As noted in the Translator’s Introduction, Sengyou believed that “The Way is propagated by people, and the teaching is clarified by literature.”
This work is a compilation by the Vinaya master Shi Sengyou (445–518) of discourses, correspondence, reports to the emperor, family codes, written appeals by Buddhist laypeople and monks, and responses to Anti-Buddhist critiques, dating from the Eastern Jin dynasty (317–420) through the mid sixth century of the Liang Dynasty (502-557). These writings were intended to protect the Buddhist Dharma from criticisms by Confucians and Daoists and the political powers of the time, as well as in order to promulgate Buddhism. By collecting literary works from distinctive scholars of former ages that were intended to dispel wrong views toward Buddhism, Sengyou hoped to disperse doubts in his own time.
Ch. Hongming ji (弘明集), compiled by Shi Sengyou. 14 fascicles.