|並列篇名||An Investigation of a Confessional Ceremony in Medieval Chinese Buddhism|
|關鍵字||懺悔 、 偽經 、 涅槃經 、 大通方廣懺悔滅罪莊嚴成佛經 、 confessional ceremony 、 Thorough and Broaden Way 、 Sutra on Solemn Attainment of Buddhahood by Means of Repentance to Extinguish Sins in a Great 、 Nirvana Sutra 、 apocrypha 、 THCI|
This paper investigates a new confessional ceremony held by Chinese Buddhist lay devotees since the sixth century in a small group. They believed that by way of confession and chanting of a series of names of Buddhas, one could be emancipated from the endless transmigratory cycles chained in sins unknowingly made in the past. The efficacy of this ceremony and its procedure was claimed and described in a text, Sutra on Solemn Attainment of Buddhahood by Means of Repentance To Extinguish Sins in A Great, Thorough and Broaden Way, or 大通方廣懺悔滅罪莊嚴成佛經. All Chinese Buddhist catalogues have ascribed this Buddhist text to be apocryphal. Yet, this confessional ceremony was so popular that many tenets in this text infiltrated into contemporary and later Chinese, Korean and Japanese Buddhism. More interesting is that this text was translated into Tibetan, and Tibetan Buddhism regards it to be an “authentic” work taught by the Buddha. The paper examines this confessional ceremony by analyzing the text from three perspectives: dating, content, and doctrinal origination and transmission, while arguing that the ceremony presents a new ethos in Chinese Buddhist lay tradition in its argumentative discourse of achieving emancipation that
completely denies the soteriological efficacy of other Buddhist sutras.