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Buddhist Chanhui and Christian Confession in Seventeenth-Century China [38]

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on Mahāyāna liturgical texts of Chinese origin exclusively dealing with non-monastic penitential meetings. In length the texts vary from brief, one-juan formularies to very elaborate compilations. The notion of huixiang is an essential element in chanhui rituals, and it also constitutes the channel through which these have become integrated into the ritual lore of family and lineage, for they generally are performed for the benefit of deceased parents. Chanhui liturgies never are exclusively devoted to sin, remorse, and confession; they also contain sections that open a brighter perspective. The Confucian-Christian synthesis had been the result of mutual attraction. Unlike the Buddhist chanhui, the Catholic sacrament of confession was strictly personal; it was based on an individual examination of conscience that was much closer to the Confucian way of self-improvement.

Keywords: Buddhist chanhui; Catholic sacrament; confession; Confucian-Christian synthesis; huixiang; Mahāyāna liturgical texts



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