This paper is about Chinese Buddhist temples from an architectural perspective. The introduction in part A describes what these temples are and this is followed by a selection of some temples of architectural significance as examples…
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This paper is about Chinese Buddhist temples from an architectural perspective. The introduction in part A describes what these temples are and this is followed by a selection of some temples of architectural significance as examples. The introduction in part A describes what these temples are and this is followed by a selection of some temples of architectural significance as examples. This brief survey is then used to identify some typical architectural features in part B, a description of three distinct architectural styles, and a discussion of the impact of the introduction of Buddhism in China. The main part C then describes the phenomenological study of a particular temple, namely the Bao Shan Chan Si after first justifying the method and introducing the temple. Part A: Chinese Buddhist temples Introduction to Chinese Buddhist temples Buddhist temples are spiritual spaces designed for worship, devotion or offerings according to the Buddhist religion. Chinese Buddhist temples have been known throughout history as Ci, Lanruo, Jlalan, Jingshe and Si. Temples are one of the most conspicuous and significant of buildings that exhibit Buddhist (xiu xing) architecture. Others are pagodas (religious towers), grottos (religious caves) and stupas (dome-shaped monuments). They display marvellous items with Buddhist symbolism, sculpture, painting and calligraphy. But they have more than these outward features alone. They are also places of serenity, tranquillity and holiness. They exude an atmosphere in which people can feel inner peace and spend time to purify their souls. A selection of some temples of architectural significance There are many Buddhist temples all over China, but three of these were selected to illustrate the significance of Chinese Buddhist temples from an architectural perspective. These are the JieTai temple, the Longhua temple, and Yo Fu Si. The construction of the JieTai Temple, which is outside Beijing, began during the Tan dynasty but was completed during the later Qing dynasty. The JieTai temple has a special ordination platform made of white marble containing beautifully carved figures and special rock formations and trees around its main courtyard. JieTai Temple (Source: http://www.buddhist-tourism.com/countries/china/temples/tanzhe-temple.html) The Longhua Temple is the largest in Shanghai. In its domed Grand Hall is a glided statue of the Buddha together with his disciples. There is also a special sculpture that shows how reincarnation happens. In another hall called the Three Sage Hall, there are three incarnations of the Buddha, and another room contains 500 golden small arhat statues. The temple complex also has a special pagoda constructed from wood and brick. It has an octagonal structure and seven stories, which is highly symbolic. The Grand Hall of the Longhua Temple (Source: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/china/shanghai-longhua-temple) Also in Shangai is a famous temple known as the Jade Buddha (Yu Fo Si) Temple. It is so called because it contains two Buddha statues made from white jade, which were brought over from Burma. From the perspective of architecture, the temple has a Song dynasty style so it is a fairly new temple and therefore distinct from traditional Chinese architecture. One of these distinct features is the use of circular doors as shown in the photo below. One of the circular doors of the Jade Buddha Temple (Source: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/china/shanghai-jade-buddha-temple) Part B: Typical architectural features of Chinese Buddhist temples The above survey of Buddhist temples in China has revealed typical architectural features listed below. Chinese Buddhist temples tend to have: Several large halls connected together Small courtyards separating its halls Statues of the Buddha and other ornamental sculptures Tiled roofs turned upward at the corners Common materials were wood, brick and stone Usually symmetrical
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Chinese Influence on Japanese Buddhist Art and Architecture
The evolution of Japanese art and architecture is attributed to the early Chinese people, who have brought the Chinese way of doing things to Japan, which the Japanese people have also adopted. This happening began during the Asuka period (552-645), where the imperial court of the country expressed its fascination to everything that was of Chinese origin (Mason 40).
In addition, 3) the belief, corresponding to 2), that the "reflective" introspection f the subject matter f the "psyche" is to be secured via "inner perception" formulated in contradistinction to "outer perception" is likewise to be "suspended." Subsequent to these methodical moves, "pure consciousness" is accessed via specifically phenomenological reflections which attend to the "how" f the givenness f both the naturalistically posited external and internal objects.
A person may achieve a transcendental state in the present or a future lifetime. Similarly, Americans like most Christians believe that people are judged by God based on actions they performed during their lifetime. However, judgment is final and the soul would be sent to either heaven purgatory or hell, depending on how good or evil the person lived.
Practiced by our ancestors in all four corners of the globe religious journeying has become a widely practiced phenomenon again in recent years. Those wishing to undertake a spiritual quest often turn to a variety of faiths for inspiration and methods of developing enlightenment.
The current trend of immigration continues to grow by 2.9% annually and according to the recent estimations forecast the movement of people across the world is likely to become more intensive over the next decades (UN, 2006).
The process of immigration involves a number of serious economic, social and cultural consequences.
Women were held in low esteem compared to men. The Buddha himself received criticism for giving this religious freedom to women. It was unthinkable at the time to allow women into holy orders, but the Buddha gave females the opportunity to prove that they had the capacity to attain the highest levels of religious prominence just like men.
These architects might not have had the same religion, but have exhibited the equal dedication to their cause.
The Etruscan Belvedere Temple at Orvieto, Italy was built in the fifth century B.C. (Brenders). Francis Brenders also states on his website that
Buddhism entered China during the first century B.C, from India through the Silk Road trade route and Central Asia in the process of trading activities between Chinese and the Romans. Therefore, these trading activities led to merging of the Chinese and Indian cultures and others in Iran and central Asia.
However, it later got spread across other Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam, influencing the sensibilities and styles of different calligraphies. The art of calligraphy encompasses a sense of aesthetic richness that is estimated to have spanned over four millennia
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