本所的宗旨，是希望「站在中国佛教的立场，放眼世界佛教。把世界佛教的成果引回中国，把中国佛教的智慧传到世界。」（我为『佛教伦理与现代社会』所写的总序）。因此而于民国七十九年（199O）元月十二至十五日，举办第一届中华国际佛学会议，其永久主题是「佛教传统与现代社会」，第一届的议题是「佛教伦理与现代社会」。兴奋的佛教学者，来自十八个国家，共计一百多位，宣读了四十篇论文。会后立即聘请美国天普大学的傅伟勋教授，圣地亚哥州立大学的华珊嘉教授（sandra wawrytko）担任论文集的主编．分别编辑成为中英文两册，中文论集『从传统到现代──佛教伦理与现代社会』交由台北东大图书公司编入「沧海丛刊」，已于民国七十九年（l990）十月出版．英文部份则洽由美国纽约的绿林出版社（Greenwood Press）于本年（1991）四月出版。类此的国际会议，我们预期每二至三年召开一次。所以现在已着手进行第二届的筹备事宜。
The Steps of the Chu g-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies
In principle, the Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal is issued every year. However, due to the various subjective and objective factors such as the soliciting of articles, typing, editing, proof-reading, etc., since the first issue published in March 1987 until now, only four issues are published. There is a shortage of one issue in four years. Nevertheless, we have full confidence to publish a high-levelled Buddhist Journal. We have invested considerable financial resources. We have gathered the manpower and the academic resources of the first class Buddhist scholars. We have offered a garden and a forum which can represent the academic study of Taiwan Buddhism.
Since its separation from the China Academy of the Chinese Culture University and becoming an independent academic organization in 1985, the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies nearly re-started from zero in terms of various facilities. Thanks to the joint effort of all faculty and students, as well as the enthusiastic donation from dharma protectors and devotes, a solid foundation has been built. Right now, the Chung-Hwa has nine full-time and nine part-time teachers who teach more than 20 courses. In the beginning, there are only required courses, no selective courses. Right now, the selective courses are more than the required courses. We emphasize on language, Buddhism and methodology. Meanwhile, each year we always invite foreign famous Buddhist scholars to the Chung-Hwa to conduct the teaching and guidance of topic research.
As to the books, the Chung-Hwa continues to purchase from Taiwan, Japan, India, Nepal, Europe and America. Today, we have 21 Tripitakas of different languages, different editions and different contents. We also have more than ten thousand Buddhist study-related tool books, periodicals, magazines, dictionaries and reference books. Now, following Prof. Jan Yyn-hwa’s suggestion and guidance, we are doing our best to collect the various books mainly in relevance to the data of Ch’ing and Ming Dynasties. It is expected that until 2001, the total collection will reach 160,000 copies.
Our objectives are “To look at the world Buddhism from the standpoint of Chinese Buddhism. To bring back the fruit of the world Buddhism to China. To spread the wisdom of Chinese Buddhism to the whole world.” (See my preface to the book “Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society.”) Therefore, we held the First Chung-Hwa International Conference on Buddhism from Jan. 12 to 15, 1990. The everlasting theme of the conference is “ Buddhist Tradition and Modern Society.” There are more than 100 Buddhist scholars from 18 countries. A total of 40 papers were presented. After the conference, we invited Prof. Charles Fu of the Temple University and Prof. Sandra Wawrytko as the chief editor/editress of the anthology of papers. The Chinese anthology, entitled “From Tradition to Modernity—Buddhist Ethics and Modern Society”, has been published as one of the Great Ocean Serial Books by the Tung-ta Book Company in October, 1990. The English anthology was published by the Greenwood Press, New York in April, 1991. We plan to hold such international conference every two to here years. Therefore, we are now organizing the second conference.
We have motto in eight sentences: “To stand on China, to look at the world. To penetrate the study of Buddhism, to protect the right dharma. To emphasize on both understanding and practice, to exert both compassion and wisdom. To put practical utilization at first , to stress on benefiting others as priority. “Hence, most of the teachers have once gone abroad for advanced study or come from foreign country. Meanwhile, we also invite foreign scholars to make short-term lecture. In recent years, we not only obtain the assistance from local institutions such as National Taiwan University, Chinese Culture University, Soochow University, Fu-jen Catholic University and National Central Library in hosting international academic conference, but also sign contracts of cooperation with foreign institutions such as the Institute of Buddhist Culture, Kyoto Buddhist University, Tokyo, Japan; Institute of Buddhism, University of Hawaii, the USA; the Institute of Buddhist Literature, the University of Michigan and, the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Centre to establish the relations of the exchange of faculty, students and publications as well as the co-sponsoring of academic conference.
In order to let the students have international view scope, we have to enhance the cooperation with local and foreign Buddhist academic community. In order to let the students nurture the ability of exerting what they have learnt, we ask the sophomores to organize one summer camp for college Buddhist youths. In order to let the students not forget that, they are the Buddhists who have the ability to expound dharma except pursuing knowledge, we provide Buddha hall, meditation room and the opportunity of participating 7-day meditation retreat.
Due to the ever-expanding of our business, facilities, student and staff, we feel more and more crowed in using the Chung-Hwa Buddhist Culture Hall. Therefore, starting from April 1989, we have been purchasing hill slope land at Kin-shan, Taipei for the future site of Chung-Hwa. Until April 1991, we have bought total area of 32 hectares. Our “enterprise project” and “development project” have been approved by the authorities, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Interior. It is expected to invest one billion N.T. dollars in the coming five years. When the project is completed, this land which is named “Mt. Dharma Drum” will turn into an international Buddhist garden of education, academy, culture and practice. This is another news which we wish to report to the virtuous ones who concern about the activities of the Chung-Hwa.
This issue of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal No.4 consists of 14 papers. The contents include the Southern Buddhism of Pali language, the Northern Buddhism of Chinese Language and the Tantric Buddhism of Tibetan language, from the primitive Buddhism of India to Ch’an and modern west world. Most of the contributors are Taiwan scholars. Some are from USA, Canada, Hongkong and other places. Among them, Ms. Ting Ming Wang Jiuan and Ven. Chen Kuan are the winners of our scholarships. We so glad that the new forces are found among the Buddhist scholars. Beside young generation, Prof. Jan Yun-hua and Prof. Kenneth K. Inada are world-known leading Buddhist scholars; Prof. Charles Fu, Prof. Sandra Wawrytko, Prof. Koichi Shinohara are international scholars of world class; Prof. Yang Yu-wen, Prof. Lin Chung-an, Prof. Chen Yu-jiau, Prof. Liou Guei-jie, Prof.F.F. Grohmann and Prof. Ng Yu-kwan are famous scholars in Taiwan and Hongkong Buddhist circle. They are all scholars of strict discipline and intelligence. I have to thank them.
My sincere gratitude is expressed as above to all of you.
Ven. Sheng Yen
April 1, 1991