Reconstructing Buddhist Monasteries in Post-Taiping China

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The Taiping War (1850–1864) destroyed tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of religious sites across China. In the wake of the destruction, Buddhist and other religious leaders led reconstruction campaigns to rebuild temples and monasteries that had been destroyed. This article examines some general trends in the post-Taiping religious reconstruction, and looks at a few case studies of well-known Buddhist monasteries that were rebuilt in the years following the war. I argue that not only was the post-war reconstruction a lively and energetic process, but that it helped to shape Buddhist religious culture long after the first phase of reconstructions were completed. Reconstruction was not simply a return to the status quo ante bellum, but rather an opportunity to introduce change into what was normally a highly stable system.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-207
JournalMing Qing yanjiu
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019