Thanks to the generous support of Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, China, the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Arizona establishes two graduate studies fellowships, each worth $10,000, to support two qualified Ph.D. students (not visiting or affiliated students), to complete a major project towards the completion of their degrees. Congratulations to Lixia Dong to be one of the recipients in 2019.
Lixia Dong is currently a 4th year Ph. D student and the Coordinator of Hangzhou Project in Department of East Asian Studies, at the University of Arizona. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include Song Buddhism (especially Chan Buddhism), Neo-Confucianism, Korean Religion, Japanese Buddhism (especially Kamakura (1185-1333) and Muromachi (1337-1573) Japan). Other interests include Tea in China, Japan and Korea, Ritual Studies, and Buddhist Meditation Traditions. Her dissertation is entitled Chan Abbot as Administrator: A Study of Wuzhun Shifan無準師範.
Lixia Dong’s dissertation is entitled Chan Abbot as Administrator: A Study of Wuzhun Shifan無準師範. Wuzhun Shifan 無準師範 (1177-1249) was the abbot of Jingshan monastery, the top of the Five Monasteries which was a system of Buddhist institutions with official government sponsorship in the Southern Song dynasty. The abbot played a significant role in institutional Buddhism since the success of the institution depends on the abbot, who holds the both sacred and secular powers. The abbot is charged with making rational choices and adapting Buddhism in a world which is constantly evolving. Abbot Wuzhun Shifan is a successful example of Buddhist institution since Wuzhun Shifan was not only a successful abbot during his time but also his lineage has passed down to modern China, Japan and Korea. The aim of this dissertation is to fill in a gap in the Buddhist studies in the following fields: (1) the study of the Chan abbot, and (2) the study of Southern Song Buddhism.