MRI Forum 69

"Buddhism under Attack and its Revival in the Ming Dynasty:
The Nanhua and the Guangxiao Monasteries in Guangdong"


by David Faure

29 November 2012








Press Play to listen (Full length: 55 minutes)

Summary of the Presentation

From the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century, villages in Guangdong were rapidly taking on the appearance of lineages, through building ancestral halls and gathering land in their name. The reverse has to be said of Buddhist monasteries, many of which were attacked as "illicit temples", at the same time as the lineage-building movement began in the early sixteenth century.The attack on the monasteries weakened their economic holdings, but by the last years of the century, they made a come back. Into the early Qing, they provided the venue for literati gatherings. To understand these changes, it is necessary to set the politics in the background of tax reforms as much as literati aspirations, which together, shaped much of Guangdong society in the Ming and early Qing.

Profile of the Speaker

David Faure is Wei Lun Professor of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also director of the Chinese University of Hong Kong-Sun Yat-sen University Centre for Historical Anthropology and of the Centre for China Studies, both at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and coordinator for the research project on the Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society. He is author of Emperor and Ancestor: State and Lineage in South China and China and Capitalism, A History of Business Enterprise in Modern China, and co-editor of Chieftains into Ancestors, Imperial Expansion and Indigenous Society in Southwest China (in press).