Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 20, No 3 (2007)

The Affirmation of Charismatic Authority: The Case of the True Buddha School

J. Gordon Melton
Issued Date: 6 Mar 2008


The True Buddha School (TBS) is one of a set of new expressions of Buddhism that have arisen in Taiwan in the decades since World War II. It is a version of Esoteric Buddhism, following a path much closer to Tibetan Buddhism, rather than either the Ch'an or Pure Land Buddhisms that have dominated Chinese Buddhist groups for the past few centuries. It is headed by Lu Sheng-yen (b.1945) who began his religious career as an independent Daoist spiritual counsellor in Taichung, the large city in the centre of this island nation. In this paper I will introduce the True Buddha School and discuss this movement in relation to theories of charismatic leadership.

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DOI: 10.1558/arsr.v20i3.286


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