As the nineteenth century drew to a close, the challenges posed to Buddhist institutions and practices in China were considerable. The first of these challenges came from Buddhism’s efforts to recover in the aftermath of the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), the product of a charismatic Christian-inspired movement whose followers sacked Buddhist monasteries and burned scriptures throughout a significant part of southern China. The second challenge came from a series of reform-minded intellectuals: Profoundly impacted by China’s negative encounters with Western military might in the nineteenth century, these reformers believed that traditional forms of Chinese religiosity had an ossifying effect on Chinese social organization and had contributed in part to what they perceived as the country’s backwardness. Some of the reformers singled out Buddhism in particular as a tradition concerned only with the mindless recitation of rituals for the deceased for which its allegedly indolent clergy earned their living. Buddhism also came under attack by Christian missionaries who, supported by Western forces, proselytized aggressively in China throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These missionaries accused Buddhists of being indifferent to the suffering of the living by retreating from society instead of actively reaching out to help the poor.