Internet Buddhism: a site for Chinese cultural dominance?
Greg Walton has a rich, thoughtful post on Buddhism in the Internet age, in which he directs us to the World Buddhist Forum being held April 13-16 in Hangzhou, China. The WBF site contains links to speeches and articles by Buddhist scholars and luminaries, one of which is an article titled, “A Brief Discussion on the Dissemination of Buddhism in the Internet Age.” Author An Husheng has a very clear-eyed view of what is at stake in Virtual China, noting that the Internet:
will certainly become the new century’s major cultural competition
occasion. Whoever grasps the dominance of the network will be able to
more effectively influence society and guide the public and can thus
gain strategic advantage in the field of culture. Internet as the most
effective new way to popularize and spread Buddhism, has realized our
aspirations of showing the Buddha’s land at the end of a hair and
turning the wheel of the dharma in an atom… [emphasis added]
Elsewhere, a Chinese officials refers to the Forum as a venue for China’s “religious renaissance.”
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