Flows of Faith pp 123-141 | Cite as

Heterotopia and the Southern Heaven: Xingyun’s Antipodean Buddhist Mission

  • Scott PaceyEmail author


The Buddhist notion of expediency allows for flexibility when adapting to new cultural contexts. This chapter examines expedient approaches used by a Taiwanese Buddhist organisation, Foguang Shan, to promote the dharma in Australia. The analysis focuses on the Nan Tian Temple in Wollongong, and considers this in light of the organisation’s headquarters in Gaoxiong County (Taiwan). This chapter will argue that by virtue of their ability to architectonically embody converging ideas, both places constitute what Foucault called ‘heterotopias’. Both locations provide opportunities for reflection and transformation, which in this case, manifests in the modern Buddhist project of ‘purifying’ the world. This capacity to embody a multitude of claims, including notions about the confluence between Buddhism and modernity, provides Xingyun with a range of tools for promoting the dharma by catering to a diverse range of interests in Australian society.


Buddhism and modernity Australian society Taiwanese Buddhist organisation Foguang Shan dharma in Australia Nan Tian Temple heterotopias 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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