Buddhism in the Sung
656pp. October 2002
Buddhism in the Sung
Editor: Gregory, Peter N.; Getz Jr., Daniel A.;
New paperback edition

The Sung Dynasty (960–1279) has long been recognized as a major watershed in Chinese history. Although there are recent major monographs on Sung society, government, literature, Confucian thought, and popular religion, the contribution of Buddhism to Sung social and cultural life has been all but ignored. Indeed, the study of Buddhism during the Sung has lagged behind that of other periods of Chinese history. One reason for the neglect of this important aspect of Sung society is undoubtedly the tenacity of the view that the Sung marked the beginning of an inexorable decline of Buddhism in China that extended down through the remainder of the imperial era. As this book attests, however, new research suggests that, far from signaling a decline, the Sung was a period of great efflorescence in Buddhism.

This volume is the first extended scholarly treatment of Buddhism in the Sung to be published in a Western language. It focuses largely on elite figures, elite traditions, and interactions among Buddhists and literati, although some of the book’s essays touch on ways in which elite traditions both responded to and helped shape more popular forms of lay practice and piety. All of the chapters in one way or another deal with the two most important elite traditions within Sung Buddhism: Ch’an and T’ien-t’ai. Whereas most previous discussions of Buddhism in the Sung have tended to concentrate on Ch’an, the present volume is notable for giving T’ien-t’ai its due. By presenting a broader and more contextualized picture of these two traditions as they developed in the Sung, this work amply reveals the vitality of Buddhism in the Sung as well as its embeddedness in the social and intellectual life of the time.

Studies in East Asian Buddhism Series
Kuroda Institute
Reviews of the cloth edition:

"A milestone" —Acta Orientalia 62 (2001)

"I know of no edited volume of as consistently excellent scholarship as this one.... Fortunately, the standard of excellence maintained by authors and editors is mirrored by the book’s flawless production.... A remarkable achievement!" —Journal of Asian Studies, February 2001

"Anyone interested in Chinese Buddhism will profit from this excellent book." —China Review International, Spring 2001

"The editors and contributing scholars have done a remarkable job. No longer can Buddhism be said to ‘be in decline’ during the Song periods." —Journal of Buddhist Ethics 8 (2001) (Read full review)

Editor: Gregory, Peter N.; Getz Jr., Daniel A.;
Peter N. Gregory, professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Illinois from 1984 to 1999, is currently the Jill Ker Conway Professor of Buddhist Studies at Smith College. He is also president and executive director of the Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism. Daniel A. Getz, Jr., is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Bradley University.
Read chapter 1 (PDF).

Abbreviations and Conventions

Chapter 1 The Vitality of Buddhism in the Sung
Peter N. Gregory

Chapter 2 A Buddhist Response to the Confucian Revival:
Tsan-ning and the Debate over Wen in the Early Sung
Albert Welter

Chapter 3 Ko-wu or Kung-an? Practice, Realization,
and Teaching in the Thought of Chang Chiu-ch’eng
Ari Borrell

Chapter 4 Silent Illumination, Kung-an Introspection,
and the Competition for Lay Patronage in Sung
Dynasty Ch’an Morten Schlütter

Chapter 5 Images of Women in Ch’an Buddhist
Literature of the Sung Period Ding-hwa E. Hsieh

Chapter 6 Miao-tao and Her Teacher Ta-hui
Miriam Levering

Chapter 7 Sung Controversies Concerning the
"Separate Transmission" of Ch’an
T. Griffith Foulk

Chapter 8 Elite and Clergy in Northern Sung Hang-chou:
A Convergence of Interest
Chi-chiang Huang

Chapter 9 Protocols of Power: Tz’u-yün Tsun-shih (964–1032)
and T’ien-t’ai Lay Buddhist Ritual in the Sung
Daniel B. Stevenson

Chapter 10 Chih-li (960–1028) and the Crisis of
T’ien-t’ai Buddhism in the Early Sung
Chi-wah Chan

Chapter 11 What Is the Buddha Looking At? The
Importance of Intersubjectivity in the T’ien-t’ai
Tradition as Understood by
Chih-li Brook Ziporyn

Chapter 12 T’ien-t’ai Pure Land Societies and the
Creation of the Pure Land Patriarchate
Daniel A. Getz, Jr.

Chapter 13 From Local History to Universal History:
The Construction of the Sung T’ien-t’ai Lineage
Koichi Shinohara

Glossary of Names

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Texts