Wang Huayan sur le bouddhisme Azhali
Présentation par Wang Huayan (Inalco, associée CCJ-CECMC), le 24 avril 2019, au Centre d’études sur le bouddhisme de l’université de Gand (Ghent CBS), dans le cadre des “Permanent Training series in Buddhism”. La présentation est disponible en ligne sur la chaîne Youtube du Ghent CBS.
This paper focuses on a local Buddhist tradition, the Azhali Buddhism of the Bai people, a minority ethnic population in northwest Yunnan (PRC) who belong to the Tibeto-Burmese group. Azhali means “preceptor or instructor in religious matters” and is the transcription of Sanskrit “Acarya”. They were supported by several successive regimes in this region since the 7th century. Azhali Buddhism became the dominant religion, although some other religious traditions co-existed there as well. According to historical records, ritual manuscripts, and fieldwork observations, I will discuss (1) the origin, evolution, and characteristics of the Azhali Buddhist tradition; (2) the relationship between this tradition and the construction of the Bai’s ethnic identity; and (3) its present practice, particularly its transmission and adaptation strategies in response to new situations, such as the government’s religious politics aiming to control religions within a secular society.