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'Be a teacher after death': The message strategies of the body donation campaign in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  11 “walking on the road of Bodhisattva 1 ,” help build up Tzu-Chi’s non-profit making enterprises that include hospitals, university and colleges, cable TV, radio channels, publishing and production companies. Tzu-Chi’s involvement in promoting the idea of body donation indeed reflects its overall philosophy (which informs its value system) and compliments to its mission tasks. Nevertheless, as a Buddhist organization, Tzu-Chi still needs to observe the Buddhist doctrine. It will be interesting to see how Tzu-Chi dealt with the clash between the religious teaching and appealing for body donation, and turned a challenging mission into a phenomenal success. Studies on Tzu-Chi Foundation often credited its overall success on its charismatic spiritual leader Dharma Master Cheng-Yen (e.g., Lu, 1998; 2000; Ting, 1999). Master Cheng-Yen’s documented speeches in promoting the idea of body donation will therefore contribute greatly to construct a holistic picture of body donation movement in Taiwan and to help identify the facilitating elements in the persuasive campaign messages. METHODOLOGY A discourse analysis was conducted to examine the message strategies that Tzu-Chi Foundation had employed to promote the idea of body donation. Specifically, various frames designed to challenge/modify the existing value system and to elicit 1 Bodhisattva refers to the merciful gods who help the poor and the needy in the Buddhist theology. One representative figure is the goddess of mercy.

Authors: Chang, Hao-Chieh. and Leung, Kenneth W. Y..
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background image
11
“walking on the road of Bodhisattva
1
,” help build up Tzu-Chi’s non-profit making
enterprises that include hospitals, university and colleges, cable TV, radio channels,
publishing and production companies.
Tzu-Chi’s involvement in promoting the idea of body donation indeed reflects its
overall philosophy (which informs its value system) and compliments to its mission
tasks. Nevertheless, as a Buddhist organization, Tzu-Chi still needs to observe the
Buddhist doctrine. It will be interesting to see how Tzu-Chi dealt with the clash
between the religious teaching and appealing for body donation, and turned a
challenging mission into a phenomenal success. Studies on Tzu-Chi Foundation often
credited its overall success on its charismatic spiritual leader Dharma Master
Cheng-Yen (e.g., Lu, 1998; 2000; Ting, 1999). Master Cheng-Yen’s documented
speeches in promoting the idea of body donation will therefore contribute greatly to
construct a holistic picture of body donation movement in Taiwan and to help identify
the facilitating elements in the persuasive campaign messages.
METHODOLOGY
A discourse analysis was conducted to examine the message strategies that
Tzu-Chi Foundation had employed to promote the idea of body donation. Specifically,
various frames designed to challenge/modify the existing value system and to elicit
1
Bodhisattva refers to the merciful gods who help the poor and the needy in the Buddhist theology.
One representative figure is the goddess of mercy.


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