Linjiao Zeng Winning Khyentse Foundation Student Award

May 18, 2020

Linjiao Zeng, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona, wins the 2020 Khyentse Foundation Student Award. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of English of the College of Foreign Languages at Shandong University, China and finishing her thesis. Her doctoral dissertation, titled “The Rise and Fall of Shandong Buddhism: A Historical Survey of Lingyan Monastery from the Perspective of the Regional Religious System”, examines how various factors at both the state and regional levels influenced the evolution of Lingyan Monastery in history with a focus on the interactions between Lingyan Monastery and the historical environment of Shandong. Lingyan Monastery, established in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, was regarded as a leader of the Four Greatest Buddhist Monasteries in China during the Tang Dynasty. However, it declined after the Tang Dynasty and now became an obscure local Buddhist monastery. The vicissitudes of Lingyan Monastery revealed though the prosperity and decline of Buddhism in Chinese history show that it was the regional conditions of Shandong, especially those around the Mount Tai area, that determined the evolution of Lingyan Monastery to a great extent. At the same time, this study demonstrates the significance of the Regional Religious System (RRS) in religious studies and Chinese history because this concept and method can be applied not only to the study of spatial distribution of religious institutions but also to the evolution of a single Buddhist monastery.