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#MeToo in the Monastery: A Chinese Abbot’s Fall Stirs Questions on Buddhism’s Path

posted on September 17, 2018

For The New York Times, Ian Johnson writes about accusations of lewdness and financial misconduct against the Venerable Xuecheng, the former head of the Communist Party-linked Buddhist Association in China. For the past two decades, Xuecheng, who is now banished to a temple in Fujian, led a reform movement in Buddhism which emphasized active compassion through good-will missions and other social activities. Johnson adds, “Many worry that Xuecheng’s model of a supercharged Buddhism that embraces social trends lacks the very spirituality that drew people to the faith in the first place. His downfall also presents a potential setback in the Chinese government’s efforts to push Buddhism as a kind of national religion that can win friends abroad and offer moral values at home.”

Read at The New York Times