The Center for Buddhist Studies is glad to post an interview that we conducted with Professor Raoul Birnbaum, Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research has concentrated on three great themes in the history of Chinese Buddhist life: the major deity cults, visions of the landscape intertwined with religion, and close examination of dimensions of the lives of individuals within this religious field, including the twentieth-century artist-monk Hongyi 弘一. In a comparative mode, he also has been engaged in studies of the many worlds and representations of St. Francis, the thirteenth-century Italian, in his Umbrian homeland.
The interview falls into two parts.
In this part of the interview, Professor Raoul Birnbaum discussed the role of monasticism in Chinese Buddhism. He drew an analogy between Hongyi’s study on Vinaya and the Western Catholic tradition, especially the devotional practice of St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the monastic order of the Franciscans.
Please click the link to watch Part 1 Master Hongyi and Hangzhou