Probably the most important movement in modern Chinese Buddhism has been Humanistic Buddhism, which sought to make Buddhism more relevant to society and to the lay person. The founder of this movement was Master Taixu, who founded both the Association for the Advancement of Buddhism (AAB) and the Xuedou Temple, which is dedicated to Maitreya Buddha.
Through a series of interviews we learn more about the background of this movement, and its influence in modern China, and why it became such an prominent movement. We hear first from Ven Master Yizang, the current Abbot of Xuedou Temple, who speaks about harmony in Chinese culture; and then from Ven Master Chidong, who tells us more about the background of Maitreya Buddha. Finally we hear from Dr Wenli Fan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
We also get contextual information from the presenter Yang Rui, and see something of the Xuedou Temple, which has the largest statue of Maitreya in the world, which has become iconic of Chinese Buddhism and of the Humanistic movement. One of the interesting sections of the interviews is the openness about the Communist Party’s main opposition leader Chiang Kai-shek and his connection to the movement.
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