Opinion / Forum Trends

Should Shaolin be commercialized?

( Updated: 2015-03-11 08:07

Admiral Smith (Japan)

I think the answer is yes. It is quite common for religious institutions in developed countries to participate in commerce. For example in Japan, being a monk is considered a job; in many countries temples register as corporate organizations that enjoy favorable tax rates. Religions have never been divorced from economic needs - the institutions that spread them need money to support themselves and expand. The Abbot Shi and his monks are welcomed by many foreigners and Shi was arranged to meet many top leaders of foreign countries, which meant the cultural exchanges were recognized by the authorities and this was good for spreading tradition Chinese culture more effectively and widely. The accusations reflect a severe misunderstanding of Buddhism, even religion as a whole.

Should Shaolin be commercialized?

The Principle Abbot Shi Yongxit is accused of overly commercializing the Shaolin culture after media outlets exposed that he paid $300 million to establish a temple complex, including a luxury hotel in Australia. [Photo/IC]

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