格义 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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géyì 格义

Matching Meanings

使用中国本土思想对佛教教义进行转译和阐释的方法。在译介大量佛教经典的魏晋南北朝时期,佛教思想对于汉语世界而言完全陌生,热衷于佛法的时人揣摩佛典的意思,但借用老庄等经典的语汇、概念乃至观念来比附、转译其义理,而被称为“格义”。“格”取量度义。这一时期也因而被称为格义佛教时期。格义作为一种阐释方法,是站在中国本土思想的立场上来解读佛教,建构佛教在汉语世界的思想体系,故而对佛教的中国化产生了奠基性的作用。

This term refers to a method to carry out translation and interpretation using Chinese thought for the Buddhist doctrines. During the Wei, Jin, and the Southern and Northern Dynasties period, when a large quantity of Buddhist scriptures was translated and introduced, Buddhist thought was completely unfamiliar for the Chinese world. The Chinese people, who were keen on the law of Buddha, tried to fathom the meaning of the Buddhist scriptures. They borrowed the vocabulary of the scriptures of Laozi, Zhuangzi, etc. The concepts and even ideas of these scriptures were appended. They developed their argumentation and that was called “matching meanings.” “Matching” takes the meaning of measuring. So this period was also called the Buddhist period of matching meanings. “Matching meanings” is a kind of method of interpretation. It is an interpretation of Buddhism from the standpoint of Chinese thought, constructing a system of thought of Buddhism in the world of the Chinese. Therefore, it has produced a fundamental influence in the sinification of Buddhism.

引例 Citation:

◎雅乃与康法朗等,以经中事数拟配外书,为生解之例,谓之“格义”。及毘浮、相昙等,亦辩格义以训门徒。(《高僧传·竺法雅》)

(竺法雅于是与康法朗等人,使用传统经籍中的概念,尝试与外来之书中的教义匹配,作为事例引导人理解教义,这就叫做“格义”。及至毘浮、相昙等人,也使用格义的方法善加辞巧,以教育门徒。)

Then, Zhu Faya, Kang Falang and others matched the doctrines in foreign texts with the original concepts in Chinese classics, and gave instances to bring about the meaning for people to understand them. It was called “matching meanings.” Later, monks like Pifu and Xiangtan also used the method of “matching meanings” to instruct their disciples. (Biographies of Eminent Monks)

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