Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies


James A. Benn


This thesis explores the role and concept of the sage in Cheng Xuanying's commentary to the Zhuangzi. The concept of the sage will be examined in light of Cheng Xuanying's participation in the Buddho-Daoist court debates held in early seventh-century China. It will be argued that some aspects of Cheng Xuanying's commentary on the Zhuangzi may be related to developments within the court debates. Nevertheless, it will also be argued that many "Buddhist" elements of Cheng Xuanying's conception of the sage cannot be entirely explained by his interaction with Buddhists in the court debates. It will be shown that much of what constitutes his conception of the sage can be ! explained by the presence of sinified Buddhist thought in the early developing stages of Daoism in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries.

McMaster University Library

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