The Opening Ceremony of the 2020 “Science of Shaolin” Symposium Grandly Held in Shaolin Temple

Publish Date:2021-10-19

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On the morning of Oct. 17 at 9 o’ clock, the “Science of Shaolin”, approved by the relevant united front work department and the religious affairs department, and hosted by Shaolin Temple, was grandly opened at the Great Awakening Hall of Shaolin Temple. Guests present included: master Shi Yongxin, vice president of the Buddhist Association of China, vice president of the Buddhist Association of Henan Province and abbot of Shaolin Temple, Hu Baoxin from the united front work department of Henan Provincial Party Committee, Yang Sanzhong from the Henan Provincial Religious Affairs Committee, Shao Jun, president of the Buddhist Association of Henan Province, professor Huang Xianian from the institute for world religions of the Chinese Academy of Social Science, Director Li Zhonghua from the institute of philosophy and culture of Peking University, professor Ma Tianxiang from the institute of philosophy of Wuhan University and so on. The symposium on Science of Shaolin set three forums: the study of inscription in Shaolin Temple (before Song Dynasty); Buddhism and Chinese traditional ecological thought; big data of files and Shaolin culture.

Abbot Yongxin first welcomed the arrival of all distinguished leaders and guests on behalf of the sponsor and mentioned that: Shaolin culture is the product of the combination of Buddhist cultural belief and the excellent traditional Chinese culture, and is also the treasure of traditional Chinese culture. The science of Shaolin aims to study the knowledge related to Shaolin culture. Shaolin Temple’s vast historical records of tablet inscriptions are an important literature of studying the development process of Shaolin Temple, an objective interpretation of events of Shaolin Temple’s past eminent monks, and the foundation of the study of the science of Shaolin; Buddhism and Chinese traditional religious ecological thought focus on Buddhist thought and Chinese traditional ecological thought, investigate the combination and promotion of all schools’ ecological thought, for example Confucian school, Taoist school and the like, in the process of Buddhism in China, as well as the significance of the construction of Chinese modern ecological civilization; the construction of Shaolin documents is an necessary part of the construction of Shaolin culture. With the progress of the times, big data is an inexorable trend of social development. The construction of Shaolin documents, under the trend of big data in this age, continually enriches and improves Shaolin documents, not only being combing of Shaolin history and records of present Shaolin Temple, but also a bond of gathering Chan monks, to make Chan and Kungfu practitioners around the world find a sense of belonging and honor in Shaolin Temple.


Then secretary general Shao Jun read out the letter of congratulation from the Buddhist Association of China mentioning that: for a long time, under the leadership of master Shi Yongxin, Shaolin Temple has always being sticking to the policy of joint practice of Chan and Wu (martial arts), and constructing the temple with culture”, dedicating to the sponsorship of the science of Shaolin, making great efforts to promote the inheritance protection and innovative development of Shaolin culture, actively taking the road of accommodation of Buddhism and socialism, and contributing to sticking to the sinicization of Buddhism as well as inheriting and developing Buddhist culture with Chinese characteristics. 


Director Yang Sanzhong said in his speech that the standard of big data system construction of national culture in the era of big data is approaching in the era of big data. Under the background of the revival of traditional Chinese culture, Shaolin Temple pays more attention to the new trend of cultural inheritance, combines Shaolin documents with new techniques and application, and has the significance for the collection, sort and protection of Shaolin culture’s big data. Meanwhile, the opening of the forums will also develop a new circle of study on the science of Shaolin, playing a role in fueling the propagation of Shaolin culture.


Director Du Minsheng mentioned in his speech that Central Plain culture, Songshan Mountain culture and Shaolin culture are an important component of Yellow River culture. Today we stay here to study and communicate with each other here aiming to implement the Yellow River strategy of the Party and country, deeply explore the value of the times of Shaolin culture, tell good Shaolin stories, Songshan Mountain stories, Yellow River stories and Chinese stories, further continue historical context, consolidate the confidence in Chinese culture and keep together mental strength for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Minister Li Li said in his speech that Shaolin Temple is the ancestral monastery of Chan sect, an renown ancient Chinese temple with profound cultural background, and plays an important role in the international cultural exchanges. The science of Shaolin was held to explore its profound significance and historical value of Shaolin culture, further recognizing and interpreting the sinicization of Buddhism.


At the opening ceremony, professor Li Zhonghua also confirmed the inevitability and necessity of the launching of the science of Shaolin from the point of Buddhism and ecological protection, and highly praised the three sub-forums set by the symposium, hoping that the symposium on the science of Shaolin could continue being held and become a complete, influential discipline.

The present experts and scholars visited Shaolin Temple’s architecture, inscriptions, murals, the Pagoda Forest, etc. after the opening ceremony, hoping that Shaolin Temple could often host the symposium on the science of Shaolin, deeply explore the external significance of Shaolin culture and contribute Shaolin wisdom and power to the world. Then the guests present watched wonderful Shaolin Kungfu performance in front of the Abbot Hall which won cheers and applause from people on the scene.


Songshan Mountain culture is part of the Yellow River culture while Shaolin culture is an outstanding representative of the Songshan Mountain culture and the Central Plain culture. The symposium on the science of Shaolin was held not only to further cognize and interpret the sinicization of Buddhism, deepen the study on the Yellow River culture, but also to call upon the whole society to pay attention to the ecological protection, inherit and carry forward the concept of Buddhist ecological protection as well as carry out social practice of ecological protection that clear waters and green mountains are as good as mountains of gold and silver; by studying Shaolin Temple’s inscriptions before Song Dynasty, the progress and development of the sinicization can be known exactly while profound and extensive Shaolin culture can be experienced; by advancing the study on the big data of documents and Shaolin culture, the world cultural heritage like the Shaolin Temple Permanent Residence Compound, the Pagoda Forest and the Founder Nunnery can be effectively protected, also the protection and propagation of Shaolin culture more effectively by profound Shaolin cultural relics and new techniques, exploring the potential of Shaolin culture and servicing the social development and progress.


The three sub-forums of the symposium on the science of Shaolin will be conducting respectively on the afternoon that day and the next whole day of Oct. 18. Hundreds of experts and scholars gathered at the foot of the Songshan Mountain, drawing on the wisdom of the masses, discussing and interpreting fantastic significance of Shaolin culture from different angles. (Edited by Zou Xiang and photographed by Yue Long, Wang Haitao and Gong Wuwei)

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