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A reappraisal of Kumārajīva's role in medieval Chinese Buddhism : an examination of Kumārajīva's translation text on "The essential explanation of meditation technique"


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Huynh, Trung




Master of Arts in Religious Studies


Capitanio, Joshua
Guruge, Ananda W. P.
Long, Darui


For many centuries, Buddhologists have considered Kumārajīva's as a strong advocate of Mahayana Buddhism and an equally strong opponent of Hinayana Buddhism. However, this assumption is debatable. My thesis addresses this assumption to determine its validity. Hence, I have reappraised his life, his role and contribution to Medieval Chinese Buddhism, as well as the cultural and social environments prior and contemporary to him. I especially paid attention to the translation of the meditation texts such as The Essential Explanation of The Method of Dhyana, to find evidence that either supports or disputes the assumption that Kumārajīva was an advocated Mahayana, but also Hinayana Buddhism throughout his life and works.

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University of the West

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