Publications by Chün-fang Yü

Monographs in English
(click the titles to visit the publisher's website)

Chün-fang Yü. Passing the Light: The Incense Light Community and Buddhist Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, May 2013.

Kuan-yin:  The Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteśvara. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981.

Monographs in Chinese

Guanyin: Pusa zhongguo hua de yanbian 观音: 菩萨中国化的演变(Chinese regular character edition). Taipei: Dharma Drum Publishing, 2009; (simplified character edition). Beijing: Commercial Press, 2012.

Xiangguang zhuangyan: Wuyin fashi xingchuan 香光庄严:悟因法师行传(The Beauty of Incense Light: A Biography of Dharma Master Wuyin). Taipei: Rouyu Publishing, 2010.

Edited Works

Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992. (Co-edited with Susan Naquin)

In Search of the Dharma: Memoirs of A Modern Chinese Buddhist Pilgrim.  Albany:  State University of New York Press, 1992. (edited with introduction)

Book Chapters 

“Avalokiteśvara.” Oxford Online Bibliography (December 2011)

“What Makes A Nun Holy?” In Hagiography and Chan Poetry, ed. Liao Yi-hung, 170–190. Taipei: Institute of Philosophy and Literature, Academia Sinica, 2007.
(in Chinese)

“A Sutra Promoting the White-Robed Guanyin as Giver of Sons.” In  Asian Religions in Practice, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr., 350–358. Princeton University Press, 2002.

“Biography of the Great Compassionate One of Xiangshan by Jiang Zhiqi (1031-1104).” InUnder Confucian EyesWritings on Gender in Chinese History, Susan Mann and Yu-yin Cheng, eds., 31–44. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001.

“Chinese Religions on Population, Consumption and Ecology.” In Visions of A New Earth: Religious Perspectives in Population, Consumption, and Ecology, Harold Coward and Daniel C. Maguire, eds., 161–174. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000.

“Feminine Forms of Kuan-yin and Buddhist Views of Morality and Sexuality.” In Neo-Confucian Orthodoxy and Human Desires: Post/Modernity in Late Imperial Chinese Culture, Hsiung Ping-chen and Lü Miao-fen, eds., 295–311.  Taipei:  Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, 1999. (in Chinese)

Sources of Chinese Tradition, Chapter 17 of Volume I. Co-authored with Leon Hurvitz, Daniel Stevenson and Philip Yampolsky.  Compiled by Wm. Theodore deBary and Irene Bloom. New York:  Columbia University Press, 1999: 481–536.

Buddhism in the Ming Dynasty.” In The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1398–1644, Part 2, Dennis Twitchett and Frederick Mote, eds., 893–952. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

“The Cult of Kuan-yin in Ming-Ch’ing China: A Case of Confucianization of Buddhism?”  In Meeting of the Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought : Essays in Honor of Wing-Tsit Chan and William Theodore De Bary, Irene Bloom and Joshua Vogel, eds., 144–174. New York:  Columbia University Press, 1997.

“Chinese Women Pilgrims’ Songs Glorifying Guanyin.” In Buddhism in Practiceed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr., 176–180. Princeton University Press, 1995 (abridged ed. 2007).

“Indigenous Chinese Scriptures and the Cult of Kuan-yin.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on Buddhism and Chinese Culture, vol. 2, 421–465. Taiwan: Chung-Hwa Institute, 1995.

“Guanyin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteśvara.” In Latter Days of The Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism 850-1850,  ed. Marsha Weidner, preface by Sherman E. Lee, 151–181. Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas in Association with University of Hawaii Press, 1994.

“Kuan-yin in Pao-chuan Literature and Chinese Popular Beliefs.” In Proceedings of International Conference on Popular Beliefs and Chinese Culture, vol. 1, 333–351. Taiwan: Center for Chinese Studies, 1994. (in Chinese).

“P’u-t’o Shan: Pilgrimage and the Creation of Chinese Potolaka.” In Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in ChinaSusan Naquin and Chün-fang Yü, eds., 190–245. Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1992.

“Introduction.” In Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in ChinaSusan Naquin and Chün-fang Yü, eds., 1–38. Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1992.

“Der Guanyin-Kult in Yunnan.”  In Der Goldschatz der Drei Pagoden, 28–39. Zurich: Museum Rietberg, 1991.

“Images of Kuan-yin in Chinese Folk Literature.” Chinese Studies 8, no. 1 (1990): 221–285.

“Ch’an Education in the Sung: Ideals and Procedures.”  In Neo-Confucian Education: The Formative Stage, William Theodore de Bary and John W. Chaffee, eds., 57–104. Berkeley, CA:  The University of California Press, 1989.

“Chu-hung.” The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade. New York: The Free Press, 1986.

“Chung-feng Ming-pen and Ch’an Buddhism in the Yuan.” In Yüan Thought: ChineseThought and Religion under the MongolsHok-lam Chan and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds., 419–477. New York:  Columbia University Press, 1982.

“Religions on the Silk Road.” In Silk and Oil: Central Asia in World History, ed. Ronald Knapp. New York: China Institute, 2005.

“Chu-hung.”  In Dictionary of Ming Biography, 1368–1644, Vol. 1: A–L., L. Carrington Goodrich and Chao-ying Fang, eds., 322–324. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.

“Chu-hung and Lay Buddhism in the Late Ming.” (under my former name, Kristin Yu Greenblatt) In The Unfolding of Neo-Confucianism, ed. Wm. Theodore deBary and the Conference on Seventeenth Century Chinese Thought, 93–140. New York: Columbia University Press, 1975.

Articles in Journals

Humanistic Buddhism and Buddhist Nuns in Taiwan.” Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore 168 (Special Issue on Women in Chinese Religions) (2010): 191–223.

“The Goddess Mazu.” Print Quarterly XXVI (2009): 402-403.

 “Guanyin and Dizang: A Special Image Arrangement in Chinese Buddhist Art in the Tang.”  Journal of The Study  of Art History (Zhongshan University Press) 10 (2008): 467–508. (in Chinese; co-authored with Yao Chongxin)

Kuan-yin Devotion in China.” Dharma World for Living Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue 35 (2008): 9–12.

“Eye on Religion: Miracles in the Chinese Buddhist Tradition.” Southern Medical Journal 100, no. 12 (Special Issue on Miracles and Medicine) (2008): 1243–1245.

“The Cult of Kuan-yin in China.” Hsiang-kuang Quarterly (Chiayi, Taiwan), 59, 60, 61 (1999, 2000): 4-79; 4-68; 6-113. (This article appeared in three parts in three consecutive issues of Hsuiang-kuang Quarterly)

“Miracle Tales and the Domestication of Kuan-yin.” Chung-hua Buddhist Journal 11 (1998): 425-481.

“Ambiguity of Avalokiteśvara and the Scriptural Sources for the Cult of Kuan-yin in China.”  Chung-hua Buddhist Journal 10 (1997): 409-463.

“Apocryphal Sutras and the Faith in Kuan-yin.” Chung-hua Buddhist Journal 8 (1995): 97-135. (in Chinese).

“Feminine Images of Kuan-yin in Post-T’ang China.” Journal of Chinese Religions 18 (1990): 61-89.

“Some Buddhist Responses to Neo-Confucianism in the Ming,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 15 (1988): 371–413.

“Tradition of Innovation:  The New Religion of T’ien-te sheng-chiao.”  Numen 27, no. 2 (1980): 222–246. (co-authored with Homes Welch)

“Ta-hui Tsung-kao and Kung-an Ch’an.”  Journal of Chinese Philosophy, special issue: Modes of Self-Cultivation in Traditional China (1978): 211–235.

“Buddha-Invocation (Nien-fo) as Koan.” Dharma (April, 1977): 189–203.

Book Reviews

Review of Liu Yao’s Wei Jin Nanbiechao shijia zhuanji yanjiu—Shi baochang yu Biqiuni zhuan (Studies of Buddhist Biographies of Wei, Jin and Northern and Southern Dynasties – Shi Baochang and Biographies of Nuns). Nan Nü. Vol. 12, No.1 (2010), 150-153.

Review of Brigitte Baptandier, The Lady of Linshu: A Chinese Female CultEtudes chinoises . Vol. XXVIII  (2009), pp. 355-361.

Review of Wilt Idema’s Personal Salvation and Filial PietyJournal of Chinese Studies(Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong). Vol. 49 (2009), pp. 475-482.

Review of Xiao-fei Kang’s The Cult of the FoxJournal of Chinese Religions. No. 34 (2006), pp. 115-119.

Currents and Countercurrents: Korean Influences on the Buddhist Traditions of EastAsia. Edited by Robert E. Buswell, Jr. Religious Studies Review. Vol. 33, No.1 (January  2007), 17-22.

Review of Jamie Hubbard’s Absolute Delusion, Perfect EnlightenmentHistory of Religions. Vol. 44, No. 4 (May 2005), pp. 358-362.

Review of Daniel Overmyer’s Precious Volumes:  An Introduction to Chinese Sectarian Scriptures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.  Journal of Asian Studies.  Vol. 59, No. 3 (August 2000), pp. 714-717.

Review of Alan Cole’s Mother and Son in Chinese Buddhism.  Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies.  Vol. 60 No. 1 (June 2000), pp. 333-350.

Review of “The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche,” The Trials of Telo Rinpoche” and “A Stranger in My Native Land,” three videos by Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin, American Anthropologist.  Vol. 102, No. 1 (March 2000), pp. 158-159.

Review of Timothy Brook’s Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming ChinaChina Review International.  Vol. 3, No.1 (Spring 1996), pp. 100-111.

Review of Hsu Sung-peng’s A Buddhist Leader in Ming China.  Ming Studies. No. 22 (Fall 1986), pp. 59-63.

Review of Daniel Overmyer’s Folk Buddhist Religion.  Eastern Buddhist . New Series. Vol. 10, No. 1  (May, 1977.)  pp. 150-155.


Kuan-yin Pilgrimage (56 minutes, color, VHS format, R.C. Video, 1989; DVD format, Columbia University Press, 2004).   Filmed on location in PRC in 1987.  Pilgrimages to Kuan-yin cultic centers in Hangzhou and Putuo Shan.  I was the script-writer, director, and producer.