Minnan foxueyuan 閩南佛學院

From DMCB Wiki
Revision as of 02:15, 24 July 2010 by Erik hammerstrom (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Mǐnnán Buddhist Seminary: Mǐnnán fóxué yuàn 閩南佛學院 was one of the longest-running and most influential Chinese Buddhist seminaries during the first half of the 20th century.



This Buddhist seminary 佛學院 was founded in 1925 by the abbot of Nánpǔtuó Temple 南普陀寺 in Xiàmén 廈門. In 1921, businessman Tan Kah Kee (Chén Jiāgēng 陳嘉庚) donated a large amount of money to establish Xiàmén University 廈門大學. This University was build on land seized with the aid of the local government from Nánpǔtuó Temple. In response, the abbot ordered the opening of the Jǐngxián Buddhist Study Society 景賢學佛社 at the temple in 1924. Two of his disciples, Ruìjīn 瑞今 and Gǎungzhēn 廣箴, were at that time studying at the Ānhuī Monastic School 安徽僧學校, which was located at Yíngjiāng Temple 迎江寺. They convinced the abbot of Nánpǔtuó Temple to invite their principal, Chángxǐng 常惺 to come teach at the new Society.[1] Chángxǐng served as a teacher and vice-principal and Huìquán 會泉 was the first principal. Most of the 80 students from the Monastic School also transferred to the school, making it something of a continuation of the Ānhuī Monastic School.

When the abbot of Nánpǔtuó Temple retired in 1927, Tàixū 太虛 succeeded him and he renamed the Society, the Mǐnnán Buddhist Seminary. As with the Wǔchāng Buddhist Seminary 武昌佛學院, this school was run in a modern way and not like a traditional Buddhist study hall. Students sat at desks in rooms where teachers made copious use of blackboards. In addition to classes on Buddhist scripture and doctrine, students studied history, geography, psychology, and Japanese language, and many of these classes were taught by laymen. This curriculum, which was similar to the one used at the Wǔchāng Buddhist Seminary, had been adapted by Tàixū from a Japanese school.[2]

Although Tàixū was the head of the school, the actual operations were the responsibility of Huìjué 會覺 who was replaced in 1927 by Mǎnzhì 滿智, who ran the school until 1928, at which point Dàxǐng 大醒 and Zhīfēng 芝峰 took over. They ran the school until 1932, publishing the periodical Modern Sangha 現代僧伽 there.

From 1930, Zhīfēng and Yú Déyuán 虞德元 arranged to have professors from Xiàmén University (where Yú was a student) come lecture at the Seminary, and Tàixū was invited to the University to lecture. Around the same time, an associated school was founded. This was the Yǎngzhèng Buddhist Seminary 養正佛學院, which was housed in the same buildings and taught a more elementary curriculum. Both schools closed down in 1939 due to the Second Sino-Japanese War, though the Minnan Buddhist Seminary briefly revived after the War ended.

The Mǐnnán Buddhist Seminary is once again in operation, having reopened in 1985.[3] One of its first lecturers after it reopened was Dān Péigēn 單培根, who taught Consciousness-Only 唯識 though and Buddhist logic.

Erik Hammerstrom

Notable Teachers

Notable Students


  1. Yú Língbō 于凌波, ed. Xiàndài Fójiào rénwù cídiǎn 現代佛教人物辭典 (A Dictionary of Modern Buddhist Persons), 2 vols. Taipei: Foguang, 2004. Pp. 1:955a
  2. Welch.
  3. See this site.


  • Gāo Zhènnóng 高振農. Fójiào wénhuà yǔ jìndài zhōngguó 佛教文化與近代中國 (Buddhist Culture and Early Contemporary China). Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan, 1992. Pp. 80-90.
  • Shì Dōngchū 釋東初. Zhōngguó Fójiào jìndài shǐ 中國佛教近代史 (A History of Early Contemporary Chinese Buddhism), in Dōngchū lǎorén quánjí 東初老人全集 (Complete Collection of Old Man Dongchu), vols. 1-2. Taipei: Dongchu, 1974 Pp. 1.208-209.
  • Welch, Holmes. The Buddhist Revival in China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968. Pp. 110-114.
Personal tools