The Social Production of Buddhist Compassion in Chinese Societies  book cover
1st Edition

The Social Production of Buddhist Compassion in Chinese Societies

ISBN 9780367751302
Published November 8, 2021 by Routledge
200 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book investigates and establishes a theoretical framework for the study of the social production of religious compassion in the era of shale modernity among Chinese communities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. It argues that the production of Buddhist compassionate fields in the 21st century is a response to the rising social inequality and social needs of modern society. Religious compassion serves as an emotive force that propels the religious self and socio-religious groups to commit to the performance of acts of philanthropy that includes the delivery of welfare and care services, medical care, education and humanitarian aid. Through a combination of documentation analysis and anthropological research, the book examines the interconnectivity of reformist Buddhist teachings of compassion, charisma, gender and state in influencing the attitudes and actions of the sangha and Buddhist individuals in the production of Buddhist compassionate fields in a changing socio-economic landscape. It will be of interest to scholars from anthropology, sociology, religious studies and Asian studies.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction

2 A Theoretical Framework for the Social Production of Religious Compassionate Fields

3 Technology of the Self and Compassionate Buddhist Giving

4 The Buddhist Care Industry of the Local Compassionate Fields

5 Hometown as Transnational Buddhist Philanthropic Field: The Hope School Project

6 Women Buddhists and Emotive Compassionate Performance

7 Emotional Spiritual Capital and the Production of Religious Care Funds

8 The State and Buddhist Elderly Care Services

9 Conclusion: Towards Sustainable Buddhist Compassionate Fields



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Khun Eng Kuah is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Chinese Diaspora Studies at the School of International Studies and the Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies, Jinan University (Guangzhou, China); and Honorary Professor at the Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong.