Workshop on the Western Perspective on Chinese Buddhism

Immediately after its inauguration, Longquan Great Compassion Monastery in the Netherlands holds Workshop on the Western Perspective on Han-Chinese Buddhism. Prestigious Buddhist scholars, eminent monastics and devotees from the Netherlands, the US and China gathered to explore an ideal way to integrate Han-Chinese Buddhism into the West for the interest of local societies.

The workshop is represented by nine speakers:

Prof. Ton Lathouwers, Founder of Maha Karuna Chan Community;
Prof. dr Jonathan Silk, Chair Buddhist Studies at Leiden University;
Prof. Andre van der Braak, Professor of VU University Amsterdam, head of Maha Karuna Chan Community;
Tenkei Coppens Roshi, Abbot of Zen River Temple;
Ven. Miaoshiang, Deputy Head of Fo-Guang-Shan Europe;
Mr. Daan Oostveen, Doctoral candidate in Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism at VU;
Michael Ritman, Chairman of Buddhist Union of Netherlands; 
Dr. Henk Blezer, Lecturer of Leiden University;
Prof. Frank J. Hoffman, Visiting Professor, Hangzhou Buddhist Academy. 

Various thoughts and suggestions are put forward by the speakers on the westward spread of Han Chinese Buddhism. Besides a historic summary of the academic studies on Han-Chinese Buddhism in the Netherlands, proposals are given on Buddhism functioning as a promoter for non-violence, community peace and multi-faith dialogues. As for how to make Han Chinese Buddhism international, the speakers also provide ideas of multiple dimensions. Academically, they propose that Buddhists learn the Western philosophical systems and religious dynamics in order to provide feasible spirituality solutions for the so-called secular age; practically, they believe that an ideal way is for Buddhism to reach local communities to provide spiritual care that people really need. 

At the end of the workshop, Ven. Master Xuecheng, President of Buddhist Association of China, delivered a conclusive speech, in which he introduced briefly the basic ideas of Buddhism,elaborated the three marks and characteristics of Han-Chinese Buddhism. At last,he provided some suggestions on the tragedy of the integration of Han-Chinese Buddhism with the Western society.

Source: China Times



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