Shadows and echoes of the mind: Hanshan Deqing's (1546-1623) syncretic view and Buddhist interpretation of the "Daodejing"
KeywordsReligion, Philosophy of.
AdvisorGimello, Robert M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe subject of this study is Hanshan Deqing's (1546-1623) Commentary on the Daodejing (laozi daodejing hanshan zhu ), a work which contains his syncretic view of the Three Teachings (i.e., Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism) as well as his Buddhist interpretation of the Daodejing. The central argument of this study is that Hanshan's Commentary on the Daodejing reflects his syncretic character and his unique Buddhist understanding. I argue that each syncretist's interpretation or misinterpretation contributes to the variety and complexity of syncretic activity. Taking Hanshan as a case study, this study explores how an individual participates in the discourses of syncretism through interpretation. I propose that Hanshan tried to integrate the Three Teachings under the frame of the Buddhist concept of Mind and he adopted many Buddhist concepts in his interpretation of the Three Teachings. In addition, I propose that Hanshan's discourse of syncretism of the Three Teachings was one of his responses to the challenge of adaptation of Chinese Buddhism, which also reveals Hanshan's Buddhist position and syncretic view. In order to support my argument, this study shows that Hanshan adopted an inclusive attitude to all the teachings and interpreted all the teachings based on his Buddhist understanding. To serve as the background for understanding Hanshan's interpretation, Chapter 2 demonstrates that both Hanshan's life and thought reflected his syncretic character and his status as a Buddhist monk; Chapter 3 discusses the intellectual context of late Ming Buddhism and the responses of the Four Great Masters. In order to show how Hanshan's syncretic view and his Buddhist understanding impacted on his interpretation, the last two chapters demonstrate that Hanshan's syncretic view of the Three Teachings and his interpretation of the Daodejing all reflect his syncretic view and Buddhist understanding. This study demonstrates that Hanshan tried to find a satisfying interpretation as well as harmonizing with the established tradition while promoting the excellence of Buddhism. He also employed a new approach and hermeneutic method to respond to the challenge of Buddhism of the late Ming. In order to find a satisfying interpretation, Hanshan treated all the teachings as the manifestation of the Mind in terms of "shadows and echoes of the Mind." Based on this inventive term, Hanshan adopted an inclusive attitude to the Three Teachings.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
East Asian Studies