Minnan Buddhist Institute in the Repbulic of China
At the end of Qing Dynasty and at the beginning of the Republic of China, the education of temples was in the ascendant. Furthermore, the internal of Buddhist was milk-toast and precarious at that time, men of insight deemed it was principal task of talent cultivation and Buddhism preaching for Buddhist revitalization. In case it was able to build Buddhist institute, on the one hand, could cultivate talents, on the other hand, also could cater for campaign of temples, which would become a major revitalization event of Chinese modern Buddhism. The Minnan Buddhist Institute was created in this period.
Foundation period (1925-1927)
Minnan Buddhist Institute was commonly established by Monk Zhuan Feng and Rabbi Hui Quan. Because of numbers of temples, Monk Zhuan Feng has changed the regulation of Nanputuo Temple into public election system by voting of Ten Direction, and chose Rabbi Hui Quan to be the first abbot who is with lofty virtue.
As soon as Rabbi Hui Quan took the position, he negotiated with Monk Zhuan Feng and felt the Buddhism ethos in Fujian province was fine but lack of people who research Buddhism. For cultivating the monks and revitalizing the Buddhism, Minnan Buddhist Institute was officially established on September 1st, 1925 after active scheme and preparation.
The educational system was 3 years. The dean and vice dean were respectively undertaken by Rabbi Huiquan and Changxing. The heads of Educational Administration and Affairs were respectively undertaken by Rabbi Juesan and Guangjin. Rabbi Changxing and Huiting were responsible for Buddhist teaching, while science and literature were taught by the part-time professors from Xiamen University. There were 74 monk students at the beginning, which were divided into specialized and general subjects. The senior specialized subjects were taught by Rabbi Changxing, including Mahayana-samparigraha, Discerning£¬Vijnaptimatrata and so on. The general subjects were taught by Rabbi Huiting, which gave the lessons of Buddhist headstream. Besides compulsory courses, Minnan Buddhist Institute also invited famous people to make academic subject lecture so as to expand students¡¯ knowledge. Although Rabbi Huiquan was busy, he usually took some time instructing Buddhism. He contributed all his life to cultivating talents. As different ages and levels, Minnan Buddhist Institute set up a primary school for those students who are young with low levels. In 1926, the primary school was moved into Nanshan Temple in Zhangzhou, which was called Nanshan School. In the summer of 1927, the first batch of specialized students graduated from Minnan Buddhist Institute and carried forward Buddhism all around the world. The general students still learned in Minnan Buddhist Institute.