研究簡介  Introduction

在十九世紀,西方人對海幢寺的認識較廣州其他佛寺為深,主要原因是該寺經常用作中西交往活動的場所。也是在這個時期,廣州培育出新一代對基督宗教有所認識的佛教僧侶。筆者深信,只有對該寺在宗教、文獻、娛樂、外交這些相互關連的角色進行全面探索,才能正面突顯它在中西關係中的關鍵作用,並展示這種種關係的發展全貌。在這個意義上,本計劃將會對該寺進行獨特的研究。

 

本計劃也會是首個以中國—僧侶—文獻為中心對海幢寺進行的研究:以中國為本位反映中西接觸的實況,以海幢僧侶為依據、以搜集所得中西原手史料重寫該寺已瀕於湮沒的歷史。本人探究基督教傳教士馬禮遜(1782-1834)與該寺的聯繫表明,只有進行窄而深的原手研究並採用上述的創新路徑,始能為與廣州貿易、在華基督宗教直接有關的四大尚待開發的課題提供新的啟發。這四個課題包括:廣州西方人的精神生活、涉西方事務中一個非建制組織負起的半官方角色、佛教與基督教(包括聖公會)的初次接觸和交流、廣州佛教組織的社會網絡。

本計劃分為三個部份以處理這些問題:(1)從宗教旅遊的視角,分析海幢寺的本地和西方訪客的記載,並闡述該寺的管理策略;(2)考察該寺的本地、海外聯繫網如何配合廣州貿易和發揮它的半官方功能;(3)探究基督教徒和佛教僧侶的來往和後者對基督宗教的不同態度。為此,本計劃會建構一個包括海幢群體和文獻的大型數據庫,作為支援各項學術活動的多功能平台。

本計劃的長遠影響在於:(1)成為首個全面研究海幢寺的項目;(2)為與中國歷史研究相關的不同學科提供教學和研究的重要參考資料;(3)建立地區和國際共同研究的新平台;(4)以廣泛的研究和教育活動,為年青研究者及公眾帶來得益。

During the 19th century, Haichuang Buddhist Temple was better known to Westerners than any other similar establishment in Canton (Guangzhou). That familiarity stemmed from the temple’s regular use as a venue for a variety of Chinese-Western contacts. It was also during this period that a new generation of Buddhist priests with Christian knowledge developed in Canton. I firmly believe that only a comprehensive investigation exploring the temple’s interrelated roles in religion, literature, recreation and diplomacy can properly highlight its pivotal significance in Chinese-Western relations and reveal the full picture of how those relations developed. It is in this sense that the proposed project constitutes unique research on the temple.

This project will also represent the first China-, human activity- and literature-centred research on Haichuang Temple: a China-centred viewpoint to reveal the actual situation of China-Western contacts, with the Haichuang priests serving as the backdrop and first-hand Chinese-Western sources collected to rewrite its largely unknown history. My research exploring Protestant missionary Robert Morrison’s (1782-1834) connections with the temple confirms that only in-depth original research pursuing such an innovative approach can shed new light on four major and largely unexplored academic issues directly related to the Canton Trade and Christianity in China: the spiritual life of Westerners in Canton, the semi-official role of a provincial non-institutional organisation in handling Western affairs, Buddhist-Protestant (including Anglican) first encounters and exchanges, and the social networks of Canton Buddhist establishments.

To successfully tackle these issues, the project will comprise three parts: (1) analysis, from the perspective of religious tourism, of descriptions of the temple written by local and Western visitors and elaboration of Haichuang’s accommodation strategies; (2) examination of the temple’s local and overseas connections in alignment with the Canton Trade and features of its semi-official roles; and (3) investigation of Protestants’ exchanges with the Buddhist priests and the latter’s differing attitudes towards Christianity. A large database comprising detailed information on the Haichuang inhabitants and literature will be created to serve as a multi-functional platform to implement all of the research activities.

The project’s long-term impacts lie in: (1) constituting the first comprehensive research on Haichuang Temple, (2) providing valuable reference materials for teaching and research in multiple disciplines related to Chinese historical studies, (3) creating a new platform for regional and international collaborative research, and (4) resulting in an extensive range of research and educational activities of benefit to young researchers and the public at large.

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1796年廣州西班牙商館阿格特(Manuel de Agote)所購外銷畫冊中海幢寺海山門圖。此畫冊現存海幢寺,蒙寺方允許使用此電子畫像作出版用途。

Manuel de Agote, Vistas de los santuarios y otros edificios mas remarcables que comprehende el grande Pagode ò Templo de Canton nombrado Jày-thàng-ts´u con los Retratos de todos los Ydolos que contiene con las explicaciones necesarias para su mayor inteligencia y un Plano de qual manifiesta la extencion y divisiones que tiene este Templo (Guangzhou: Spanish factory [Real Compañía de Filipinas], 1796).