The future cakravartin-maitreyan soteriology in Early China

Submitted by James Miller on Mon, 12/24/2012 - 18:03
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TitleThe future cakravartin-maitreyan soteriology in Early China
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsYin, M.
Corporate AuthorsSchlutter, Morten
Academic DepartmentProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Date Published2012
PublisherThe University of Iowa
Place PublishedUnited States -- Iowa
ISBN Number9781267609571
Keywords0320:Religious history, 0342:Asian Studies, Cakravartin, Maitreya, Philosophy, religion and theology, SOCIAL sciences

In this essay, I would like to discuss the Maitreyan soteriology in Early China from the angle of the ideal of cakravartin embedded in the image of Maitreya, who rules over a heavenly paradise and will come down to effect universal salvation in an earthly paradise. In the first section, I will present the social conditions as well as the indigenous schools of thought in Early China, and make an analogy with those in ancient Hindu society, so as to reveal the collective appeal to an ideal cakravartin as the future savior in Early China. In the second section, I would like to survey the development of the image of Maitreya in both scriptural and sectarian sources, and how it is related to the ideal of cakravartin. Then in the third section, I will discuss Maitreyan soteriology from the perspective of Pure Land belief and how the ideal of cakravartin has contributed to the development of Maitreyan soteriology in Early China. I will examine sutras in which Maitreya appears, and texts, including inscription, which record the actual practices of Maitreya worship, as well as the sculptures bearing those inscriptions, so as to present a comprehensive examination of Maitreyan soteriology in Early China.