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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 6.2 (2023): 281–308;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Local Society)

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Ximing Monastery and International Exchanges

Ru ZHAN 湛如
Peking University

Translated by Luke GIBSON

Abstract: It is likely that the assignment of foreign monks to imperial monasteries was more a favour bestowed by the emperor rather than a fixed rule. Ximing Monastery gained renown for its role in accommodating Chinese travellers like Xuanzang and Yijing upon their return from their westward journeys, establishing a tradition that would come to form an important part of this institution’s legacy. However, we should bear in mind that there must have been innumerable unnamed foreign monks who did not leave a trace in the annals of history due to the simple fact that they were not translators, scholars, or did not leave behind records of their travels. For instance, we have discovered that a significant number of Japanese monks who sought teachings in China during the mid-Tang Dynasty found long-term accommodation at Ximing Monastery.

Keywords: Ximing Monastery, Śubhākarasiṃha, Vajrabodhi, Amoghavajra, state monasteries (guansi 官寺)


About the Author: Ru Zhan 湛如 is a professor in Peking University’s School of Foreign Languages. Additionally, he is the Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China and Vice President of the Peking University Orientalism Research Institute. His areas of research include: Buddhist and Buddhist literature, the Indian Ministry of Buddhism, Dunhuang Buddhism, and Buddhist system.

About the Translator: Luke Gibson holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the Dharma Drum Buddhist College in Taiwan, where he received training in Classical Chinese, Sanskrit, and Pāli. Driven by his passion for language teaching, Buddhism, and South Asian culture, he currently works as a Sanskrit instructor, offering introductory grammar classes and advanced reading courses taught in Chinese via his online teaching platform, the Śabda·vidyā Sanskrit Institute (聲明梵語學院).


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.