Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Schlütter, Morten

First Committee Member

Curley, Melissa A

Second Committee Member

Smith, Frederick M


In this essay, I would like to discuss the Maitreyan soteriology in Early China from the angle of the ideal of cakravartin embedded in the image of Maitreya, who rules over a heavenly paradise and will come down to effect universal salvation in an earthly paradise. In the first section, I will present the social conditions as well as the indigenous schools of thought in Early China, and make an analogy with those in ancient Hindu society, so as to reveal the collective appeal to an ideal cakravartin as the future savior in Early China. In the second section, I would like to survey the development of the image of Maitreya in both scriptural and sectarian sources, and how it is related to the ideal of cakravartin. Then in the third section, I will discuss Maitreyan soteriology from the perspective of Pure Land belief and how the ideal of cakravartin has contributed to the development of Maitreyan soteriology in Early China. I will examine sutras in which Maitreya appears, and texts, including inscription, which record the actual practices of Maitreya worship, as well as the sculptures bearing those inscriptions, so as to present a comprehensive examination of Maitreyan soteriology in Early China.


Cakravartin, Maitreya


iii, 58 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 56-58).


Copyright 2012 Meng Yin

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