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Patrons and PatriarchsRegional Rulers and Chan Monks during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms$
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Benjamin Brose

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824853815

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824853815.001.0001

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Filial Sons

Filial Sons

The Southern Tang

(p.71) 4 Filial Sons
Patrons and Patriarchs

Benjamin Brose

University of Hawai'i Press

Chapter 4 discusses how the descendants of Yicun and Shibei rose to become the preeminent clerics of the Southern Tang. As clerics from Min assumed control of well-established monastic institutions with large resident populations, rather than transform the character of the region’s normative Buddhist cultures, they embraced and embodied it. The activities of these monks in the capital of the Southern Tang, particularly those gathered around the eminent cleric Fayan Wenyi, suggest that they were able to differentiate themselves from other monks by means of both their distinguished pedigree and their ecumenical approach to teaching and practice. As abbots of major monasteries and advisors to the ruler and his court, these monks promoted a range of regional Buddhist traditions while fulfilling the responsibilities of court clerics. Their teachings thus took on a catholic, literary, and conservative quality that was well suited to the urbane audiences of the capital.

Keywords:   Southern Tang, Li family, Fayan Wenyi, Chan literature, Buddhist culture, Caodong

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