‘A good man is a god, and a good king is a king’: Taoism to be reborn as a new religion
A new religion is born from the ashes of Buddhism, according to Taoist teacher Chen Xiyu, who said this week that he was returning to Buddhism after his two-year absence.
“We’re still alive,” Chen told reporters at the launch of a book, “Reclaiming Buddhism: Reclaiming the Truth of Taoism,” published by the University of Oxford Press.
“There’s a new awakening.”
The new religion was created by Chen, a professor of Buddhist philosophy at the University in Beijing.
Chen said his goal is to revive Buddhism, which has been around for more than a millennium and is considered the most influential religious tradition in the world.
The new Buddhism is based on a philosophy that is in sync with Buddhism, he said.
It is based in a Buddhist tradition that originated in China, where a “spiritual teacher” called Laozi taught Buddhism and developed a system of meditation.
Buddhism has a long history in China and it has a large number of sects and monasteries in different parts of the country.
“This is the true foundation of Buddhism,” Chen said.
The idea of re-establishing Buddhism has been gaining popularity in recent years, said Taoist scholar Robert B. Johnson, a specialist in Chinese Buddhism at the American University of Hong Kong.
“I think people are starting to see that Buddhism is a universal and it is an ethical system that everyone is equal, and that the human beings can relate to it,” he said during a panel discussion at the conference.
But Buddhism has suffered in recent decades.
Many monks have been expelled or killed for questioning the Dalai Lama.
The Chinese government has tried to prevent other faiths from gaining popularity and the number of Chinese who believe in Taoism has dropped to about 1 percent.
The re-establishment of Buddhism is also likely to be controversial, Johnson said.
“The new Taoist religion has been hijacked by people who are not willing to accept the fact that they have to acknowledge Buddhism,” he added.
Some Buddhist leaders are wary of the new religion’s claims to be the successor of Laozic teachings, which were not written down by the Dalai, who was a disciple of the late Laozie.
“It’s a strange thing to talk about Buddhism, and Taoism is just another religion, so how can it be the next Buddha?” said Chen, who will be accompanied by the book’s author, Guo Yushi.
He said he is optimistic about the re-emergence of Buddhism.
“There are a lot of people who believe that Buddhism will be reborn into a new form and this is very good for us,” he told reporters.
Chen is the third person in the history of Buddhism to return to the faith.
In 2007, a priest of Lao Zedong, the founder of the Chinese Communist Party, announced he was going back to Tibet.
The Chinese government banned the Dalai’s followers from returning to Tibet and imprisoned thousands of his followers in prisons for decades.