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Shaolin Temple's 'commercialism' is pragmatic

By Li Xiangping ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-03-10 07:56:12

Shaolin Temple has kicked up a storm with its plans to build a modern Buddhism practice center and a four-star hotel in Shoalhaven city, Australia at the cost of 360 million Australian dollars ($281.2 million). Thanks to TV dramas and films, many residents are so accustomed to linking monks with simple lifestyles, that news of such a huge commercial deal provoked many critical comments.

That's also why, even after Shi Yongxin, principal abbot of Shaolin Temple, said the investment is being paid with donations by Shaolin followers and all the temple will do is to manage the practice center, several domestic media outlets rushed into the furor accusing the martial arts superstar temple of trying to cash in on its fame, with some of them even calling for intervention from the State.

In fact, such claims reflect a severe misunderstanding of Buddhism, even religion as a whole. Like all other civil organizations, religious institutions also need to cover their running costs.

Shaolin Temple's 'commercialism' is pragmatic

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