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Remaking Ancient Virtues for the Virtual World: A Case Study of the “Voice of Longquanâ€

Fan Zhang
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Fan Zhang: School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2015, vol. 5, issue 1, 41-54

Abstract: This article explores the use of communication technology for the dissemination of Buddhist narratives in post-Mao China. It presents a case study of how a thousand-year old Buddhist Longquan Monastery located in the outskirts of Beijing became an avant-garde of modern Buddhism in China with the help of communication technology. The analysis focuses on online rhetoric of Master Xuecheng, the abbot of Longquan and president of China's Buddhist Association, and new media strategies used by the proponents of modern Buddhism to form connections and to create new meaning. The author seeks to determine (a) whether new identities concerning citizenship and nationalism are forged; and (b) whether technology serves as a platform to popularize Buddhism online and offline. The argument is made that by constructing rhetoric that links technology with Buddhism and utilizing new media, the monks of Longquan strive to constitute the religious authority of modern Buddhism and its spiritual leader, Master Xuecheng.

Date: 2015
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