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Old Society, New BeliefReligious transformation of China and Rome, ca. 1st-6th Centuries$
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Mu-chou Poo, H. A. Drake, and Lisa Raphals

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278359.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 November 2019

When Buddhism Meets the Chen-Wei Prophetic and Apocryphal Discourse

When Buddhism Meets the Chen-Wei Prophetic and Apocryphal Discourse

A Religious Encounter in Early Medieval China

(p.81) 5 When Buddhism Meets the Chen-Wei Prophetic and Apocryphal Discourse
Old Society, New Belief

Zongli Lu

Oxford University Press

As Buddhism was a new religion introduced to a foreign society and culture, Buddhist doctrines and religious and philosophical concepts had to be translated and transmitted through a set of the indigenous linguistic, conceptual, and metaphoric discourses of the time. The majority of followers of the new religion would welcome and perceive this set of religious concepts only within their own mindsets that had focused on homegrown religious beliefs and cultural traditions. Many historians of Chinese Buddhism have pointed out that Confucianism, Daoism, Metaphysical Learning, and other indigenous cultural traditions contributed significantly to the acculturation of Buddhism in early medieval China. This chapter argues that a less discussed religious discourse, the learning of the chen (讖‎) prophecy and wei apocrypha (weishu 緯書‎), also played a notable role in the process of translating and converting Buddhist scriptures and notions into “Chinese” Buddhism during early medieval China.

Keywords:   apocryphal text, chen-wei prophecy, monks, sutras, Buddhist translations

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