The Early Development of the Buddha-Nature Doctrine in China

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The Early Development of the Buddha-Nature Doctrine in China
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Citation: Liu, Ming-Wood. "The Early Development of the Buddha-Nature Doctrine in China." Journal of Chinese Philosophy 16, no. 1 (1989): 1–36.

Abstract

No abstract given. Here are the first relevant paragraphs:

Among the many concepts current among Chinese Buddhists, "Buddha-nature" is undoubtedly the most central and the most widely debated. As is well-known, the idea "Buddha-nature" first became popular in China with the translation of the Mahayana Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra (hence-forth referred to as MNS) in the early fifth century; since then, a variety of theses have been proposed on several aspects of the subject. These are worth examining not only because of the important role they play in the history and development of Chinese Buddhist thought, but also because they reflect more fundamental doctrinal differences. Once these differences have been clarified, a more comprehensive picture of the various dominant philosophical trends in the field of Chinese Buddhism will appear. This paper will unravel the diverse streams of thought which came to be associated with the Buddha-nature concept during the Northern and Southern Dynasties, i.e., in the first two centuries of the propagation of the Buddha-nature doctrine in China. (Liu, foreword, 1)