Calling Oneself a Saint
Self-designation and the Idea of the Holy in Medieval Chinese Buddhism
Chinese Buddhism up to the tenth century developed on the basis of trans-lations of Indic texts, on the one hand, and established its own style in accordance with Chinese culture and the Chinese way of thinking, on the other. This talk introduces several anecdotes and legends from India and China in which a monk labels himself a holy being, something usually unthinkable in other religions. Two traditions regarding the idea of the holy are examined here, as is the Chinese view of saintly monks who sometimes appear as pseudo-saints.
Prof. Toru Funayama teaches at the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University.