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Seeking the Dharma on the World Stage: Lü Bicheng and the Revival of Buddhism in the Early Twentieth Century

Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Religions 2019, 10(10), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100558
Received: 5 August 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 27 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Chinese Literature)
This article focuses on the Chinese woman writer Lü Bicheng 呂碧城 (1883–1943) and her relationship with the worldwide movement for the revival of Buddhism in the early twentieth century. Lü rose up in the context of the “new woman” ideal and transcended that ideal as she rejected the dualistic thinking that was prevalent in her time. She embraced both reason and religion, as well as both modern and traditional ideas. Her story demonstrates that religion and the creation of the “new woman” were not mutually exclusive in her life. In the 1920s and 1930s, Lü traveled extensively in the United States and Europe and eventually converted to Buddhism after she witnessed its popularity in the West. During this period, she successfully created a social space for herself by utilizing Buddhist sources to engage in intellectual dialogues on paranormal phenomena and animal protection. At the same time, she carved out a place for Buddhism in the discourse on the convergence and divergence of science and religion after the First World War (1914–1918). View Full-Text
Keywords: Lü Bicheng; Buddhist revival; British psychical research; new woman; religion Lü Bicheng; Buddhist revival; British psychical research; new woman; religion
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Liu, P. Seeking the Dharma on the World Stage: Lü Bicheng and the Revival of Buddhism in the Early Twentieth Century. Religions 2019, 10, 558.

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