The introduction explores the personal ethical dilemmas of Buddhist lay practitioners who present their problems to lay preachers and monastics in the outer courtyard of the Temple of Universal Rescue in Beijing. It discusses how the courtyard, as a place that provides flexible ethical resources, is a key setting for the working out of these dilemmas. The chapter also explores how both the history of Buddhist religiosity in China and recent experiences of communism inform the experiences of contemporary laypersons.
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