CB401 - School of Chinese Buddhism I: Pure Land School

Dr. Fa Qing

Course Description:
The course will examine the socio-cultural circumstances that led to the rise and popularity of the Pure Land School (Jìngtǔzōng or Jōdokyō), both in China and Japan and its basic teachings. The course will focus specially on the religious and philosophical significance of the prayer to the Amida Buddha so essential in Pure Land pietism. The division of the school into Jodo and Jodoshin after its introduction to Japan will also be considered.

Recommend Reference:
- Foard, James, with Michael Soloman and Richard K Payne. Pure Land Tradition: History and Development. Berkeley Univ Press, 1996.

- Hirota, Dennis. Toward a contemporary understanding of Pure Land Buddhism: creating a Shin Buddhist theology in a religiously plural world. State University of New York, 2000.

- Machida, Soho. Renegade Monk: Honen and Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. University of California, 1999.

- Mochizuki, Shinko.
“Development of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism (Chapter 1).” Translated by Leo Pruden. Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Third Series Number 2, Fall 2000, pp.91-103. http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/pwj3-2/08SM2.pdf
“Development of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism (Chapter 2-4).” Translated by Leo Pruden. Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Third Series Number 3 , Fall 2001 . pp.241-276. http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/pwj3-3/11MC3.pdf
“Development of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism (Chapter 5-6).” Translated by Leo Pruden. Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Third Series Number 4 , Fall 2002. pp259-280. http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/pwj3-4/13MC4.pdf
“Development of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism (Chapter 7: T'an Luan).” Translated by Leo Pruden. Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Third Series Number 2 , Fall 2000. pp149-166. http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/pwj3-2/08SM2.pdf

- Pacific World Journal (Most articles related to Pure Land Study)

Chinese Reference:
- 釋印順著 “第八章 宗教意識之新適應” “第十一章 淨土與念佛法門”《初期大乘佛教之起源與開展》,台北:正聞出版社。1-76頁。
- 釋印順著 “一、淨土新論” 《淨土與禪》,台北:正聞出版社。 http://elibrary.ibc.ac.th/files/yinshun/02/yinshun02-00.html
- 釋印順著”第三章 初期「大乘佛法」”《印度佛教思想史》,台北:正聞出版社。 http://elibrary.ibc.ac.th/files/yinshun/31/yinshun31-05.html

Books to download:
- BDK English Tripitaka 25-II: The Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra. Translated by Lokaksema. Translated from the Chinese (Taisho Volume 13, Number 418) by Paul Harrison. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 1988. http://elibrary.ibc.ac.th/node/231

Course Requirements:
Students require to read the assigned textbooks.

1. Class participation: 5%
2. Short Research Paper: 10%
3. Oral Presentation: 5%
4. Mid-term exam: 30%
5. Final written exam: 50%

Short Research Paper:
As part of the course requirements, students will learn to write a short research paper based upon thorough investigation and documentation. A topic of interest that is related to the subject matter of the course will be selected in consultation with the instructor. Because the outcome of the paper will be presented orally to the class, the students will learn how to prepare a summary for this purpose.

The student should consult a reference book on how to compose a research paper before attempting to write the paper. The Chicago Manual of Style or the MLA Style Sheet are highly recommended. See

The required short research paper should be on a topic related to the contents of the course (i.e., Pure Land Buddhism in China or Japan). It should have a clear introduction in which the purpose and scope of the paper is stated. Proper documentation of sources, both quoted and used for reference, should be given in the footnotes and bibliography.

Plagiarism is a serious matter and will automatically result in an F for the short paper. It should be noted that a series of quotations does not comprise a research paper. The purpose of the research paper is to investigate a topic and report the result of the investigation in one’s own words. It should be clear in pointing out in the notes which parts of the composition are a paraphrase of the sources and which parts constitute the student’s own contribution. This distinction between use of sources and the student's own contribution should be transparent.

Oral Presentation:
Through their oral presentation and subsequent questions, the students will have an opportunity to share their findings with the rest of the class. Because the content of the course is Pure Land Buddhism, this course will offer the students an opportunity to participate in the investigation of not only the Mahayana traditional way of thinking, but also the way that the Chinese and Japanese integrated, assimilated, and transformed the Indian Buddhist ideas to their ways of thinking, while mutually encountering global and international influences.

Course Objectives:
Upon completion of this course the student will:
1. Gain a general knowledge of the fundamental teachings of the Pure Land
2. Understand the essential history and major issues of Pure Land.

Review Questions:
1. Define the following terms:
- Tanluan
- Jōdo Shinshū
- Hōnen
- Mind-only Pure Land

2. Discuss how the notion of Pure Land was originated in India.

3. Outline the vows made by Dharmākara in the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra, discuss how the Amithāba's Pure Land is different from the other Buddhas' Land.

4. Outline the contemplation methods taught by Shan-dao, and what are the significances of those practice?

5. Discuss the main feature of Pure Land Buddhism in Song dynasty.

6. Discuss Yangshou's notion on “one mind”.

7. The Pratyutpanna-buddha-saṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi-sūtra (Banzhow-sanmei-jing) explains that one can see the Buddha in samādhi. Discuss.

8. “Humanist Buddhism” or “to build Pure Land in our human land” is a modern Buddhism movement in China. Discuss.

Midterm Exam:
1. Register a user name at
or http://elibrary.ibc.ac.th/exam/

Test a testing exam first:

Finally, take the real test:

The real test only allows one time.

Public File: