Lu Xun 魯迅 (1881–1936) has remained a most prominent figure in modern Chinese literary studies, but not so in modern Buddhism scholarship. This article shows the interlacing of Lu Xun's revolutionary vision with Buddhism on three primary terrains: his indebtedness to his teacher Zhang Taiyan 章太炎 (1868–1936), his immersion in a wide range of Buddhist texts before the May Fourth movement, and a close reading of selected poems from Yecao 野草 (Wild Grass) in light of Buddhist philosophy. The author argues that Yogācāra conceptions promoted by Zhang, wanfa weixin 萬法唯心 (all phenomena are nothing but mind), bushi 佈施 (the bodhisattva ideal of sacrificial giving), and kong 空 (emptiness as boundless potentiality), greatly influenced Lu Xun's aesthetics. Ultimately, this article shows how revolution, the dominant mode of secularism, is theistically conditioned. The Buddhist notion of emptiness, rather than an impediment to modernity, informs the worldly action of revolution and the phenomenal possibility of change.

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