting a tradition pursued today in Taiwan by both  Although the endeavors undertaken by lay Buddhists may have  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. 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 ofAsian Studies 46, no. 4 (November 1987), 747-759. Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 26-27. 187  188  189  93  helped diminish the impression that Buddhism was a religion aloof from society, most members o f the Sangha did not support these trends.  One episode i n 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 o f 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 o f the anti-religious movement.  190  In other words, the monks,  more dependent than lay people on donations from the public or state patronage, were made aware o f the prevailing mood in society, and told not to provoke non-believers.  The  advice o f Chiang Kai-shek notwithstanding, monks founded the B A R O C i n 1929. However, on Chiang's advice, the organization successfully prevented the implementation of Taixu's ideas about the modernization o f Buddhism.  , 9 0  191  Ibid, 64.  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 191  Revival in China, 42-44.  94  Surviving the circumstances of war (1937-1949) During the Japanese invasion o f China, the K M T did not have the ability, the willingness, or the incentive to pay attention to the needs o f the Buddhists.  192  The  existence o f a national Buddhist organization was irrelevant considering the fact that China was under the jurisdiction o f separate governments.  During the war, members o f the  Buddhist laity and clergy had to deal with the various regimes propped up by the Japanese invaders, the warlords o f North China, or the K M T in Chongqing.  193  From the defeat o f  the Japanese i n 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 o f 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  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. 192  193  Arthur F. Wright, Buddhism in Chinese History, 117.  95  qualified support to the C C P as the defeat o f Chiang Kai-shek appeared imminent, members o f the monastic community were not ready to go that far.  194  many  Clerical and lay  Buddhists knew about the views o f the C C P , which criticized all religions as weapons used by the ruling class to subjugate the masses.  They may also have been aware that after  195  the establishment o f the Chinese Soviet Republic in Southern Jiangxi i n 1931, the C C P had advocated confiscation o f Buddhist property and deprived the clergy o f civic rights.  196  Out o f concern for the survival o f their tradition, it is likely that most monks and nuns preferred to link their fate to the Republican regime.  In the face o f the inevitable, however,  most o f them had no other choice but to seek accommodation with the C C P .  Meanwhile, Taixu, having achieved control o f the B A R O C i n 1945, had a chance to see his reforms implemented for a short w h i l e .  197  According to Welch, the laity took  charge o f the B A R O C ; the Sangha became increasingly subordinated to the laity, while the  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. Kenneth Ch'en, Buddhism in China, 461. 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. Taixu passed away in 1947, and conservatives again took over control of the organizations. The next chapter discusses these issues in greater details. 194  195  196  197  96  latter became increasingly independent from the Sangha.  198  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 o f a large group o f enthusiastic lay supporters against the enemies o f the monastic orders.  199  It is difficult to know whether the predominance o f 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 o f parties and organizations outside o f its sphere o f control.  Summary of the findings Buddhists were not politically active during the Republican period.  Their  environment, and the passivity o f 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 o f materialist and nationalist ideologies, a development with two consequences for Buddhists.  198 199  Firstly, many central and local government leaders  Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 82-83. Ibid, 85-86.  97  adopted policies with a pronounced anti- religious bias.  200  Secondly, the heterodox Buddhist  organizations no longer offered a credible alternative to the current authorities.  The few  members o f the Sangha or laity who wanted to get involved in politics at best represented a small elite aloof from the social reality o f the times, and at worst were guilty o f associating with the imperial regime and were blamed for the decline o f China.  A s a result, most  Chinese intellectuals and elites sought answers to the crisis o f their society in ideologies associated with "wealth and power,"  201  goals that were antithetical to the tenets o f Buddhist  religion and philosophy. Another reason for the political inaction o f Buddhists was the reluctance o f the Sangha to encourage the laity to get involved i n politics.  Monks wanted to preserve their  privileged status and feared that political involvement would sacrifice the essence o f their religion.  Although too few Buddhist clerics were ready to respond to the challenge o f  modernization, there were some remarkable exceptions, such as the monk Taixu.  The  policy o f the Republican governments against religious organizations, which had compelled lay Buddhists to rise in the defense o f their religion, triggered his drive for the reform o f the  200 201  Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity," 73. On this quest, see Benjamin I. Schwartz, In Search of Wealth and Power: Yan Fu and the West (New York:  98  Sangha.  H i s 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 o f Republican China.  In  addition, his claim, intended as a cultural response to Western influence, that "Buddhism is a higher form o f science," ran counter to the prevailing trends among Chinese intellectuals.  202  The reforms o f Taixu failed mostly because a majority within the Sangha  opposed his views.  Most monks could not conceive o f their lay subordinates running the  affairs o f the religion.  In sum, i f Buddhists were not politically active during the  Republican era, it was not only a result o f state repression, which actually was often marginal and ineffective, but also because o f a conservative bent on the part o f the Sangha.  Harper and Row, 1968). On the naivete of Taixu on that point, see Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 65-66.  202  99  Buddhists and Politics in Taiwan Prior 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 o f the upheavals occurring on the Chinese mainland before 1945, shaped the situation o f 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 i n distinctive ways. 1945,  Until  most Taiwanese Buddhists did not have much contact with their co-religionists from  Zhejiang and Jiangsu, the most dynamic centers o f Buddhist activity i n China, and the main source o f influence from the continent was limited to the province o f Fujian.  203  Buddhists and politics in Taiwan before the arrival of the K M T (1945) Taiwan has been on the periphery o f traditional China since the twelfth century, but  after the Chinese defeat in the war o f 1895, it was ceded to the Japanese colonial empire  203  For  details, see Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," Ch. I.  100  until its "retrocession" into the fold o f the R O C in 1945.  During the first centuries o f  Chinese presence i n Taiwan, the Buddhist clergy had no major impact on the island, and most lay Buddhists formed their own associations o f 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 o f Chinese settlements in Taiwan dating back to the twelfth century, but effective administration by the central government o f China was achieved only after the Qing court defeated the M i n g loyalist Zheng Chenggong Koxinga) in 1683, who had used the island as his base.  (also known as  Sporadic uprisings directed  against the "foreign" rule of the Qing continued to erupt on the island during the two centuries following the nominal incorporation o f Taiwan into China, and it was only in 1885 that Taiwan acquired its current status as a province.  101  Ten years later, the island was  ceded to Japan under the terms o f the treaty o f Shimonoseki, a decision that led to a brief uprising in which thousands o f Chinese soldiers and civilians were k i l l e d .  204  Owing to the status o f 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.  205  Charles B . Jones notes that most o f 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 o f political power.  206  David K . Jordan and Daniel L .  Overmyer note the existence o f 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 o f the three major sects, the Dragon Flower sect [Longhuajiao  flijlifc] had until the onset o f the  Japanese  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. Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui %W$$$iM [Religion and Society] (Taipei: Dongta ^^,1995), 208. "Buddhism in Taiwan," 70-71. 204  205  206  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.  208  Jordan and Overmyer, quoting from Japanese scholars, note that these groups were  conservative and provided alternative means o f security and status to, their members.  209  That is, there was no tradition o f militant heterodoxy in Taiwan before 1895, and the  absence o f resistance on the part o f Buddhists to Japanese colonial rule was consistent with  their usually quietist attitude.  Buddhists and politics under Japanese rule (1895-1945)  The effects o f the Japanese colonial administration's policies towards Taiwanese  Buddhists were complex.  O n one hand, the tradition was threatened because too few  Taiwanese Buddhists remained in touch with developments on the Chinese mainland, and  many o f them depended on Japanese monks for their training.  210  O n 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.  211  This apparent contradiction is explained by the shifts in Japanese  policies, which unfolded in three stages.  A t first, during the late Meiji H^fp period  (1895-1911), the government was too busy quelling resistance to its rule to pay much attention to religious affairs.  212  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 A s i a Co-Prosperity Sphere" through a policy o f cultural assimilation.  213  This project included the transformation o f some native Buddhist  properties into Shinto shrines, and proselytizing by Japanese Buddhist sects.  214  Taiwanese Buddhists reacted to the policy of the Japanese colonial administration by adopting an attitude which Jones defines as "accommodation without assimilation."  215  Taiwanese Buddhists sought to cooperate with the colonial authority and joined their Japanese co-religionists in the South Sea Buddhist Association [Nanying Fojiaohui WilBMi  Ibid, 175. Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui, 173. Ibid., 173-174.  2U  212 2,3  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  214  [Danjiang TlML] University, 1990)260-278. 215  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 C h i n a .  217  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 civil 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  217  218  Ibid, 7. Ibid., 176. 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 ^ ^ # # f c ^ # ] ( T P B A ) 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 o f the B A R O C , the organization that would shape the fate o f the Sangha in Taiwan for the next three decades.  Although the dissolution o f the S S B A was a foregone conclusion because  of its association with the former Japanese colonial ruler, the incorporation o f the T P B A within the B A R O C was different.  This event came about as a result o f a tragedy that has  divided the Taiwanese born on the island and the Chinese migrants who came from the mainland after 1945.  The population o f Taiwan initially welcomed the K M T when it took  control o f Taiwan in 1945.  Barely two years later, resentment against the policy o f 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  ZlZlAlP^fF].  2 1 9  In reaction to that disturbance, the ruling party launched a campaign o f repression and purges throughout society aimed at preventing the emergence o f Taiwanese nationalism.  220  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. George Kerr, Formosa Betrayed, 341 -343; Douglas Mendel, The Politics of Formosan Nationalism, 31 38. 219  220  107  For the next three decades, many Taiwanese would come to think o f their country as governed by a foreign authority.  221  It is hard to tell precisely how Taiwanese monastic and lay Buddhists felt about the related fact that the leadership o f their community, through the B A R O C , was, like a mirror image o f the political system, composed mostly o f members from the Chinese mainland. If the incorporation o f the T P B A into the B A R O C was not entirely the result o f coercion, it was not entirely voluntary either: Buddhists were aware o f the dangers they faced i f they appeared to support greater autonomy for Taiwanese institutions.  222  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 o f folk religions.  The only certainty is that Buddhist  organizations during those troubled years had to convince the authorities o f their loyalty in order to ensure their own survival.  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. Charles Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 185-186. The next chapter will discuss this issue in greater 221  222  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 o f the government's retreat from the Chinese mainland, more than 1.5 million migrants arrived in Taiwan, and Chiang Kai-shek feared an imminent collapse of his regime.  223  In an effort to establish new foundations for the party i n Taiwan, the  K M T launched i n 1950 a major campaign o f reconstruction.  The outbreak o f the Korean  War by the end o f the same year dramatically improved the fortunes o f the R O C : U . S . President Harry Truman reversed previous policies o f non-interference in the Taiwan Strait and resumed direct military aid to the R O C in 1951.  224  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. Steve Tsang, "Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang's Policy to Reconquer the Chinese Mainland, 19491958," in In the Shadow of China: Political Developments in Taiwan since 1949 (Hong Kong University Press, 1993), 51. Gu Weiqun, Conflicts of Divided Nations: The Cases of China and Korea (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1995), 223  2 2 4  109  establishment o f government-controlled mass organizations for every social group in the ROC.  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 o f clerical and lay Buddhists.  Following the arrival o f the defeated nationalist government, relations  between Buddhists and the K M T went through a difficult phase. hundred monks coming from the continent,  226  Out o f an estimated one  only a handful o f prominent clergymen, such  as Ven. Baisheng r^£( 1904-1989) and the Zhangjia $ H  L i v i n g 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.  227  The ruling party even criticized Yinshun, the most prominent disciple o f  Taixu to emigrate to Taiwan.  One historian o f Buddhism in Taiwan, Jiang Canteng,  37. 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. Figures by Ven. Dongchu MW (1908-1977), quoted by Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 248. Many younger monks that would later become prominent in Taiwanese Buddhism, such as Ven. Cihang H  2 2 5  2 2 6  2 2 7  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  mi  M^WLMM  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.  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. For a detailed account of this period, see Chapter Four of Charles Brewer Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan." 228  2 2 9  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 ^ t f t 3 £ ^ # , 1995), 164-168.  Ill  their anti-communist leanings, and could be a useful instrument i n 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 o f 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.  230  That is, the role o f all  interest groups was to "transmit messages, mobilize political support, and help implement  policies for the ruling party and government."  231  Buddhists did not escape these  restrictions, and i n 1952 the only organization entitled to represent the Sangha i n Taiwan  was the B A R O C .  2 3 2  The establishment o f a corporatist structure served the ends o f the  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 PolicyMaking (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). Tien Hung-mao, The Great Transition, 45. 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 2 3 0  231  2 3 2  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.  233  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.  234  Chiang went further after the Second Strait Crisis o f 1958, declaring publicly that the restoration o f freedom to the Chinese people could best be achieved by successfully implementing Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles o f the People in the area governed by the ROC.  From then on, the emphasis o f K M T policy shifted from the recovery o f China  through the use o f force to recovery by political means, i f possible.  Simultaneously, the  K M T would develop Taiwan as a model o f economic growth to be emulated by Chinese on  of Buddhists in general still prevail. The Great Transition, 46, 52. Steve Tsang, "Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang's Policy to Reconquer the Chinese Mainland," 53. 233  2 3 4  113  the mainland.  235  Such initiatives on the policy o f 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 o f acceptable religiosity.  These measures affected Buddhists  themselves, and in particular the Nichiren sect in Taiwan.  236  The Sangha and lay Buddhist  institutions, however, never challenged the K M T authorities over these policies o f suppression.  237  Quite the contrary, some prominent leaders who had been harassed  Ibid, 55. For a documentary study of the police operations against the Nichiren, see Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian, 359-478. 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 It is inevitable that security forces would be alarmed once 235  2 3 6  2 3 7  ^MfikfaMM].  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. ShengJingwu Dang'an Huibian, 382.  115  Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan  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 o f 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 o f its positive consequences was that it provided favorable conditions for the emergence o f organizations embodying traditional values, and in particular groups such as Foguangshan and Ciji. From 1969 onwards, party leaders felt it necessary to encourage limited elections to find a solution to the problem o f natural attrition among the old representatives from the Chinese mainland in the three main chambers o f the central government. of limited openness, a degree o f social pluralism started to emerge.  238  In this climate  A l o n g with a "Taiwan  miracle" in economic development, the seeds were sown for another "miracle" i n political development as the emerging middle classes pushed demands for democratization.  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. 2 3 8  116  Politicians "outside o f the party [dangwai H^f]" running in the elections o f 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. Yiguandao — MM  The B A R O C did not react against the persecution o f  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 o f the B A R O C comprised primarily monks from the Chinese mainland.  The attitude o f the laity during that period is less clear.  The only certainty is  that the number o f lay Buddhists increased with economic growth and political liberalization.  Lay Buddhists who may have been previously reluctant to join  organizations outside o f the legally sanctioned B A R O C started to participate i n the activities o f other organizations such as Foguangshan and C i 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. They were referred as such by the K M T . Linda Chao and Ramon Myers, The First Chinese Democracy,  239  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. Gu Weiqun, Conflicts of Divided Nations, 29. 2 4 0  118  the K M T leadership was becoming aware that the continuation o f martial law represented in the long run a serious predicament. Ching-kuo MMM  241  During the late 1980s, the governments o f Chiang  and his successor Lee Teng-hui set in motion an incremental process o f  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 o f the latter i n 1987.  242  Meanwhile, Buddhist monks enjoyed higher visibility, and the numbers o f lay people increased remarkably.  During the sixties, official reports mentioned a membership o f less  than 2,500 monks and nuns, and a total o f 35,000 Buddhist devotees as members o f the BAROC.  2 4 3  In 1984 an island-wide survey sponsored by the National Science Council o f  the R O C suggested that as many as 11.2% o f the population, that is about 2 million people, were Buddhists.  244  Other indicators, such as the number o f temples built over the years,  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. 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. 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. The source does not mentioned how many Buddhists were members of the B A R O C , but more recent data 241  242  243  244  119  also pointed to an increase in the number o f lay devotees.  Song Guanyu indicates that  while there were 838 Buddhist places o f worship in 1960, in 1989 there were 4011.  245  This expansion in the number o f devotees in the Buddhist community, however, did not lead to greater political involvement on the part o f the most important figures in the Sangha.  Summary of the period Taiwanese Buddhists did not engage i n dissident politics during the period o f 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 i n their lack o f political involvement, but two other factors were also prominent. communist policy o f the K M T .  Firstly, the Sangha and the laity agreed with the antiSecondly, clerics and lay persons had their own reasons  for supporting the repression o f 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. Song Guangyu, Zongjiao yu Shehui, 179. 245  120  part, monks in the BAROC originatedfromthe 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 selfdetermination 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 o f this study, Taiwan's political system has changed considerably throughout the 1990s.  The process o f liberalization has been reaffirmed with  the passing o f the law on civic organizations [Renmin tuantifa  AKBfftSc]  m  1989.  Since then, independent parties and organizations have received legal protection and have  asserted themselves.  A l o n g with the emergence o f 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.  247  Over the years, the ruling party has remained  in power by adopting many o f the policies that were advocated by the D P P .  248  changes i n society have consolidated the progress made on the political front.  Meanwhile, The  legalization o f hitherto forbidden religions such as Yiguandao indicates that the government  is more willing to respect the expression o f heterodox v i e w s .  249  Taken together, these  An acount of the law, as it relates to religious organizations, is available in Wu Yaofeng, Zongjiao Fagui Shijiang, 480-494. 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. Ibid, 154. Lin Benxuan, Taiwan de Zhengjiao Chongtu, 135-140. 2 4 6  2 4 7  248  2 4 9  122  developments offer the Buddhist community unprecedented opportunities to consolidate its  position within contemporary society. A s freedom o f 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.  250  Lay people like Jiang Canteng have written critically about the attitude o f  the Sangha during the period o f martial law and have emphasized the necessity o f indigenizing Buddhism, thereby supporting the trend advocated by the opposition in favor of self-determination for the Taiwanese.  251  W u Boxiong ^ki&Mk, another lay Buddhist, is a  popular member o f the K M T central committee and a former Minister o f the Interior. Chen Lti'an, also a lay Buddhist, is on record for having opposed the policies o f Lee.  In  sum, there are in Taiwan a number o f 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 o f  Jiang Lifen ffillF, "Ciji Beihou You Minyi: Bukao Zhengke Lai Qinglai WMWlk^&M-^UW&^i [A lack of trust about politicians: the underlying perception within Ciji]," Heibai Xinwen HSifM [Taiwan News], n.d., 21-22.  250  WW 251  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. political behavior?  What explain these different forms of  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 preordained way for at least two reasons.  Firstly, Buddhists have integrated over centuries  many aspects o f 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 o f self-interest as a group, but also out o f 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 restrictionsfromthe 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 B A R O C 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 B A R O C 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 B A R O C 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 B A R O C 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. section documents the political behavior of the B A R O C .  A fourth  Because the next chapter will  discuss the campaign of Chen Lii'an in detail, that section focuses on the efforts of the B A R O C 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 B A R O C , and to what extent leaders are constrained by organizational factors.  129  The factors examined are the  availability o f resources and the degree o f lay support and congruence between leaders and  their followers on the dimensions o f ethnicity and gender.  The C u r r e n t Status of the B A R O C  The B A R O C was the only legal Buddhist organization i n Taiwan during the first decades o f 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 . Taiwan.  It still claims to represent all Buddhists in  Since the passing o f 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 o f 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 , CBSA  252  253  2 5 3  2 5 2  the  and the Chinese Buddhist Association for the Protection o f the Sangha [Zhonghua  Zhonghua Minguo, Neizhengbu, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu, 125. Ibid., 105.  130  Fojiao Huseng Xiehui f $ ^ t § [ f | ^ # ] ( C B A P S ) .  Two organizations, the Chinese  254  Buddhist L a y Association [Zhonghua Fojiao Jushihui  jfrdrl!"] ( C B L A )  Buddhist L a y Proselytizing Society [Zhongguo Fojiao ZaijiaXiu  fl^{£jl#]  ( C B L P S ) , represent Buddhist lay people.  2 5 5  Cujinhui  and the Chinese  ^ffli^i^ft^  Finally, two organizations, the  256  Young M e n ' s Buddhist Association International o f the R O C [Zhongguo Fojiao Guoji Qingnianhui H l l ^ # ¥ # ] ( Y M B A )  2 5 7  and the Buddhist Youth Association o f the R O C  [Zhonghua Minguo Fojiao Qingnianhui J^H](BYA),  258  represent young devotees.  While this list is non-exhaustive, three important points should be kept i n mind. Firstly, competition is accelerating within the Buddhist community for the representation o f its constituent elements. on civic organizations.  Only the C B L A was established prior to the passing o f the law The other organizations were established in 1989 or after.  259  This  proliferation o f organizations suggests that it is becoming more difficult for Buddhists to speak with one voice for the promotion o f their collective interests.  Secondly, the  Ibid., 134. Ibid., 77. Ibid., 104. Ibid., 123. Ibid., 83. The B Y A has been registered in 1989, the C B L P S in 1991, and all other organizations mentioned above in 1992. See previous references for each organization.  254  255  256  257  258  2 5 9  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 o f 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 o f the organization.  The statement o f 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 o f the BAROC.  Reasons for the declining support by Taiwanese Buddhists for the B A R O C The support o f the association for the ruling party is one o f 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  The C B S A 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. 260  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 o f the B A R O C as "KMT  fellow travelers [Zhongguo fojiao shi Guomindang de tongluren  St^I^i^A]"  261  ^Hf^i^^fflS  Yang Huinan WoMj^i, another noted scholar on Taiwanese Buddhism,  has argued that the K M T has repeatedly interfered in the affairs o f the B A R O C , and has suggested that the association has always subscribed to the policies o f the ruling party as a result.  262  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 o f martial law the association was  generally supportive o f the government and categorically opposed to any form o f political dissidence.  In 1982, reports Jones, the delegates to the 10 National Congress o f the th  B A R O C passed a resolution which stated that calls for the lifting o f martial law and the creation o f new parties were "ridiculous."  263  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  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. Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 322-323. Ibid., 334. 261  262  263  133  seriously the assertion that the B A R O C represents the Buddhist community.  The previous  status o f the association as the exclusive representative o f Buddhism in the R O C has been undermined over the years, as competing organizations emerged, became legalized, and developed close relations with members o f 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, C i j i or Fagushan each control far more resources.  264  The B A R O C faces  obstacles within the Buddhist community itself, as an increasing number o f devotees ignore its views and as members o f the Sangha pay only lip service to its directives. The leadership o f the association represents only a fraction o f the ecclesiastical community in Taiwan, and the unity within the B A R O C does not mirror the diversity o f Taiwanese Buddhism as a whole.  Theologically speaking, the association stands for only  one version o f contemporary Buddhism in Taiwan, and members o f the ecclesiastical  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. 264  134  community who do not identify with the views o f the B A R O C have joined the other organizations that have emerged since 1989.  To understand the importance o f this  problem, it is necessary to emphasize the precarious position o f 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 o f 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.  265  This is  the case because the notion that Buddhism should have a unified leadership is alien to the  Buddhist tradition, even i n 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 o f networks o f affiliation,  superimposed haphazardly one upon the other.  266  Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, 407. Ibid., 403.  135  In China, where most members o f 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 o f affiliations are found in Taiwan today, but they are not all  relevant to the B A R O C .  Networks o f religious kinship refer to followers who were  ordained by the same monks, consider themselves as part o f the same group, and relate to each other as schoolmates.  267  Clerical and lay followers can also feel a special loyalty to a  charismatic monk, and i n that case, vertical bonds between master and disciples are stronger than horizontal ties among followers.  268  Another source o f cohesion within the  Chinese Buddhist community stems from the personal ties between the heads o f monasteries and lay people, which are forged through clubs and study groups, but also result from the reputation o f temples.  269  These ties are more relevant to the other  organizations examined in this study, so they w i l l be discussed in later chapters.  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. 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. 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. 267  268  269  136  Of the four types of affiliations identified by Welch, the most relevant to the B A R O C 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 B A R O C .  The  point to note here is that the claim of the B A R O C 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 B A R O C 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 o f prestige among Buddhists.  The adoption o f the L a w on C i v i c Organizations in 1989 represents a turning  point, because it deprived the B A R O C o f its monopoly on ordination, the only effective instrument with which the association could control the Sangha.  Until 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 o f the B A R O C ' s monopoly over ordination has allowed individual monks the chance to build their own network o f support independently, with the result that today the most popular members o f the Sangha are active outside o f the B A R O C .  Xingyun, the  founder o f the B L I A , Shengyan, the abbot o f Fagushan, and Ven. Miaolian  #iJ>H, head o f  the Lingyanshan  MJtillJ Temple,  B A R O C in terms o f membership.  271  are each heading organizations that now surpass the  Although monks like X i n g y u n and Shengyan are in  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). 271  138  theory members o f 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.  272  The leadership o f 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.  273  Two unresolved issues serve to reinforce the views o f those that consider the association unable to represent the interests o f 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 o f new temples.  In 1952, the Taiwanese Provincial Government sought to  pass a law against folk worshipping festivals [baibaiffiffi]that included a clause forbidding the "erection o f new temples or new icons o f Buddha."  The association  successfully persuaded the government not to pass the law, but could not obtain guarantees that it would not be reconsidered i n a different form.  274  Secondly, the B A R O C has failed  Xingyun said that the founding of his own B L I A , which competes directly with the B A R O C , is to the latter "like the implementation of a courier service to the freeway system." Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 384-385. Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 270-271. 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. 272  273  274  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 o f the  B A R O C in the Legislative Yuan was as ineffective as petitions addressed to the Executive Yuan.  275  The decline o f the B A R O C discussed i n this section now needs to be put in the context o f the ambitious goals that the association advertises i n 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 o f its duties served some o f the political objectives o f the ruling party.  That is, the Buddhist  association was expected to communicate to members o f the Sangha and lay devotees instructions from the K M T , and was in return expected to aggregate, articulate and express the concerns o f the whole Buddhist community to the ruling party. of the B A R O C is discussed below.  The political mission  For the moment, it is important to focus on the  performance by the association o f 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 property  [weihujiaochan  ffiMl^il]-  In at least one area, explaining  WM.WtM\, and safeguarding the Sangha  276  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^Wnl )] 7  diplomas granted from colleges run by Foguangshan and Ciji.  277  (MOE) to accredit 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  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 6  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 B A R O C 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 B A R O C .  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 B A R O C 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." [Fojiaofa  They justify their call for a law on Buddhism  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 o f the B A R O C was to protect Sangha property from threats o f 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 o f 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 o f its mandate, and isolated threats o f confiscation still linger for some temples.  Jingxin, the current head of the B A R O C ,  claims that the Draft L a w 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.  278  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.  278  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 B A R O C 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 B A R O C 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 o f the B A R O C for the government is usually expressed at a symbolic  level by the enthusiastic championing o f the K M T during highly visible public events.  280  For example, since 1950 the B A R O C has lent legitimacy to the government through the  performance o f an annual ceremony, the Benevolent Kings Dharma Meeting for the  Protection o f the Nation and the Averting o f Disaster [Huguo Renwang Xizai Fahui $MM  CzESi^t£#]-  281  High-ranking members o f 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.  282  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. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 264. 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 # X f ^ g M # ] (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. 2 8 0  281  2 8 2  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 o f the B A R O C ' s prudent attitude was its refusal in  1994 to intervene in a dispute generated by the attempts o f the Taipei city administration to remove a statue o f the Buddhist deity Guanyin, the Goddess o f Mercy, from an area designated as a public park.  283  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 o f religious division.  In 1996, the B A R O C again clearly demonstrated its support for the government by refusing to sponsor the candidacy o f Chen L u ' a n , a former K M T member who ran for the R O C Presidency against the incumbent Lee Teng-hui.  284  The refusal to support Chen  L u ' a n was all the more remarkable, because this candidate was a famous lay Buddhist,  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." 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  283  284  147  enjoying a good reputation o f probity among the public, and had received the endorsement of Xingyun, himself a member o f 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 o f power.  Support of ROC foreign policy In the realm o f 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 o f K M T foreign policy, however, sometimes puts the association in embarrassing situations.  285  O n balance, however, the participation o f the B A R O C in  international Buddhist organizations has enhanced the reputation o f the association  later Fahui. 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\ ( A A C L ) (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 R O K and the ROC, until these countries initiated their respective democratization processes. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 265-266. 285  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 o f revitalizing the World Buddhist Sangha Council [Shijie Fojiao Sengqie Dahui  fJP A l l " ] ( W B S C ) , an organization which moved its headquarters from Sri Lanka to Taiwan.  286  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 o f religion with the P R C ' s avowed atheist policy.  287  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 o f the government.  The Presidential Office took pains to portray the event as a religious  occasion, i n order to ensure its success.  B A R O C , which dutifully obliged.  For this purpose, it enlisted the help o f the  288  For a detailed account of the meeting's proceedings, see Shi Miaoran, Minguo Fojiao Dashinianji, 508513. Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 304-305. 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 287  288  149  A n examination of the B A R O C ' s structure in the following section illustrates how far  the association was willing over the years to cooperate with the government, i f not  unreservedly support its policies.  T h e 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 .  Until 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.  289  The K M T ' s C S A , the party's Central Committee organ responsible for social  affairs, used to monitor the activities o f the B A R O C v i a 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. Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 258. 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, http://www.kmtdpr.org.tw/. 289  290  150  The Bureau for Social Affairs  [Shehuisi jfrfci§{ a]]  ( B S A ) , which now administers  social welfare programs, used to oversee the organization o f meetings involving civic  associations.  291  The Bureau for C i v i l Affairs [Minzhengsi Jsiil&WJ] ( B C A ) , which  currently administers the preservation o f temples,  292  was responsible for religious affairs.  293  L i k e the K M T and the state, the association consists o f three provincial-level branches  [fenhuifrit]under the [zhihui  jurisdiction of a central authority, plus a number o f local chapters  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  j o i n the association and can vote for delegates to the National Congress  Daibiao Dahui ^W^M.iX$&\^], association.  Temples, lecture halls  [Quanguo Huiyuan  which represents the highest authority within the  [jiangtang  i f t § t ] , and other Buddhist organizations  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 . This mandate covers temples that are designated for their historical value. 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 C S A and the government's B S A that have attended the event. Zhongfohui Kan 130 (10 February 1995), 1. 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 B A R O C : 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. 291  292  293  2 9 4  151  j o i n 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 o f the B A R O C and the local chapters. The National Congress elects a board o f directors, which in turn elects from within its ranks a Standing Committee.  295  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 £ ] .  296  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 o f the L a w on C i v i c Organizations i n 1989 the situation has changed dramatically in at least three respects.  Firstly, the ruling party has had to  cultivate relations with a greater number o f 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 o f party cadres to address its concerns.  Finally, the association,  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. Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 255-256. 295  296  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 o f martial law.  To sum up, the current structure o f 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 Political 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 o f  government to implement many o f its goals.  Since the early years o f 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 o f K M T rule in Taiwan.  After interceding with the M O I and the Ministry o f  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. A l s o i n 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.  297  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 o f a regulation called "Procedure for Handling o f Funds Raised by the Public Work and Charity Undertakings o f Temples in Taiwan [Taiwan Sheng Simiao Jizi  Banli Gongyi Cishan Shiye Banfa  &m^^BM^fflrMft&WW^MfflfeV * 29  I  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 o f temple  finances to be supervised by local governments, thus implicitly questioning the honesty o f the clergy.  299  The B A R O C used its connections with the K M T to ask members o f 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 o f the B A R O C at that meeting, representatives o f the central government instructed provincial authorities to abandon the law.  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. 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 X i n , current secretary-general of the B A R O C , in Faguang (Dharma Light Monthly), "Zhongguo Fojiaohui Zai Xianjin Jiaojie suo Banyan de Jiaose." 298  2 9 9  155  s  s  u  e  d  Finally, between 1982 and 1992, the B A R O C set up a working group o f five members to lobby the M O E .  It successfully obtained modifications in the legislation regarding  higher education, paving the way for government accreditation o f graduate schools set up by Buddhist organizations.  300  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 T z u C h i University.  L i k e the Catholic University o f Furen f i f Z ,  they offer a regular curriculum with religious education. In summary, the connections between clerics and members o f the K M T in the Executive Yuan [Xinzhengyuan  fTlKK],  have certainly proven fruitful.  But on other issues o f importance to the B A R O C , the  the Legislative Yuan and the National Assembly  government has refused to yield to the entreaties o f 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 o f the R O C , the association clearly has an agenda o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the religious controversies that triggered the government review o f 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 o f 1996.  The  first involved 132 young people who decided in September to take the vows to become nuns and monks i n the central Taiwan temple o f Zhongtaichan.  301  Most o f the novices had  been members o f a summer camp organized by the abbot of that temple, Ven. Weijue  f|i||,  and at the conclusion o f their work as volunteers at the temple, they decided to be ordained. Many anguished parents objected to the decisions o f their sons and daughters and demonstrated to prevent their children from joining the monastic order.  302  The abbot o f  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.  303  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.  As  "Chujia Rechao," Xinxinwen, 8-14 September 1996, 28-30. 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. "Temple melee prompts debate on religion law," China Post 6 September 1996, 1, 20. 301  3 0 2  303  158  a result, the government decided to consider the enactment o f a law on religion. Symposium on the Reform o f Buddhism [Fojiao Xingge Yantaohui  At a  \%^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.  306  The second controversy occurred in October 1996, when numerous instances o f fraud were uncovered. 5^-tr^J,  307  The most spectacular of these cases was the scam devised by Song Q i l i  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  " Tidu, Neizhengbu: X u Fumuqing Tongyi," Ziyou Shibao, 6 September 1996, 3. "Fojiaqjie Jue Chengli Xingge Zhiweihui ]%Wi.WtMLuMW^\^% [The Buddhist Milieu Decides to Set up a Reform Committee]," Zhongyang c f ^ : [Central], 17 September 1996, 5. "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. 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. 304  3 0 5  3  3 0 6  3 0 7  159  of days, several cult leaders were found guilty o f 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 o f its  followers into purchasing religious paraphernalia at prices ranging from C D N $ 7,000 to 10,000.  309  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 o f pressuring  devotees to pay large sums to her organization.  3  The revelations about the impropriety o f these cults led to more investigations by journalists, who revealed the existence o f a number o f bizarre organizations,  311  and who  uncovered close relations between the cults and some high-ranking members o f the and the D P P .  312  KMT  Although these instances o f fraud did not involve orthodox Buddhists, the  use by cult leaders o f titles identifying members o f the Sangha, such as "Master [Fashi  "Prosecutors raid yet another cult," China News, 20 October 1996, 1. "More accusations against Miao Tien; new probe starts," China Post, 21 October 1996, 1,19. Ibid., 19. "Qing Hai Wushangshi Tiaowuzhong ye Neng Duren She Dances, Master Suma Qing Hai can also Save People - Duren: litterally, to Cross the River], Xinxinwen 20-26 October 1996,48. 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. 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,"  308  309  W%M±ffl®lM^lMtMA[Wh\le  310  311  312  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.  Although the constitution of the ROC  315  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. Also rendered in English as "Venerable," or "Reverend." "Zongjiao Zuotanhui Gejiaopai Relie Jianyan ^WiBM^^^MI^^Mm [Religious Groups Press Proposals in Symposium on Religion]," Ziyou Shibao 9 November 1996, 4. 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. "Xinli 'Zongjiaofa:' HuasheTianzu § f 3 £ ' ^ ! f e z V : i f K ? f l 5 i [Drafting a ' L a w 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). 3 1 3  3 1 4  315  161  that were labeled "superstitious," groups that it suspected of sympathizing with foreign 316  countries, and churches that it considered subversive because of their pacifist ideals. 317  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 51 anniversary of Taiwan's return to the ROC, President Lee launched a campaign for st  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  Ho Fang-jiau noted that this affected mostly popular religions for their wasteful practices. See Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang'an Huibian, 1-42. The Nichiren sect was the target of this accusation. See Ho Fang-jiau, Taiwan Sheng Jingwu Dang 'an Huibian, 359-478. 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. 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 j ( i t L e makes calls for spiritual reform," China Post, 25 October 1996, 1. 3 1 6  3 , 7  3 1 8  3 1 9  res  en  e  162  act against crimes committed in the name o f religion while safeguarding freedom o f religious belief.  Faced with the inability o f religious leaders to agree on the matter, then-  Premier Lian Zhan affirmed the government's reluctance to legislate on religion.  321  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. Temples [Jiandu Simiao Tiaoli  K n o w n as the Rules for the Supervision o f  SallF^Jiifl^ML these regulations  were devised in 1929,  when some members o f the government, as mentioned before, had a strong anti-religious bias.  Some o f these rules on temple property contradicted the constitutional provisions  protecting freedom o f religion, and it was their implementation that provided one o f the incentives for the founding o f the B A R O C .  In addition, the Rules for the Supervision o f  "Lien vows crackdown on religious swindlers," China Post, 9 November 1996, 1,16. 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. 321  3 2 2  163  322  Temples discriminate against Buddhists, because, as the secretary-general o f the B A R O C  Jingxin points out, Christians do not have to face such interference from the state in their  own affairs.  323  Efforts to reform the Rules for the Supervision o f Temples have so far been unsuccessful.  A first effort was made in 1969 when the Provincial Government proposed  Procedures for the Administration o f Temples [Taiwan Sheng Simiao Guanli Banfa  ^M^MM§l£]  fiMls}  but these were promptly criticized by the B A R O C for giving too much  power to the laity i n running the affairs o f temples.  324  Ten years later, the M O I proposed a  draft L a w for Temples and Churches [Simiao Jiaotang Tiaoli  ^MWi^M.^]],  but it was  opposed by most religious organizations because they were critical o f 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.  325  The  "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. Qu Haiyuan, Zongjiaofa Yanjiu, 51-53. Ibid., 53-58. 323  3 2 4  325  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 asfromcivil right activists.  329  326  However, the BAROC stood apart  Ibid., 58-62.  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, 563577. Zhongfohui Kan 122 (13 April 1994), 2. This was in particular the position of Christians Churches. See Luo Guang, "Zongjiaofa a?fSC7£[Law on Religion]," Yishi Pinglun ^iSfPfra [Commentary] 115(16 April 1994), 1. Some Buddhist organizations also opposed the law proposal. Hence, Lin Rongzhi Secretary-general of the C B T A , 327  328  329  165  from other organizations during these negotiations between the government and religious  organizations because it advocated legislation on religion.  The BAROC's demandfor 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 i n the same year its own amended version o f the L a w on Religious Corporations.  330  Although the B A R O C gave up on the advocacy o f a L a w on Religion in  the following year, its behavior during this episode is quite typical o f its usual political strategy.  The concerns o f the B A R O C have been succinctly expressed by none other than Xingyun, the founder o f Foguangshan, who has complained about the shortcomings o f 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 Mtl m^&''-EIMMJ§. [Promulgating 'Law on Religion' and Excessive Response]," Taiwan Ribao, 29 October 1996. Zhongfohui Kan 122 (13 April 1994), 3-4. i  330  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 B A R O C 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  Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 454-455. 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. 331  332  167  above erupted,  333  and the necessity for self-discipline within the Sangha became apparent.  334  The L a w on Buddhism proposed by the B A R O C advocated the creation o f 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  of writing, the B A R O C has been unable to sway the government to its side.  A t the time It is  remarkable, however, to find a Buddhist organization actually advocating greater government control o f 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. impression.  The reaction o f other Buddhist organizations to the law reinforces this  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.  337  The C B T A saw  the B A R O C proposal as giving the government the ability to "sweep away Buddhism  See pp. 158-159 above. "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. 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 333  334  335  Fojiaohui, Bashiwunian Fojiao Xingge Yantaohui J\' rll^-{%WlM^-WfM'^ [1996 Symposium on the s  Reform of Buddhism] (Taipei: 16-17 September 1996). "Zhonghua Foxiehui Fandui Chengli Fojiao Zonghui ^Wi%^W>1kf%±Li %>$kB1S' [The CBTA Opposes the Establishment of the B F A ] , " Ziyou Shibao, 24 September 1996. "Zhiding Fojiaofa: Shi Zhaohui Fandui Mfel%Wu£-MKEMlx3i [Master Zhaohui Opposes the Establishment of Legislation on Buddhism]," Zhongyang Ribao c f ^ B S z [Central Daily], 24 September i  336  337  168  [saofo | f f$]," and severely criticized the BAROC for proposing a move that was 338  reminiscent of the patterns that prevailed during the period of martial law.  339  Explaining the Political Behavior of 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. "Fojiaojie Pa Saofo: Buneng Rentong Fojiaofa f$fft#ffij§B:^fiMMl%W&& [The Buddhist Milieu Fears their Religion Swept out: They Can't Recognize the Law on Buddhism," Zhongguo Shibao, 24 September 1996,7. 1 "Fojiaofa Cao'an: Zhonghua Foxiehui You Yiyi #tfc&^^:4 ^f$^$&#WJ^lS [Draft Law on Buddhism: The C B T A Disagrees]," Zhongshi Wanbao cfcBf B&fg [China Evening Times], 23 September 1996.  3 3 8  339  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. joined other groups without renouncing its religious ideals.  The B A R O C could have 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 B A R O C , however, made them more likely to approve K M T policies. Given that most B A R O C 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 o f independence.  In the 1960s, some o f the  main critics o f the ruling party were liberal politicians and intellectuals from the mainland such as L e i Zhen W i t and H u Shi any forms o f dictatorship.  - who had been on record for their opposition to  More to the point, the candidate Chen L u ' a n 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 w i l l protect itself against official repression.  This argument makes sense in light o f what has been said in  previous chapters about the experience o f 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 o f 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. does the association persist i n its efforts to lobby the government?  171  Why, then,  The views of BAROC leaders The first chapter asserted that the leaders o f 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. the B A R O C perform these functions?  How does the leadership o f  The central determinant o f the B A R O C leaders'  views is their collective experience relating to the K M T , which was discussed in the previous chapter.  The leaders o f 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 o f deference to the secular leader. The experience o f 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 o f 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 o f the Chinese Sangha at  the beginning o f 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 o f the tradition.  A  majority o f 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. within the Sangha opposed their views.  340  However, a vocal minority  Headed by Taixu, this group urged the  establishment o f an association uniting lay Buddhists and monks, and giving the former more say in the affairs o f the monasteries.  Conservative clerics were reluctant to consider  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. 3 4 0  173  a greater role for the laity in the supervision o f Buddhist affairs, because they feared that in  the process the religion would lose its identity.  341  The divisions between the disciples o f Taixu and those o f 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 i v i n g Buddha, a neutral figure, was chosen to head the organization.  342  After 1957, the  traditionalists' main figure, Baisheng, led the association for almost three decades. was succeeded by two o f his disciples, Ven. Wuming j f } ^ and Jingxin.  344  343  He  The control o f  the association by a small group o f traditionalist monks, argues Charles B . Jones, explains why more energetic clerics and lay people identified with the disciples o f Taixu preferred to operate outside o f the B A R O C .  3 4 5  Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China, 71. See 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. 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. Ibid., 290. Ibid., 324.  341  342  343  344  345  174  The B A R O C suffers from the fact that its leadership does not reflect the current dynamic o f Taiwanese Buddhism, which embraces the reforms proposed by the late Chinese monk Taixu that the association has rejected for the last four decades.  As  mentioned above, Xingyun, Shengyan and Zhengyan are all on record for having adopted the this-worldly approach advocated by the reformist monk.  H i s 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.  346  Yinshun is a well-known and respected figure in Taiwan, and some o f his  disciples, like Zhengyan, the head o f 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 o f Taixu.  A s a result, the views o f the  reformist monk are extremely popular among lay Buddhists and active members o f 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 o f greater  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). 346  175  independence from or opposition to the government.  Were the leaders o f the B A R O C  constrained by the material and human resources o f their organization to adopt such a  strategy?  Constraints on B A R O C leaders The resources o f the B A R O C pale next to those o f the other organizations studied in this dissertation and, compounding this difficulty, three characteristics o f 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 o f ecclesiastics, even though the dynamism and the influence o f the religion on the island are increasingly a function o f 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 o f the association  remains the preserve o f people from the Chinese mainland, even though a majority o f Buddhists in Taiwan, like most other inhabitants o f the island, do not identify with China. This last aspect o f the B A R O C leadership is especially important.  Most leaders o f the  B A R O C remain attached to the ultimate goal o f 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 o f 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 o f the association to fulfill its objectives are hampered by its inability to gather enough resources for the pursuit o f its activities.  A s early as 1979, Shengyan, who  would later become the abbot o f 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 o f 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.  347  One consequence o f this lack o f resources is that the heads o f subordinated  temples and organizations have become, over the years, inactive members o f the B A R O C who focus their energies on their own temples or monastic orders.  347  Quoted by Charles B . Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 321-322.  177  After the L a w o f 1989  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 o f 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 o f Foguangshan, and Shengyan, mentioned above, are two wellknown figures illustrating that trend.  This discrepancy between the limited resources o f the B A R O C and the wealth o f certain other organizations is evident in their respective real estate holdings. headquarters o f the B A R O C in Taipei in the run-down Shandao | f M modest adjoining office on Shaoxing  The  temple and the  Street pale in comparison to the monumental  complexes o f Foguangshan, Fagushan, or Lingyanshan, some o f which have emerged in recent years as major tourist attractions in their own rights.  348  The current financial  difficulties o f the association, however, do not determine its political behavior.  In the  mid-1960s, when the B A R O C held a monopoly o f representation for Taiwanese Buddhists,  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. 348  178  it consisted o f 40,000 individuals and 1,900 organizations, but it was not more politically assertive.  349  The poverty o f 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 o f the association, however, it is necessary to look at the political behavior o f other organizations that control more resources, such as Foguangshan and C i j i .  The absence of lay support The current control o f the B A R O C by clerics goes to the heart o f the feeling o f alienation expressed by many lay Buddhists working outside o f the association.  The  charter o f the B A R O C allows for no more than a third o f leadership positions, whether in the National Congress and at higher levels, or in local branches, to be occupied by lay people.  350  This dominance o f the association by monks, i n turn, is a function o f the  conservative views held by the faction currently controlling the B A R O C , which, as previously discussed, believes that control o f the affairs o f temples by lay Buddhists would  "Organizations" refer here to individual temples. ROC, Ministry of Information, China Yearbook 196566 (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. B A R O C Charter, Section 4, Article 23. See Charles B. Jones, "Buddhism in Taiwan," 331. 349  350  179  signal the decline o f the religion.  This belief may be unpopular among Buddhists and may  compel many to j o i n 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 o f the B A R O C  prefers to preserve the principle o f laity deference to the ecclesiastical order, even i f the enforcement o f that standard weakens its authority over lay devotees.  The absence o f lay support certainly constrains the ability o f the B A R O C to conduct large-scale campaigns to mobilize Buddhist adherents and might dictate the choice for more modest forms o f political intervention, i f there were any indication that the B A R O C leadership were willing 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 o f 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'  Although the inhabitants of Taiwan often emphasize the difference between the bendiren and the 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). 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.  351  waishengren,  3 5 2  181  theological beliefs, not the ultimate cause o f its elitist behavior.  A similar argument can  be made with respect to the lack o f gender congruence.  The lack of congruence on the dimension ofgender 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 o f most female devotees.  353  Most students o f Buddhism i n Taiwan agree that among the adherents  of the religion, women exceed men several times in number, and in recent years, an increasing number o f nuns have emerged as spiritual leaders and lay activists.  354  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 o f the other  sources o f attrition i n the membership o f 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,  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. 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 353  354  182  Foguangshan and Ciji are making great strides in representing women in their administrative structure.  In letting women take positions o f 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 o f strategy o f lobbying?  To answer this question, we need to  examine our two other organizations, Foguangshan and C i j i .  Conclusion  The B A R O C has reacted to the decline o f its standing among Buddhists by attempting  to influence the government in its favor, despite the opposition o f other organizations, and  did not support Chen Lti'an.  The members o f the Sangha heading the association have  adopted their strategy o f lobbying because they believe that there is no alternative to  cooperation with the ruling K M T .  This belief is reinforced by the experience o f 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 o f cooperation, including the hope for the passing o f a law germane to the interests o f 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 o f popularity within its constituency, making it difficult to obtain material resources and lay support.  Rather than the organizational  characteristics o f the B A R O C determining the views o f 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 o f  its previously privileged status, the association is likely to continue with the same strategy because most Buddhist devotees and members o f the Sangha that hold different views, and hence could have been more interested i n revitalizing the B A R O C , have preferred to j o i n other institutions.  Some o f these organizations are already more popular and more  184  influential than the B A R O C , and have made different political choices.  turns to one o f these organizations, Foguangshan.  185  The next chapter  Chapter Four  FOGUANGSHAN'S HUMANISTIC BUDDHISM AND THE DUTY OF REMONSTRANCE  Introduction  The Foguangshan monastic order, i n particular its founder Xingyun, has worked closely with the K M T for many years, but i n 1996, it demonstrated its opposition to the government o f Lee Teng-hui by supporting a rival candidate, Chen Lti'an, for the R O C presidency.  M e d i a that were usually critical o f the government called Xingyun a "political  monk" and denounced the intervention o f a religious leader i n politics, arguing that it represented a dangerous precedent.  355  W h y did Xingyun, who had been an active member  "Yesu Jidu Shijjiamoni Dazhan Iftf^SIfP ^ ^ 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  355  186  of the B A R O C for decades, pursue a strategy so different from that o f 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 o f the Japanese Soka Gakkai and w i 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 o f X i n g y u n and his colleagues, and tries to assess whether the constraints and opportunities present in the monastic order and its affiliates influence the choice o f strategies they make.  The chapter is organized as  follows: the first section introduces X i n g y u n and Foguangshan; the following two sections explore the goals and the structure o f Foguangshan; and a fourth section discusses the political activities o f Xingyun, especially during the 1996 presidential election.  The final  section examines the ideas o f Xingyun and explores whether the material and human resources at his disposal shape his decisions.  Ribao S l S c S f g [People's Daily], 4 march 1996, 5.  187  X i n g y u n 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,  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: ThisWorldly Buddhism], ed. Ceng Fengling # J E J p (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe f^?r:tBfiSHl [Fo Kuang Publishing House], 1994). Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 59. 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), 2728. Ibid, 28-29. 3 5 6  357  358  359  188  Xingyun formally founded the Foguangshan Monastery, which went through two phases o f expansion before the organization as we know it today was established.  360  Over the next  two decades, X i n g y u n either founded new branch establishments throughout the island and abroad, or incorporated smaller temples that were experiencing financial difficulties, the absence o f a successor to the position o f leadership, or internal strife.  361  Then, in  accordance with the rule that he himself set for his succession, he resigned from his position as the abbot o f Foguangshan i n 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 o f branch temples abroad,  outside o f the jurisdiction o f the official association.  One o f the most notable  achievements o f X i n g y u n in that regard was the founding o f the X i l a i  Temple near Los  Angeles in 1986, under the auspices o f the International Buddhist Progress Society [Guoji  Fojiao Cujinhui  Spiff  (IBPS).  362  This branch of the organization would later  achieve considerable, albeit unsought, notoriety in the United States as the center o f 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  "Temple-disguised D N C Contribution Confirmed," China Post 19 October 1996, 1. 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. The catalogue for the Foguangshan publisher lists over 40 works written by Xingyun and about the same 363  3 6 4  365  190  organizations have sponsored events such as the international symposium on the contribution o f religion to higher education i n 1996.  366  In 1997, he held conversations  with Pope John Paul II to develop more symposia, research exchange programs and cooperative international projects.  367  Through the various activities described above, X i n g y u n has sought over the years to achieve several objectives, which are encapsulated in the credo o f Foguangshan: "promoting humanistic Buddhism and establishing a Pure Land on Earth."  The next  section introduces these aims.  T h e Goals of Foguangshan  The Foguangshan monastic order is an international organization primarily devoted to  the proselytizing o f the particular form o f Buddhism taught by Xingyun.  The literature  number of tape recordings of his speeches. The complete proceedings are available in "Yazhou Zongjiao yu Gaodeng Jiaoyu: Guoji Xueshu Huiyi Lunwenji iSMm^L^M^WSMf^MMitMmytM [Proceedings of the International Symposium on religion and Higher Education in Asia]," Foguangshan, 1996. From a personal communication sent by Ven. Manhua MW, general executive of the IBPS, Foguangshan Buddhist Monastery, 2 May 1977. 3 6 6  3 6 7  191  from the monastic order states as a motto that its two goals are the promotion of humanistic  Buddhism [tichang rensheng fojiao  Earth \jianli Renjian Jingtu  and the building of a Pure Land on  ItjiAFaT^dt]-  368  These two goals are to be achieved by the  pursuit of four main activities: propagating the Dharma [hongyang Fofa  fostering talent through education \yijiaoyupeiyang  5A^f^t£],  rencai lHWCW^n^A.^], benefitting  society through charitable activities [yi cishan full shehui  I^M#l§^0litl"]  minds through Buddhist practice [yi gongxiu jinghua renxin  and purifying  i^^flt^/fH^A'LV]-  369  Foguangshan may be barely more than thirty years old, but it already ranks as one of the  most widely known associations in the R O C .  as one of the main attractions of the island,  371  370  Its reputation is such that it is advertised  and until the mid-1990s  stopover for many foreign dignitaries visiting Taiwan.  372  it was a major  373  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. Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 4, 11. Unfortunately, by the time of writing, the annals of Foguangshan commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the monastic order were not available. The GIO claims it is a center of Buddhist scholarship in Taiwan. Republic of China Yearbook, 1997, 396. 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. Among the personalities that visited the temple over the years were: the Dalai Lama, who attended a 3 6 8  3 6 9  3 7 0  371  3 7 2  373  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. See Jiang Canteng, Taiwan Dangdai Fojiao, 13-27; Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 107184; Chen Zailai, Zongjiao yu Guanli, 5-11. 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 B L I A abroad can be found in the attendance at the fifth B L I A conference in Paris: 4,000 representatives from over one hundred countries joined the event. Foguang Jikan flyfc^PJ [IBPS Quarterly], Winter 1996, 1. 374  375  193  politics and needs to mobilize the followers o f 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 o f the Dharma: internationalization [guojihua  Si^{li], "actualization [renjianhua  APsHt],"  preparation for the future [weilaihua 7^3J5{t,], and standardization [tongyihua M ' f t . ] -  The goal o f internationalization is self-evident: the B L I A stakes a claim to be a universal religion reaching out to everyone. With its objective o f 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 o f Xingyun, the achievement o f that goal requires "the practice o f asceticism, commitment to society and aggressive engagement in activities o f Buddhist culture, education, charity and Dharma preaching."  The goal o f "catering for the future" demands spreading a "truth-based religion  [zhenli de zongjiao  3 7 6  striving to "humanize [...] economic lives [fohua de  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  3 7 6  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 o f standardization, finally, refers to the achievement o f uniformity i n 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 o f monasticism into a congregational religion that is active in society. The attainment o f such ideals requires the performance o f several practical activities that produce considerable economic benefits: sale o f religious paraphernalia, books and tapes; provision o f health care and education; and organization o f public lectures and conferences.  The wealth generated by these activities, however, has generated heated  controversies on the island and elsewehere.  378  In Taiwan, numerous lay Buddhists  criticize the monastic order for putting too much emphasis on the pursuit o f wealth and  Note that in Chinese, "to Humanize" was instead to "Buddha-ize." 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. 3 7 7  3 7 8  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 B A R O C , it allows the monastic order the opportunity to conduct a  great range of activities besides proselytizing.  T h e Structure o f Foguangshan  Xingyun and his associates have established over the years a structure that differs  from that of the B A R O C in two respects.  Firstly, it is not intended to meet the demands of  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. 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. 3 7 9  3 8 0  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 o f its creator: it uses its own constitution [zhangcheng IjlcfM], which determines the procedures by which the abbot [zhuchi { i f # ] and the highest authority within the Foguangshan monastic order, the Committee for Religious Affairs [Zongwu Weiyuanhui  S£3?Ji llj\ 1  are to be selected.  381  ^  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;  [doujian fP^] respectively.  383  382  temple supervision  i n Taiwan, supervision o f temples abroad, education, and cultural affairs In addition, the Committee administers the affairs o f the IBPS, Fokuang  TV, two cultural and educational foundations [wenjiao jijinhui  ^^iSjfellt],  384  three  For details, see Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, Foguangxue [Studies on Buddha Light] (Nd.: Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, 1997), 81-127. 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. 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. Both foundations are fund-raising associations that sponsor cultural and scholarly activities such as conferences, seminars, etc. Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 5-7.  381  3 8 2  383  3 8 4  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 B A R O C , 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  The university educational activities of Foguangshan are oriented towards secular education and distinct from the monastic education. 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. 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). 3 8 5  3 8 6  387  198  A few have been educated abroad, possess advanced degrees and have a cosmopolitan outlook.  388  However, with perhaps the exception of Ven. Xinding  of Foguangshan,  389  'L>^E,  the current abbot  no monk or nun has yet emerged who possesses the charisma and the  popularity enjoyed by the founder o f Foguangshan.  390  The organizational structure and the resources o f 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 o f purpose, and could rapidly mobilize lay Buddhists.  Its affairs,  up to and including the supreme leadership, are conducted i n accordance with a charter and follow a series of bureaucratic, routinized procedures within a well-defined hierarchy. Such institutionalization o f 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 o f Foguangshan in that regard.  Ven. Yikong -f-CcS?, a member of the religious affairs committee and the B L I A 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. /fe/., 113-134. 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. 388  389  390  199  T h e Political Behavior of Foguangshan  A s we stated i n the introduction, much o f Foguangshan's political activity has involved cooperation with the K M T government and has served the interests o f that government well.  For example, the religious activities o f Xingyun have served the  interests o f the R O C government very well as a form o f informal diplomacy, possible channel o f communication with the P R C .  391  and as a  The numerous encounters between  Xingyun and his counterparts in South Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka or India must be seen in light o f the diminishing international presence o f the R O C .  In some o f his international  ventures, Xingyun continues to present an image o f Taiwan as a progressive country. Recently, he has been instrumental in restarting the ordination o f women in countries belonging to the Hinayana tradition.  392  In 1986 Zhao Puchu, head o f the Buddhist  Association o f China ( B A C ) , invited X i n g y u n to visit the P R C , and in the spring o f 1989 a  391 3 9 2  Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 363. "Daughters of the Buddha," Sinorama December 1997 (online edition:  200  delegation o f 200 headed by X i n g y u n 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 X i n g y u n and the  Dalai Lama also served a political purpose for the R O C : the mutual understanding between the Sangha o f the Taiwanese monastic order and the exiled Tibetan leader invites a contrast with the lack o f 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.  394  A l o n g with his role as an informal ambassador for Taiwanese Buddhism and the R O C abroad, X i n g y u n also works closely with the government at home and is involved with the domestic affairs o f his country.  Since 1986, he has served as a member o f the ruling  http://www.gio.tw/info/sinorama/en/8612/612082e8.html) Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 310-318. "Hsing Yun dismisses fund-raising flap," China Post, 27 October 1996, 1,12. 393  394  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 Weiyuanhui  [Qiaowu  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.  The Central Committee (CC) is distinct from the Central Standing Committee (CSC). In 1993, the former counted 210 members, and the latter 31. C C 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. "Buddhist Master Named Commissioner of O C A C , " FBIS-CHI-97-032, 16 February 1997. Source: Taiwan Central News Agency WWW. "Fokuangshan Receives Government Award for the 10 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. This was not the only instance where Xingyun supported an opposition candidate. In the Legislative 395  396  3 9 7  th  398  202  T h e 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 o f Chen L i i ' a n , a respected politician, and triggered a controversy about the separation o f religion and politics that lasted throughout the campaign.  399  Xingyun's move came as a surprise, given the many years o f his  cooperation with the K M T .  What was even more surprising, however, was the rather  lukewarm response o f organizations such as the B A R O C and C i 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 L u ' a n ' 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.  W h y did Xingyun break ranks with other Taiwanese  election of 1995, the founder of Foguangshan sponsored the candidate Jiang Shiping yX5Mf 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. ;  399  "Yesu Jidu Shijjiamoni Dazhan", Xinxinwen 3 September 1995, 10-18;  M^WtM^ [The other religious war]," Minzong Ribao, 4 march 1996, 5.  203  z s  "Linglei Zongjiao Zhanzheng  ^  Buddhist leaders and decided to act politically against the K M T ?  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  ^ZE&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  Supporters of Lee within the K M T , naturally, were members of the zhuliupai mainstream faction. Liao Liangchen JpMS and Chen Qimai ^ S j g , Xin Dang Zhendang ffEKIt [The New Party Tidal Wave] (Taipei: Xiwang #H, 1995).  400  401  204  assertion is found by looking at the constituencies that the "Third Force" politicians were  courting.  402  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  who were both vice-chairmen o f the party.  403  the K M T  L i n had long been a rival o f President Lee  within the K M T , and Hao, a former general and premier from 1990 to 1993, was one o f the last holdouts of the previous authoritarian regime.  404  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 Z h u Gaozheng ^jUiIE.  During the legislative elections o f  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.  406  Politics was thus polarized over the Tongdu M  "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. The title was purely honorific and represented a demotion in the power structure of the party. 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). 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 . "Sense and Sensibility: On Taiwan's Political Future," China News Analysis 1558, 15 April 1996, 5. 402  403  404  405  406  205  issue, that is, the clash between advocates o f reunification with mainland China  [Zhongguo tongyi MWlL]*  ^S&S^] and proponents of Taiwanese  independence [Taiwan dull  The participation o f Chen Lti'an in the presidential election signaled an  m  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.  408  Chen's political program on the issue o f national unity was not very different  from that o f other members o f 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  "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. "Taiwan voters get another choice," China Post, 22 August 1995, 4; "Chen Li-an's spirit of sacrifice," China Post, 23 August 1995 4. 4 0 7  4 0 8  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  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 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. 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.  4 0 9  4 1 0  411  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 guojiafl|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 E E # 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 o f his campaign, however, were in the vagueness o f his  proposals and his excessive use o f moralistic language.  A s time went on, Chen L u ' a n  increasingly focused his attacks on President Lee and supporters o f Taiwanese independence, whom he blamed for triggering the P L A missile tests o f March 1996, rather than against the candidate L i n Yanggang.  413  Chen L u ' a n could not rely on the support o f  any political party, so he had to count on the assistance o f 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 o f 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. get enough support to legally establish a campaign committee. campaigners came from various religious organizations,  414  Chen and Wang managed to Both financial support and  and the campaign was managed  by a cultural and educational foundation, the Huayu Wenjiao Jijinhui  ftW^Ci^S^t,  "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. "Sense and Sensibility," 5.  4 1 3  4 1 4  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 o f 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 o f 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 Machiavellian plots.  416  to criticism, ridicule, and the denunciation of alleged  Several journalists argued that X i n g y u n was setting a dangerous  precedent by supporting a politician.  There were hysterical editorials and somber  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]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, 2729; "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. 4 1 5  4 1 6  210  warnings pointing to an upcoming war o f religions.  These interpretations, however,  417  were more often sensational schemes to attract readers than they were serious analyses.  Cynics also derided X i n g y u n ' s support for a candidate who was not endorsed by the ruling  party and therefore stood little chance o f w i n n i n g .  419  Finally, some other commentators  speculated that Chen's presidential bid was actually a ploy to steal votes from President  Lee's opponents and that X i n g y u n supported this g o a l .  420  The consequences o f X i n g y u n ' s actions turned out to be less drastic than initially  feared.  A s any observer o f 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  "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+^ltg [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. 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. "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. 417  4 . 8  4 . 9  420  " V P choice will show i f Chen's for real," China Post, 12 September 1995, 4.  211  pay their respects to religious leaders.  Taiwanese politics.  421  But this kind o f behavior was not unusual in  The pattern o f the vote did not follow religious cleavages.  While  many Buddhist voted for Chen L i i ' a n , there was an even greater number o f self-described  Buddhists who did not: out o f the 4.9 million Buddhists in Taiwan, less than 1.4 million  voted for Chen.  That said, it is interesting to note that this figure comes close to the  claimed membership o f the B L I A .  The support provided by Xingyun to Chen L i i ' a n was also not as considerable as  some in the media had claimed.  downplay his Buddhist beliefs.  During his campaign, Chen repeatedly sought to  422  Although many B L I A members may have supported  him, they likely did so because they agreed with his ideas and those o f his spiritual mentor,  and not as a result o f mobilization by the B L I A or Foguangshan.  The bulletin and  periodicals o f the organizations were not used to promote the campaign o f Chen, and, as we  have seen above, an outside publisher with no relation to Foguangshan produced Chen's  '"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. "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. 421  422  212  campaign literature.  That is, although Xingyun publicly supported Chen in the early  stages o f the campaign, his organization avoided appearing too involved in Chen's campaign, and Chen, in turn, emphasized that he was not the "Buddhist candidate."  423  Although Chen finished last, it would be wrong to consider his bid as a failure.  The  participation o f Chen certainly demonstrated that many lay Buddhists ignore the B A R O C ' s views, disagree with C i j i ' s approach and do not shy away from involvement in politics. The votes received by Chen demonstrated that a substantial number o f 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 o f the candidate in light o f the obstacles  he faced.  Chen did not have the support o f any political party, while the three other  candidates benefited from party resources.  Lee Teng-hui and L i a n Zhan were supported  by the mainstream faction o f the K M T and moderate supporters o f the D P P ; Peng M i n g m i n and X i e Changting received the endorsement o f 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 o f  support from any political party, furthermore, made it difficult for Chen and Wang to  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, 4 2 3  213  receive supportive coverage in the press.  424  A s mentioned above, press commentary was  often critical, i f not derisive, o f Chen's religious background.  Chen also failed to receive the support o f all Buddhists.  The leaders o f other  Buddhist organizations, such as Zhengyan, were careful not to give the impression that they were supporting C h e n ,  425  and it is likely that many Buddhists affiliated with other  organizations found that two o f the other candidates could best represent their interests. L i n Yanggang's daughter is a noted member o f C i j i , and, although the latter did not endorse the non-mainstream K M T candidate, the refusal o f this charity organization to endorse Chen was a setback for h i m .  426  Although neither Lee nor L i a n were Buddhists, many  adherents o f the religion may have preferred to support the incumbent President, keeping in mind that one o f his close collaborators, W u Boxiong, is also close to X i n g y u n .  427  More  16. 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. 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. In addition, his teacher in Buddhist philosophy was Wuming, a B A R O C figure mentioned in the previous chapter. In fact, Wu is a lay devotee who has been elected as head of the B L I A , 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.  424  425  426  427  214  significant, however, is the fact that neither Foguangshan nor the B L I A mobilized their members to support Chen.  X i n g y u n was willing to bless the campaign o f Chen on the basis o f shared values and the track record o f the former President o f the Control Yuan.  It is dubious that fear o f  conflict with the ruling party prevented the founder o f Foguangshan from mobilizing his organization on behalf o f Chen.  After the presidential campaign o f 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 o f Foguangshan and the B L I A for a candidate that stood few chances o f 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 o f Xingyun mentioned above has indicated, and the leader o f the B L I A may have wanted to avoid the fate o f the Soka Gakkai, which has been submitted to intense criticism in Japan for its intervention in politics.  The  most likely explanation, though, o f 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 L u ' a n was not punished for his participation in the presidential campaign, he has no future in Taiwanese politics.  After the campaign, he spent most o f  his time travelling abroad, including three times to the P R C .  The purposes o f his trips  were to help the poor, contribute to the repair o f 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 M a c a u .  428  Besides making  proposals on cross-strait relations that he made during a non-official visit to Beijing in 1998,  429  Chen has been politically inactive and not supported by any party, and he has  gradually withdrawn from politics.  The charge that X i n g y u n was helping the candidate Lee Teng-hui by sponsoring Chen L u ' a n has been largely discredited by the fact that the monastic order has apparently been punished for supporting Chen.  Although members o f the monastic order refrain from  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. "Chen Li-an Recommends E U Model of Chinese Unification," FBIS-CHI-98-118, source: Taiwan Central News Agency WWW. 4 2 8  4 2 9  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.  430  Newspapers reported at the end o f 1995 that the local administration  "suddenly" found out that most o f the structures at Foguangshan are illegal.  According to  the chief o f 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 o f water resources.  In most cases, argued local authorities, Foguangshan has  failed to file the necessary applications for the construction o f buildings.  Although the  department o f building standards admitted that the monastery supported its case with relevant documents in the last phase o f its construction on the site o f 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 o f  manpower in the demolition crew.  431  Private communication from Manhua, 31 May 1997. "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. 4 3 0  4 3 1  217  Considering the stream o f government officials who have visited Foguangshan over the last thirty years without ever having mentioned zoning regulations, the attitude o f the local government was, at best, disingenuous.  A member o f the I B P S pointed out to me  that a regulation issued by the Ministry o f 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.  432  The timing o f the whole affair speaks volumes: concerns about  compliance or non-compliance with zoning regulations suddenly emerged only after Xingyun came out publicly in support o f Chen L i i ' a n .  The dispute between the local  K M T government and Foguangshan, however, was not indicative o f 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 o f the O C A C . Although Xingyun's adoption o f both cooperative and defiant attitudes may appear inconsistent, an underlying logic motivates his behavior.  Private communication from Manhua, 2 May 1997.  218  Explaining the Political Behavior of Foguangshan  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.  The theological rationale of Xingyun for Buddhist political participation 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.  219  The  founder o f Foguangshan usually writes on the meaning o f humanistic Buddhism, i.e., the realization o f a Pure Land, and seldom writes about social affairs, much less on politics.  433  It is nonetheless possible to discern theological foundations that shape X i n g y u n ' s approach to politics.  To this end, it is useful to consider first his definition o f 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 ofXingyun The theology o f Xingyun, for the most part, represents the continuation and actualization o f doctrinal changes advocated by Taixu in China before 1947 and further elaborated by Yinshun i n 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.  434  They represent the response o f reformist Buddhists to the individual  Fojiao de Zhengzhiguan \%Wiffi®dhW. [Buddhist Views on Politics] (Kaohsiung: Foguang Chubanshe, 1984). 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).  433  434  220  Salvationist practices o f traditionalists.  435  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 o f 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 o f 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 o f C i j i ,  Zhengyan, it is limited to the pursuit o f charity work. political participation in order to effect social change.  For the nun Zhaohui, it implies  436  For Xingyun, it implies political  participation, but within certain limits.  In a speech in 1984 at the Sun Yat-sen memorial hall in Taipei, X i n g y u n explained what form Buddhist political participation should take.  H i s political philosophy is  rudimentary: his description o f the Buddhist political attitude amounted to less than four  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. "Ciji 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.  4 3 5  4 3 6  221  hundred characters.  He outlined the contributions o f Buddhists through the ages to the  maintenance o f good government, and then commented on the appropriate attitude that Buddhists must adopt towards the state. four principles.  438  He explained that the faithful must abide by  Firstly, Buddhists must prioritize good moral ethics as the foundation o f  their politics, an injunction he calls "ethical democracy [minzhu daode de zhengzhi JI: JEM  ll^il&in]."  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 i n fact traditional.  The founder o f 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.  438  The speech, taped in Mandarin and Minnanhua  [Uj^fSS, is also written  222  down.  Xingyun, Fojiao de  "purification o f minds [xinlingjinghua and the B L I A .  4 3 9  ^M^fb]" among  the four goals o f Foguangshan  This "purification" is to be achieved through purely religious practices  such as meditation [Chan zuo  /W^i], sutra recitation  [nian Fo  fraiWi^'tr, baguan zhaijie AlSllf#£], and pilgrimages  [chaoshan  retreats [fingjin Fo qi  fjj[J_[].  440  Although the goal o f "purification" is purely religious in its essence, some o f its political implications can be surmised.  Xingyun clearly believes that Taiwanese society is  currently corrupt, and therefore i n need o f reform.  According to him, the source o f the  violence, "unreasonable pursuits [wangqiu ^ ^ ] , " and other sufferings o f modern society, is to be found in "self-attachment [wozhi $Sc#l]," ignorance [wuming 4ffiH£J] and other individual human failings.  441  The political implications o f these beliefs were displayed in  a 1997 campaign dubbed the "Caravan o f Love and Mercy [CibeiAixin Lieche  WM^'lJ  ^[Jift]," which coincided with a grass-roots movement o f protest leading to the resignation o f Premier L i a n Zhan. murder o f B a i Xiaoyan  Zhengzhiguan. 439  The latter movement was sparked by the kidnapping and sordid  EZJ^PRE,  the daughter o f the famous Taiwanese Television actress  A n abridged version is also available,in Xingyun, Foguang Yuan, 175-178.  Fokuang Shiji, 16 June 1997, 1.  Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, 35-42; Foguangshan Zongwu Weiyuanhui, Women de Baogao, 72-80. Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 53-54.  4 4 0  441  223  B a i Bingbing SYTK^JC.  442  The feelings o f anxiety generated by the inability o f the police  forces to capture the kidnappers, and the lack o f professional ethics on the part o f many  journalists filled the population with disgust, and demonstrations demanding the resignation  of Premier L i a n Zhan spread throughout the country.  The B L I A joined the movement,  and during the official launch o f its Caravan i n Taipei, then-Minister o f Justice, Liao Zhenghao 0 I E I § E had to listen to Xingyun's views.  The founder o f Fokuangshan then  argued that the best answer to the ills o f "insatiable desire, anger, ignorance and violence,"  was "wisdom, morality, virtue and conscience."  443  A major limitation in Xingyun's theological system is the idea that criticism is just  another source o f disharmony in society and cannot represent a step towards social reform.  In his speeches, X i n g y u n is careful not to antagonize any particular person or organization  when he tries to single out the sources o f suffering i n human society.  The inevitable  conclusion reached by X i n g y u n - that the reform o f individual behavior is the key to the  betterment o f society - leads to the development o f a political vision with complex  ramifications.  442  443  O n the one hand, it suggests that a Buddhist political program would not be  Foguang Ship, 16 June 1999, 1. Ibid., 4.  224  limited to changing a few policies, but would aim at more far-reaching transformations. Implicit in the views o f X i n g y u n is the idea that without the inspiration o f Buddhist values, politics devoid o f the moral principles upheld by his religion are not likely to solve social problems.  This has resulted i n considerable ambiguities.  X i n g y u n has had to answer  many critics i n 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 o f 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.  X i n g y u n ' s sponsorship o f Chen Lii-an  certainly makes sense in light o f the ideas that both men share within the tradition o f humanistic Buddhism.  The calls for "clean government [qinglian zhengfu  ^MWMMV  "rectification o f the national morale [duanzheng renxin $rffiIEA L ],"and "talent y  s  nourishment [peiyu rencai f#WA^"]," by Chen L u ' a n during his campaign, were not far  225  removed in essence from the mottos of Foguangshan about "purifying minds" and "fostering talent."  Because o f his views on the future o f 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.  444  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 i n g y u n .  445  While it makes sense that X i n g y u n 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 all, must get involved in politics.  446  One representative o f the monastic order  pointed out to me that the behavior of Xingyun conforms to an old tradition that dates back  From a written correspondence with Manhua, 2 May 1997. "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. The material for this paragraph is from correspondence with Manhua, 2 and 31 May 1997.  4 4 4  4 4 5  4 4 6  226  to the Tang dynasty, when emperors sought spiritual counseling from Buddhist monks. Traditionally monks have been obliged to advise, as part o f 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 o f Foguangshan, it was inevitable that the organization would accept the verdict o f 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 o f espionage by each camp. He was also sent to jail 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 o f 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 o f X i n g y u n whom I have interviewed in the Foguangshan monastery took this last episode as a rebuttal to the accusation that X i n g y u n only befriended politicians in power and supported K M T conservative politicians during the period o f martial law.  His  close disciples argued that he had no choice but to collaborate with the authorities for the benefit o f Buddhists and the people in general during that period.  448  What has emerged  clearly from these conversations is that over the years the attitude o f the Committee for Religious Affairs, the ruling body o f Foguangshan, has changed.  The strategy o f  remonstrance is more likely to be adopted in the future because some o f 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, i n making their choices o f 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  Organizational resources and constraints To what extent has the strategy o f 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 j o i n pilgrimages and retreats i n temples owned by the monastic order, and those subscribing to some o f its publications.  Although there are no  comprehensive data available on the social background of the followers o f Foguangshan, some preliminary observations can be made on the basis of participant observations and the research o f other scholars.  449  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  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  449  229  complex built in Kaohsiung County, has also generated suspicion about the real nature o f the organization and has put its leadership on the defensive.  The Foguangshan Monastery,  where the headquarters o f the whole organization are located, is the primus inter pares among three main branch temples,  450  5 4 smaller Taiwanese branch temples, and the 94  affiliated institutions established abroad.  451  O n the island alone, Foguangshan possesses,  among its network o f temples, 16 Buddhist colleges and seminaries, 3 public universities, 26 libraries and 9 art galleries.  452  With an estimated value o f U S $ six b i l l i o n  Foguangshan claims to be self-sufficient.  453  It relies on donations from devotees,  in assets,  454  and  finances its own expenses through the sale o f its books and magazines, memorabilia and souvenirs, and tuition charges for its kindergarten and schools.  455  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. 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. These figures have been provided by the liaison representative of Foguangshan through personal correspondence in the spring of 1997. From a personal communication sent by Manhua, 2 May 1977. Still far behind the top ten list of the wealthiest religious corporations in the island. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 212. Like traditional temples, Foguangshan conducts repentance ceremonies and services for the death. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 208. 4 5 0  451  4 5 2  4 5 3  4 5 4  4 5 5  230  monks should make a vow o f poverty.  456  Xingyun is aware o f the apparent contradiction  between the enormous wealth o f his organizations and traditional Buddhist practices, and has responded to that issue in his lectures.  According to his own interpretation o f the  religion, Buddhism is an affirmation o f the value o f worldly life, and therefore, wealth should be rated positively: " . . . [it] is a blessing [and]; knowing how to expand wealth is wisdom."  457  Xingyun also points out that he distinguishes between his own wealth and  that o f 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 w o r k .  458  Sangha initiative and lay support The achievement o f religious goals by Foguangshan is unlikely to have much political  consequence as long as the organization remains centered on its monastic community, and  "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. "Qian, Yongle Caishi Cijide t l , f f l T ^ l l i t l 3 f i * J [Once it is used, money still belongs to oneself]," Yuanjian Zazhi WiRMM-, [Global Views], 15 April 1993, 50-53. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 205,459.  4 5 6  4 5 7  4 5 8  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 i n 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 o f their monasteries to lay society, organization i n 1994.  460  459  the M O I nevertheless registered the B L I A as a religious  The association also claims to offer lay Buddhists an institutional  framework for the propagation o f their faith, but the B L I A remains subordinated to members o f the Sangha that are ordained i n Foguangshan and its associated temples. ' 46  Members o f lay organizations, not being bound to monastic life, are less likely than members o f the Sangha to intervene i n politics strictly within the confines o f a Buddhist organization.  Unlike monks, lay people have many concerns that go beyond those o f the  Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 54. 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 . 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.  459  460  461  232  Buddhist community.  For many o f them the K M T is a far more efficient means to  propagate some o f their ideas, especially when some o f these lay Buddhists, such as W u Boxiong, are i n positions o f power within the party.  The large number o f lay people adhering to the precepts o f 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.  462  contrasts with the figures for lay devotees in the B L I A .  This relatively small number Barely three years after its  founding, sources from that organization boasted that its membership had reached about one million devotees,  463  and already ranked as the world's fourth largest private non-  governmental organization after the Rotary Club, L i o n ' s International, and K i w a n i s .  464  Although the headquarters o f the B L I A are located in the California-based temple o f X i l a i , and although the organization now has a hundred branches i n 30 countries,  465  the most  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. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 377. Ibid, 279. 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. 462  463  464  465  233  dynamic components o f the association remain in the R O C headquarters [Zhonghua  Zonghui  4 ¥Mti']> with 342 sub-chapters in Taiwan alone. J,  466  The reader must keep in  mind, however, that the number o f 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 o f specific figures for membership, evidence suggests that the lay community affiliated with Foguangshan and the B L I A is quite large.  The biographer o f  Xingyun indicated that in 1995 a total o f one million people had "taken refuge [guiyi $x that is, one out o f five Buddhists in Taiwan has been converted i n one o f the temples belonging to the network o f Foguangshan since its founding in 1966.  In the first half o f  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 o f the site in Kaohsiung county.  467  In 1997, over 400,000 free  subscriptions o f the magazine "Awakening the World" were distributed.  468  Statistics from  Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 373; Guoji Foguanghui Zhonghua Zonghui, Yijiujiuwu Nian Tekan, 45. Fu Chi-ying, Handing Down the Light, 244-245. This is the claim made on the cover of the magazine.  466  467  468  234  the monastic order also point out that in the year 1995 alone, 1,200,000 visitors came to the site.  469  However, sociologists Kang L e and Jian Huimei, in discussing the attendance o f  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 o f 49 days.  470  The numbers o f those who participated in the "Caravan o f Love and M e r c y " campaign organized in M a y 1997 and who attended the rally i n Taipei in October o f 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 o f recurring  public protests in front o f the Presidential Office building against the administration o f Premier Lian Zhan, some o f which drew as many as 50,000 people.  Attendance at the  launch o f the Caravan did not reach that figure, even though the popular actress B a i Bingbing and the Minister o f Justice were present.  The Caravan, which was divided into  two groups departing on M a y 25 from Taipei and Kaohsiung respectively, was concluded th  4 6 9  4 7 0  Fokuangshan Buddhist Order, Our Report, rev. ed., 12. On exception was over 50,000 visitors for an exhibit of paintings organized by the Temple.  235  in Hualien [Hualian people.  on June 15 infrontof a crowd that numbered six thousand th  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, underlined that the influence of Hsing Yun reaches far. 474  471  Fokuang Shiji, 16 July 1997, 4.  Press release from Foguangshan, 5 October 1997. Jueshi l ^ i [Awakening the World] 1377, 20 October 1997, 19-22. 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.  472  473  474  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. to the lay organization.  475  The same approach has been applied  Wu Boxiong, who was elected in January 1998 as the president of  the most important section of the BLIA, the ROC headquarters, is a popular K M T 476  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  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  4 7 5  Zhiying. Xinhuo. Fokuang Shiji 30, 16 January 1998, 1.  476  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-  4 7 7  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.  478  Finally, Foguangshan started to proselytize in Minnanhua, the  native language o f most Taiwanese bendiren, at a time when it was still forbidden by the government to teach it in schools.  479  Despite the promotion o f native Taiwanese Buddhists into the leadership ranks o f Foguangshan, however, we cannot say that the organization is entirely ethnically congruent. The background o f 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 o f their values and interests.  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 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. 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  4 7 8  m  4 7 9  238  Near congruence on the dimension ofgender Over the years, X i n g y u n has placed many women in positions o f 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 o f departments within the order are women.  The importance o f women in the monastic order has been a characteristic o f the  organization since its beginning.  Four o f the thirteen members o f the Committee for  Religious affairs are women who belonged to the first generation o f 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 o f Foguangshan through the I P B S . 1988 women headed most branch temples o f Foguangshan i n Taiwan. to hold true for B L I A members.  480  In  The same seems  For example, sociologists Kang Le and Jian Huimei find  the most important figures within the Committee for Religious Affairs. 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: http://www.gio.tw/info/sinorama/en/8612/612082e7.html). 4 8 0  239  that among lay devotees attending various events in Taipei, women outnumbered men by nearly two to one.  481  There is no doubt that women in the monastic order enjoy the respect o f their male peers and lay devotees.  For instance, the organization has abandoned the traditional  Buddhist etiquette o f female deference to male colleagues,  482  and as participant observation  has confirmed, nuns do not bow when they see monks o f the same ranking.  Female  members o f Foguangshan are not only caretakers o f the monastery, but are also involved in public relations with outsiders, and act as scholars.  The cliche that women who j o i n the  monastic life either have a shadowy past or are uneducated does not fit any o f the individuals I met in Foguangshan and i n the Taipei Temple. higher education abroad.  483  Some have even pursued  In sum, the situation o f gender congruence within Foguangshan  is much like that o f ethnic congruence.  Xingyun himself is male, but he has promoted  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 B L I A , 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 B L I A only to the extent that it is nuns that manage the latter. Sinorama December 1997 (online edition: http://www.gio.tw/info/sinorama/en/8612/612082e5.html). 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., http://www.gio.tw/info/sinorama/en/8612/612082e3.html 481  482  483  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 B A R O C .  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 o f Taixu, in contrast with the B A R O C leadership's rejection o f such interpretations, has led him to the conclusion that Buddhists must participate in politics, although within limits.  This set o f  beliefs explains well Foguangshan's mixed strategies o f cooperation and remonstrance with the K M T .  When we turned to examine the constraints and opportunities presented by the organizational characteristics o f Foguangshan, we found the hypotheses set forth earlier about the influence o f 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 o f 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 o f the B A R O C and Foguangshan appear to confirm the importance o f both leadership views and organizational characteristics in shaping the choice o f political strategy.  In the next chapter we w i l l explore whether the third  organization, Ciji, also provides support for the importance o f both these sets o f variables.  242  C h a p t e r Five  CIJI'S H U M A N I S T I C B U D D H I S M AND THE AVOIDANCE OF POLITICS  Introduction  The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu C h i Association (Ciji) is the largest Taiwanese  Buddhist organization in the R O C , and its leader Zhengyan is one o f the most prominent  public figures on the island.  a major player in politics.  Ciji's resources and its membership give it the potential to be  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 C i j i upholds, she refused to endorse his campaign.  This is  surprising i n view o f the fact that Zhengyan also subscribes to the theology o f Taixu's  243  humanistic Buddhism, which inspired Xingyun, the founder o f Foguangshan, to adopt a very different political attitude.  H o w is it that a shared theology has led these two leaders  to adopt such strikingly different forms o f political behavior?  W h y would humanistic  Buddhism inspire a strategy o f remonstrance on the part o f Foguangshan and a strategy o f avoiding intervention in politics on the part o f Ciji?  Does the apoliticism o f the latter  derive from Zhengyan's own philosophy and interpretation o f Taixu's theology, or is it the result o f some constraints imposed by the resources o f the organization she has built over the years?  To what extent do lay support and congruence between C i j i ' s leaders and  followers affect her decisions? parts.  To examine these issues, this chapter is divided in four  The first section looks into the religious goals o f C i j i , the second one examines the  structure o f the organization, and the third section explores the political behavior o f C i j i . The last section introduces the specific beliefs held by Zhengyan, and examines to what extent C i j i ' s resources, lay support and congruence on the dimension o f ethnicity and gender have influenced its choice o f strategy.  244  T h e Goals of C i j i  Ciji is officially registered as a charitable foundation and a lay organization, but it is in fact a religious organization under the authority o f a charismatic leader.  484  Its activities  in the provision o f 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 o f its kind in Taiwan.  The label Fojiao [Buddhism] in the official name o f the foundation and in its  main constituent units, such as the Buddhist Compassion Relief Ciji Association [Fojiao Kenan Ciji Gongdehui {%WC^MWMPjW^] Foundation [Fojiao Ciji Cishan Shiye Jijinhui the Buddhist identity o f the organization.  or the Buddhist Compassion Relief T z u C h i  {j$|fcM^M#¥H3i^1i"L  reminds us o f  In addition, the founder and current leader o f  the foundation, Zhengyan, is a Buddhist nun who is well-known for her numerous speeches on the Dharma.  She never tires o f explaining that she draws her inspiration from the  Ciji is not listed in the official registry of religious organizations in Taiwan compiled by the MOI, Quanguoxing Zongjiao Tuanti Minglu.  484  245  teachings o f the Buddha.  485  The available literature on the activities o f the organization  always emphasizes that when members perform their duties, they become boddhisattvas.  486  Visitors to the Taipei branch building o f the foundation in Chunghsiao [Zhongxiao ^jt] East Road or to its spiritual center at the Abode o f Still Thoughts [Jingsi Jingshe %$]§, fi#]  in Hualien County are also reminded o f the Buddhist nature o f the foundation by the  Swastikas that adorn both buildings.  487  Attendants at seminars introducing the  organization are taught not only about the missions o f 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.  488  The religious goals of C i j i Zhengyan originally established C i j i to perform a mission o f "helping the poor and educating the rich [jipin jiaofu  485  Yun Jing  ^flfifcil  Since 1997, the organization has advertised  Qian Shou Foxin: Zhengyan Fashi iM?pfi$>l>: WMWM [Master of Love and Mercy:  Zhengyan] (Tainan ^ \ % : Daqian Wenhua 486  ]•"  A^^Cik,  1995).  Douglas Shaw, ed., Still Thoughts, 24.  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. The contribution of Ciji to Foxue is however modest when compared to Foguangshan's. 487  488  246  its goals under the motto o f the "eight footprints [bada jiaoyin J \ i \  JPEP]" left by C i j i .  4 8 9  The first o f 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 .  490  The second one, which the brochures o f Ciji describe as a "mission o f  culture," is better described as proselytizing: publishing materials on Buddhists ethics and the teachings o f Zhengyan, as well as organizing outreach activities.  The third  "footprint," medicine, follows the stance o f Zhengyan that sickness stands as one o f the major causes o f poverty and, accordingly, the curing o f illness is the most meritorious o f the good deeds.  491  The "footprint" o f 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 o f international relief, the campaign on behalf o f a bone marrow  donor registry in Taiwan established in 1993 in collaboration with eleven hospitals  For a detailed presentation, see the website of Ciji at "http://www.tzuchi.org.tw/". Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation, Foreign Language Publications Department, All Loving & All Merciful (Taipei: Tzu Chi Buddhist Cultural Center, date N/A). Douglas Shaw, ed., Still Thoughts, ,167.  489  490  491  247  throughout the country,  community work, and environmental protection are the other  intended "footprints" o f the organization.  493  The religious dimension o f C i j i ' s social work is evident i n its educational activities. Ciji is developing its own university, comprising colleges o f liberal arts, management, religion and fine arts along with its medical college.  The founders o f the Ciji Colleges,  494  which represent the first steps towards the achievement o f that goal, have described the curriculum they offer as an opportunity to teach students who are not only technically capable, but also morally good.  495  Besides activities primarily aimed at the training o f  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 o f Buddhism in society, Ciji has, since 1986, granted scholarships to meritorious students at the junior high level and above in the fields of  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). 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. tzuchi.org.tw/." 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  492  493  494  Yixueyuan WMW^&z] 495  in 1994.  "Cultivating Whole People: The New Wave of Buddhist Universities," Sinorama (April 1994), 43.  248  medicine, nursing, Buddhism, and fine arts.  49  Typical o f the way in which Ciji 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.  497  Besides  encouraging a moral education that favors the political status quo, other activities o f Ciji have positive consequences for the government.  The realization of Ciji's religious goals in the social-political arena The members o f Ciji enthusiastically perform their charitable activities because they believe it brings them spiritual merit.  The provision o f emergency relief after natural  disasters is a typical example o f the organization members' beliefs put into practice. modest beginnings in the late 1960s and early 1970s,  498  After  the number o f people receiving  Ciji's assistance increased dramatically in the following decades.  499  In 1995 alone, 3,823  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^^-&, 19661992 [Ciji Yearbook, 1966-1992] (Taipei: Ciji Wenhua Chubanshe. WM5C{kttjM± [Ciji Culture Publishing, 1993), 314, 322-323. "Love in the Classroom: Teaching with the Aphorisms of a Buddhist Master," Sinorama (June 1996), 3341. Between 1966 and 1972, the number of people to whom Ciji offered its assistance increased more than ten times, from 31 to 361. Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 92-93. 4 9 6  4 9 7  4 9 8  4 9 9  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.  501  Detailed  figures on a county by county basis suggest that Ciji was helping to resolve problems in every region o f the country.  at fund-raising.  502  Between 1966 and 1992, Ciji became increasingly skilled  In 1966, it managed to raise a mere N T S 17,000.  In 1973, for the first  time, it collected over a million N T $ , a figure multiplied ten times in 1979, and a hundred times by 1987.  503  In 1995, Ciji received contributions totaling NT$4,647 millions.  504  These numbers are indicative o f the rapid growth o f Ciji and the quantitative increase in the  number o f households it reaches. The enthusiasm o f Ciji members for charity work is not limited to the R O C .  The  provision o f international relief started i n 1991, when the American branch o f Ciji in Los  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. 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. A W . , 23. Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 92-93. 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. "Ciji Ruhe Mukuan, Yong Qian MfMtlUiujMiX, fflU [How does Ciji gains contributions and uses its money]," Shangye Zhoukan, 26 August 1996, 60-62. 500  501  502  503  504  250  Angeles helped victims o f a cyclone i n Bangladesh.  505  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 i n Ethiopia.  506  The foreign policy o f the R O C and its China policy also benefit from the activities o f C i j i .  The relief effort abroad helps the R O C to score points i n the international arena: without  official recognition at the United Nations since 1971, Taipei cannot use foreign aid to  cultivate friends.  Viewed from that perspective, C i j i ' s relief efforts on behalf o f refugees  in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Ethiopia provide the K M T government with an important public  relations service.  In particular, the provision o f emergency relief to countries afflicted by  natural disaster or wars contributes to the improvement o f the standing o f Taiwan abroad.  Some o f the missions o f Ciji abroad were not reactions to pleas for help by  international N G O s , but responses to requests from the government o f the R O C to aid  Overseas Chinese.  In 1994, for example, the Cabinet-level O C A C asked Ciji to help  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. 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 >L MMM<'MMs0i$i=-~i'^ [Ten Thousand Lotus Blossoms of the Heart: Thirty 505  506  s  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. "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. 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. Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Love Responding to International Disaster Relief (Taipei: Tzu Chi Buddhist Cultural Center, date N/A). 507  508  509  252  called upon to serve as a mediator between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.  510  other Taiwanese see the role of Ciji differently.  However,  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. issue.  512  To be sure, the operations of Ciji in China constitute a sensitive  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.  From discussions with members of Ciji in Taipei and Hualien. " "Ciji de Zhengzhi Renmo Mffi$ftl8&aXM [The Political Connections of Ciji]," Shangye Zhoukan, 26 September 1996, 57. 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. T o 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, 230251, for an overview of the whole 1991-1996 period. 510  s  5 , 2  5l3  253  The Structure of Ciji  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,  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, 447470; Kang Le and Jian Huimei, Xinyangyu Shehui, 53-106. 514  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  1 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. This is the fifth highest degree in a scale of seven. "Ciji 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. 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, 515  5 1 6  517  5 1 8  255  devotion to her within the organization and admiration from the Taiwanese media, which  dub her as the "Mother Teresa of Taiwan."  Devotion to Zhengyan is encouraged by the  519  publication of her thoughts in about thirty titles,  languages,  520  hagiographies in Chinese and English  recordings of her speeches, daily broadcasts on cable T V and radio stations all  521  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!"]  525  and oversees the mission of charity.  She  National Taiwan Chungcheng cfiE University, Chiayi [Jiayi HIH] County, 1993) 144. "Taiwan Jingyangzhong Zui Dongren de Yizhang aWfi&M fi1zkWjAff3^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. 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. Not all of these works are published by the organization itself. See Qiu Xiuzhi, Da ai; or Yun Jin, Qian Shou Foxin. 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. 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. 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, 19661992, 578-562. 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 519  t  520  521  522  523  524  525  5=n administrative center [Zongguanli Zhongxin ii§1t 34 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 M f 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  1;  >  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 such as accounting for funds received.  527  i§^3l.fi] perform diverse functions  Although Zhengyan cannot oversee the work of  every volunteer or members of the paid staff working for Ciji,  branches of the organization throughout Taiwan.  528  she regularly visits the  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. Chen Zailai, Zongjiao yu Guanli, 21; Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 34. The 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. The staffs status is somewhat distinct from that of the commissioners and other volunteer workers, who contribute their time to accomplish diverse tasks. 526 527  S28  257  fathers." and clean.  When an event or a convention takes place, they control traffic, maintain order  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  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. Norman Yuan, "Faith Corps," Tzu Chi Quarterly (Fall/Winter 1994), 23-24. In 1991, a disproportionate number of them, 54%, came from North Taiwan (the Greater Taipei area, plus 5 2 9  5 3 0  531  258  Along with the Faith Corps, the Honorary Board Members Association [Rongyu  Dongshi Lianyihui Lianyihui groups. of Ciji.  ^®M^li$fiflllj  and the Commissioners Association [Weiyuan  HlJil^fl "H"], Zhengyan has approved the creation of eight other functional Some of these groups are aimed at influencing certain sectors of society outside For instance, two of these associations, the Collegiate Youth Association  [Dazhuan Lianyihui  f^l^Hli'],  533  All^Uti"],  532  and the Teachers Association [Jiaoshi Lianyihui  seek to promote interest in and support for Ciji among students outside of the  organization's own educational system.  [Ciyudui  Another association, the Reformation Corps  MWH£], performs a role in reform schools comparable to that of the  mentioned associations.  534  within the organization.  above  Some of the other groups are designed to reinforce cohesion 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. 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. 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. Its members giving speeches and using their personal experience to enlighten their audiences. 532  533  534  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. there are no rules for the succession to Zhengyan.  This is the case because  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.  For details about their role, see Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 238-242. 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^ff 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. 535  536  "Ciji 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. Tiao Men-peng, "Spread Great Love with Gratitude: A n Interview with Cheng Yen," translated by Norman Yuan, Tzu Chi Quarterly (spring 1997), 9. 537  538  260  What w i l l happen i n 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 o f any checks to authority within the organization,  what would prevent it from falling under the control o f outsiders? on the political strategy currently pursued by Ciji?  What w i l l be the effect  Before answering these questions, the  following section clarifies the nature o f the political choices made by the leader o f Ciji.  The Political Behavior of Ciji  The organization discourages its members from getting involved in politics, a position  that was understandable during the period o f K M T dictatorial rule, but is at odds with  current trends.  This avowed disapproval o f political participation, it should be noted, does  not represent a strategy o f remonstrance critical o f K M T policies.  O n the contrary, Ciji  relies on government support for the implementation o f its goals and its leaders are careful  261  in not opposing the government and working within the bounds of ROC laws regulating  civic organizations.  T h e apoliticism of C i j i Ciji has adopted a practice of "neitherflatteringnor 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  See Feng Wenrao, "Zhiyuan Fuli Fuwu Zuzhi Xingcheng j i Yunzuo zhi Tantao," 141. "Ciji Gongdehui bu She Zhengzhi WM^W^^f^^Cfa [Ciji does not involve itself into politics]," Zhongguo Shibao, 28 November 1995, 6. "Chen Lii'an Baihui Zhengyan Fashi WMW^iSWMc&M [Chen LU'an implores Zhengyan]," Lianhebao, 21 November 1995, 6. 5 3 9  5 4 0  541  262  as well as a charity organization. humanity."  Its ideal is the respect for all life and the affirmation of  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 B A R O C 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  542  543  "Zhengyan Fashi: Ciji Guanxin dan bu Jieru Zhengzhi," Lianhebao. " 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. aboriginals, it does not claim to represent them.  545  Although the foundation helps  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. This would seem anathema to Ciji, which advocates itself "help to the poor and enlightenment to the rich." 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. 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. 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 5 4 4  5 4 5  5 4 6  5 4 7  264  The political 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. foundation cannot afford to ignore the government.  548  The  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. fact-finding visit by then-Governor Lin Yanggang.  All this changed in 1980, after a 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. 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 ofthe 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). 548  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.  The relations between  551  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  Shi Zhengyan, ed., Ciji Nianjian, 1966-1992, 53-56. Ibid., 56-57. Ibid., 61-66. "Ciji Meili Zhengtan Qingdao," HeibaiXinwen, 14-17. 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. 549  550  551  552  553  554  "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.  555  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 K M T 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.  555  " Ciji Meili Zhengtan Qingdao," HeibaiXinwen, 14-17.  267  The foundation  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  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