Organized Panel Session
Although there are voluminous studies on Chinese Buddhism, little attention has been given to the study of Chinese Buddhism in the twentieth century until the last decade. Recent studies have contributed to our knowledge on the emergence of reformist monks, the establishment of lay associations and monastic seminaries, the proliferation of Buddhist popular culture, and the discussions about science in modern times. Much of the literature, however, have adopted primarily a “China-centered” perspective focusing only on the development of Chinese Buddhism within mainland China. This inter-area panel brings together Buddhist studies scholars, historians, and sociologists to explore the varied forms of Chinese Buddhism in diaspora communities. It discusses a range of topics, including Chinese migration, religious dissemination, organizational isomorphism, cross-cultural interactions, and transnational networks between China and the Chinese overseas. Jack Meng-Tat Chia explores the South China Sea Buddhist networks connecting Southeast China and the Chinese diaspora from the nineteenth century to 1949. Yanfei Sun investigates the variegated patterns of isomorphic processes of Chinese Buddhist organizations in three modern Chinese societies. Yu-chen Li uses Nanyou Yunshuiqing as a source to analyze the localization and globalization of Buddhism in Islamic Malaysia. Jens Reinke examines the cross-cultural dynamics that link overseas Fo Guang Shan temples to their respective host societies. Rongdao Lai will chair the panel, and Zhiru Ng will discuss the papers in the light of her research on Chinese Buddhism.