Redemption and deliverance : Presence of Buddhism in Paul Claudel's drama

Abstract : In Paul Claudel’s drama, the Catholic spirit and the Buddhist exoticism intersect in a very distinctive way. The Soteriology remains the central proposition, but it is never limited to traditional redemptive dogma, but enriches it with that of Buddhist deliverance which combines with the philosophy and aesthetics of India, China and Japan. This syncretism created a very singular literary atmosphere in his drama. Claudel’s acceptance and transformation of Buddhist ideas on deliverance is a long personal and cultural history. We combined the external philological studies with the intensive analysis of the texts in order to show how the dialogue between Catholic theology and Buddhism exerts influence on French literature from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. This study takes into account the characteristics of the Oriental experience of Claudel, as well as the development of his literary thought and his Buddhist source. We have extracted three stereotyped Buddhist systems: primitive Buddhism in the Indian region, which preaches suffering, emptiness and nihilism; the “degraded" Chinese Buddhism awaiting the salvation of Christ; Japanese Buddhism, with the beauty of pleasant melancholy, serves as a spiritual healing of the West in crisis. We choose three representative works: Tête d'Or, Le Repos du Septième Jour, Le Soulier de Satin. By combining external historical study with text analysis, we have re-established a three-step process, in keeping with the diachronic development of Claudel’s Buddhi-Catholic ideology.
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Guanqiao Huang. Redemption and deliverance : Presence of Buddhism in Paul Claudel's drama. Religions. PSL Research University; Shanghai Normal University, 2017. Chinese. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEP011⟩. ⟨tel-02091365⟩

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