Tianyu Lei Wins Lingyin Buddhist Studies Best Graduate Research Paper Award

May 11, 2021

Thanks to the generous support of Lingyin Temple in
Hangzhou, China, the Center for Buddhist Studies at the
University of Arizona established the Lingyin Buddhist
Studies Best Graduate Research Paper Award. The
award honors graduate students who demonstrate
superb research abilities through writing and publishing.
The total amount of the award is $5,000. Congratulations
to Tianyu Lei, the recipient of the award in 2021.

Tianyu Lei is a doctoral student in the Department of
East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona. He
received his B.A. from Sichuan University and M.A. from
the National University of Singapore. He is now
interested in studying the cult of Zhunti (准提) in late
imperial China.

His research paper, titled “The Trajectory of Revival:
Wenshu Monastery 1978–2006,” has been awarded the
Lingyin Buddhist Studies Best Graduate Research Paper
Award this year. This paper has been published in the
peer-reviewed journal Religions (Religions 12, no. 1: 18.

The abstract of his paper is as follows:
This study traces the trajectory of the Wenshu
Monastery’s 文殊院 revival during the reform era in
China. In this special but replicable case, three key
strategies were employed by the Wenshu Monastery to
overcome its inherent disadvantages and solve the
dilemma between tradition and modernity——the
creation of a binomial system, centralization, and
officialization. Studying the story of this once unknown
local Buddhist temple’s rise provides a crucial
opportunity to rethink the patterns of development of
local religious institutions in modern China under the
control of the Communist Party.