A modern Buddhist college opened yesterday, using iPads to help monks study English and read English Buddhist classics.
At Henan Buddhist College, teachers and students will use iPads to access online courses developed overseas.
The college is the first Buddhist higher education institute in Henan Province, China News Service reported yesterday.
By adopting the latest technology, officials hope to challenge the stereotype of ascetic practices and attract more young people to study Buddhism.
In addition to Buddhism theory classes, English, film discussion and art classes are also on the curriculum. English is compulsory, with 90-minute lessons twice a week.
Lin Gu, a teacher with the English Buddhism Classics class, said the transmission of Buddhism relied on translation at the beginning. Learning English can help Westerners understand Chinese Buddhism, he said.
While Henan has 500 centers for Buddhist activities, only 30 percent of the directors have received special training, reported the news agency.