- Kendall MarchmanKendall MarchmanDepartment of Religion, University of Georgia
Hsing Yun 星雲 (1927–) is the charismatic founder of Fo Guang Shan 佛光山 (Buddha’s Light Mountain), one of the largest Buddhist organizations to emerge out of modern Taiwan. Following the example of his teacher, the respected modern Buddhist reformer Tai Xu 太虛 (1890–1947), Hsing Yun is known for popularizing “humanistic Buddhism,” a modern style of Buddhism that engages contemporary settings and commits to helping those in need. As a result, Hsing Yun has met with hundreds of political and religious leaders from around the world. Hsing Yun’s political stances and the organization’s notable wealth have occasionally brought criticism; however, he remains a venerated figure both in Fo Guang Shan’s transnational community and Taiwan.