Chinese Buddhist Association (Zhōngguó Fójiào huì 中國佛教會): A number of different groups were known by this title during the 20th century.
Established by Ōuyáng Jìngwú 歐陽竟無 and several of his confederates in Nánjīng 南京 to promote the Dharma and give lay people control over Buddhist activities and institutions in China. It officially began on March 20, and closed for unknown reasons by April 1. Holmes Welch reports that its membership was ten people.
The more common referent for the Republican period is the Chinese Buddhist Association that was founded on April 12, 1929 in Shànghǎi 上海. It was headquartered at at the Buddhist Pure Karma Association's 佛教淨業社 buildings at the Enlightenment Garden 覺園. Monks dominated, though lay people also participated. Yuányīng 圓瑛 was elected as the first president, and served with only a a brief interruption in 1931, as the organization's only president. Within a year of its formation, the Association received government recognition and branches were set up in many other provinces.
Factionalism grew between those associated with Yuányīng and those associated Tàixū 太虛. On April 11, 1931, at the Association's third congress, Tàixū and his confederares, including Wáng Yìtíng 王一亭 and Rénshān 仁山 won election to the executive board and temporarily took over operations of the Association. Amidst allegations of voting fraud and with the support of Jiāngnán 江南 monks, Yuányīng had once again took control of the Association in June.
With the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, the Association was virtually shut down until after the Civil War of the late 1940s, when two separate organizations were organized by members of the original group. They were:
Established on the mainland in 1953, with Yuányīng again acting as president.
Section Editor: Erik Hammerstrom