The Origins of the Jingzong xuehui 淨 宗 學 會, or the Pure Land Learning Center
AbstractIt is because of the popularity of Lianshe, the Lotus Society, that Pure Land Buddhism became the most prevalent and influential Buddhist school among ordinary Chinese people. However, since the downfall of the Qing Empire in 1911, Chinese society has experienced drastic social and cultural changes, particularly after 1949, when two governments, one Mainland Chinese and the other Taiwanese, came to confront one another from across the Taiwan Strait. Nevertheless, a modernized Lotus Society, the Pure Land Learning Center, has emerged as the times require. These new, individually established Centers carry on the tradition into the age of globalization and computerization by developing an internationally based network that is well&ndash;equipped with updated information technology. In order to better understand the underlying reasons behind the success of these transformations, this pilot study intends to focus on the traces of the historical link and Dharma lineage of the Learning Center and its leader, Jingkong (1927&ndash;), a Buddhist master. Those who have influenced Jingkong include another Buddhist master, Yinguang (1860&ndash;1940), and two lay Buddhists, Li Bingnan (1888&ndash;1986), and Xia Lianju (1882&ndash;1965).