The Cultural Practices of Modern Chinese Buddhism: Attuning the Dharma, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Cultural Practices of Modern Chinese Buddhism

Attuning the Dharma, 1st Edition

By Francesca Tarocco


184 pages

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Buddhism in China during the late Qing and Republican period remained a powerful cultural and religious force. Francesca Tarocco is a rising star in this field and offers an innovative high-quality piece of work that presents a new perspective on the influence of Buddhism on Chinese culture. Drawing on scarcely analyzed historical and archive sources, including photographs and musical scores, Tarocco adeptly argues that Chinese Buddhism played a more vital role in shaping Chinese culture than previously assumed.

This enlightening study fills a significant gap in the field of Chinese Buddhist history. Focusing on the cultural side of Buddhism, it adds breadth and balance to studies in Buddhism as a whole, appealing to professionals and academics with an interest in Buddhism and Chinese Buddhist history.


'As a brief overview of the beginnings of modern Buddhist publishing and music it will be a valuable source for scholars of Religion in China. The book is particularly important for anyone studying the use of modern mass media by Chinese Buddhists.' - MARCUS GÜNZEL, Hsuan Chuang University, Taiwan, Journal of Chinese Religions, 2008

Table of Contents

Introduction: Modern Buddhist Cultures Part 1: The Cultural Practices of Buddhist Modernity 1.1 Shanghai Buddhism 1.2 Vegetarian Identites 1.3 The Esoteric Fever 1.4 Printing the Dharma 1.5 Continuities and Discontinuities 1.6 Buddhist Canons 1.7 Yang Wenhui 1.8 Awakening the Faith 1.9 Buddhist Books beyond China 1.10 Shanghai Publishers 1.11 The Romantic Buddhism of Su Manshu 1.12 Life and Death in Feng Zikai’s Drawings 1.13 The Buddhist Periodical Press 1.14 Buddhism, Religion and the Nation 1.15 Images of Modern Buddhism Part 2: The Sound of Modern Buddhism 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Li Shutong: From Shaghai to Tokyo, and Back 2.3 Songs of Nationalism 2.4 The Power of Songs 2.5 Hymns, Anthems and Songs 2.6 Songs of Modernity 2.7 Li Shutong ‘Leaves Home’ 2.8 Buddhist Songs 2.9 Buddhist Musical Ties 2.10 Continuities and Discontinuities 2.11 ‘Scientific Gadgets’: Buddhist Radio and Phonograph Recordings 2.12 Buddhist Songs in the Digital Age

About the Author

Francesca Tarocco is a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow and a Lecturer in Buddhist Studies at the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures at the University of Manchester. She is the author of several studies on Chinese Buddhism and co-author of Karaoke: The Global Phenomenon (Reaktion 2007).

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series explores this complex and extensive tradition from a variety of perspectives, using a range of different methodologies. The series is diverse in its focus, including historical, philological, cultural, and sociological investigations into the manifold features and expressions of Buddhism worldwide. It also presents works of constructive and reflective analysis, including the role of Buddhist thought and scholarship in a contemporary, critical context and in the light of current social issues. The series is expansive and imaginative in scope, spanning more than two and a half millennia of Buddhist history. It is receptive to all research works that are of significance and interest to the broader field of Buddhist Studies.

Some of the titles in the series are published in association with the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, which conducts and promotes rigorous teaching and research into all forms of the Buddhist tradition.

Editorial Advisory Board:
James A. Benn, McMaster University, Canada

Jinhua Chen, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Rupert Gethin, University of Bristol, UK

Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland, UK

Sallie King, James Madison University, USA

Anne Klein, Rice University, USA

Lori Meeks, University of Southern California, USA;

Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

John Powers, Australian National University, Australia;

Juliane Schober, Arizona State University, USA

Vesna A. Wallace, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Michael Zimmermann, University of Hamburg, Germany

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Buddhism / General (see also PHILOSOPHY / Buddhist)
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General