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Toward a New Paradigm of East Asian Yogācāra Buddhism: Taehyŏn (ca. 8th century CE), a Korean Yogācāra monk, and His Predecessors


This dissertation seeks to locate the place of Taehyon (ca. 8th century CE), a Silla Korean Yogacara monk, within the broader East Asian Buddhist tradition. My task is not confined solely to a narrow study of Taehyon's thought and career, but is principally concerned with understanding the wider contours of the East Asian Yogacara tradition itself and how these contours are reflected in Taehyon's extant oeuvre. There are problems in determining Taehyon's doctrinal position within the traditional paradigms of East Asian Yogacara tradition, that is, the bifurcations of Tathagatagarbha and Yogacara; Old and New Yogacara; the One Vehicle and Three Vehicles; and the Dharma Nature and Dharma Characteristics schools. Taehyon's extant works contain doctrines drawn from across these various divides, and his doctrinal positions therefore do not precisely fit any of these traditional paradigms. In order to address this issue, this dissertation examines how these bifurcations originated and evolved over time, across the geographical expanse of the East Asian Yogacara tradition. The chapters of the dissertation discuss in largely chronological order the theoretical problems involved in these bifurcations within Yogacara and proposes possible resolutions to these problems, by focusing on the works of such major Buddhist exegetes as Paramartha (499-569), Ji (632-682), Wonhyo (617-686), Fazang (643-712), and, finally, Taehyon.

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