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Title: Emperor's delicate imbalance : a study on the imperial prefaces of Buddhist canon utilized by the early Tang state
Authors: Tay, Yu Xuan
Keywords: Humanities::Religions::Buddhism
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Tay, Y. X. (2021). Emperor's delicate imbalance : a study on the imperial prefaces of Buddhist canon utilized by the early Tang state. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The conventional understanding of the transition between the Sui dynasty and the Tang dynasty was that the Tang inherited Sui’s policies and institutions. However, this continuation only applies to specific state institutions, not Tang’s religious policies. This paper posits that the early Tang state seeks to create a discourse of asymmetrical pluralism within the religious field. A close reading on the imperial prefaces of the Buddhist canon, penned by emperor Taizong and his crown prince, reveals this overarching intention in forming such discourse. This intention ensued from the synthesis of three intertwining objectives embedded within the imperial prefaces: the legitimation of Confucianism, promotion of Daoism, and incorporation of Buddhism. This paper first analyzes the imperial prefaces’ heavy referencing and appropriation of imageries from respective textual traditions to reveal the embedded objectives. Subsequently, the paper will demonstrate the attainment of all these objectives with substantial institutional changes implemented by the state. Conclusively, both the embedded objectives and the institutional changes prove the early Tang state’s intention in formulating a discourse of asymmetrical pluralism.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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