Buddhism and Buddhists in China
Buddhism is a religion which must be viewed from many angles. Its original form, as preached by Gautama in India and developed in the early years succeeding, and as embodied in the sacred literature of early Buddhism, is not representative of the actual Buddhism of any land today. The faithful student of Buddhist literature would be as far removed from understanding the working activities of a busy center of Buddhism in Burmah, Tibet or China today as a student of patristic literature would be from appreciating the Christian life of London or New York City.
Moreover Buddhism, like Christianity, has been affected by national conditions. It has developed at least three markedly different types, requiring, therefore, as many distinct volumes of this series for its fair interpretation and presentation. The volume on the Buddhism of Southern Asia by Professor Kenneth J. Saunders was published in May, 1923; this volume on the Buddhism of China by Professor Hodous will be the second to appear; a third on the Buddhism of Japan, to be written by Dr. R. C. Armstrong, will be published in 1924. Each of these is needed in order that the would be student of Buddhism as practiced in those countries should be given a true, impressive and friendly picture of what he will meet.
A missionary no less than a professional student of Buddhism needs to approach that religion with a real appreciation of what it aims to do for its people and does do. No one can come into contact with the best that Buddhism offers without being impressed by its serenity, assurance and power.
Professor Hodous has written this volume on Buddhism in China out of the ripe experience and continuing studies of sixteen years of missionary service in Foochow, the chief city of Fukien Province, China, one of the important centers of Buddhism. His local studies were supplemented by the results of broader research and study in northern China.
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Title: Buddhism and Buddhists in China
Author: Lewis Hodus
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