I argue here that, secularization and state control aside, there has been in recent years a definite resurgence of interest in Buddhist practice in China (Fisher, 2014; Tarocco 2011, 2017). While other have examined its vital role in the production of national modernity and the institutions of the state, my analysis primarily tracks the work Buddhism performs within the everyday realms of media and technology. In looking at how Chuanxi’s charisma is at works in the intimate connections between Buddhism and technology at Huiri Temple, I follow David Palmer definition of charisma as a “relationship based on the expectation of the extraordinary, which stimulates and empowers collective behaviour” (Palmer 2008: 70). Although the mediation of religion in China is nothing new, only recently is the relationship between religion and mass media being more thoroughly discussed (Travagnin 2017; Clart 2016; Tarocco 2017). Outside of China, several scholars have analysed contemporary environments characterized by networked forms of electronic and digital communication and of religion and the age of media (de Vries and Weber 2002), radio evangelism (Hoover 1988), religious video games (Campbell and Grieve 2014) to understand how religious practice shapes and is shaped by mass media. By examining the spheres of pious self-making and social imaginary that are opened up by Buddhist technoculture, I suggest that deep-rooted attitudes towards the circulation of knowledge and charisma inform the current recuperation of monastic ideals and the production of digital “dharma treasures” (fabao 法宝). These are key to establishing and maintaining local, trans-regional, and international networks of online and offline followers. As James Taylor has remarked for Thai Buddhism, new articulations of Chinese Buddhism are “significantly implicated in local-global historical and sociocultural contexts” (2015: 219).
|Titolo:||Small Screen Charisma: Mass-mediated Buddhism in the Chinese digital age|
|Autori interni:||TAROCCO, Francesca|
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|
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