The Impact Of Buddhism On Chinese Material Culture


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From the first century, when Buddhism entered China, the foreign religion shaped Chinese philosophy, beliefs, and ritual. At the same time, Buddhism had a profound effect on the material world of the Chinese. This wide-ranging study shows that Buddhism brought with it a vast array of objects big and small--relics treasured as parts of the body of the Buddha, prayer beads, and monastic clothing--as well as new ideas about what objects could do and how they should be treated. Kieschnick argues that even some everyday objects not ordinarily associated with Buddhism--bridges, tea, and the chair--on closer inspection turn out to have been intimately tied to Buddhist ideas and practices. Long after Buddhism ceased to be a major force in India, it continued to influence the development of material culture in China, as it does to the present day. At first glance, this seems surprising. Many Buddhist scriptures and thinkers rejected the material world or even denied its existence with great enthusiasm and sophistication. Others, however, from Buddhist philosophers to ordinary devotees, embraced objects as a means of expressing religious sentiments and doctrines. What was a sad sign of compromise and decline for some was seen as strength and versatility by others. Yielding rich insights through its innovative analysis of particular types of objects, this briskly written book is the first to systematically examine the ambivalent relationship, in the Chinese context, between Buddhism and material culture.

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Author by John Kieschnick
Genre eBook Religion
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ISBN Number 9780691214047

Zen And Material Culture


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The stereotype of Zen Buddhism as a minimalistic or even immaterial meditative tradition persists in the Euro-American cultural imagination. This volume calls attention to the vast range of "stuff" in Zen by highlighting the material abundance and iconic range of the Soto, Rinzai, and Obaku sects in Japan. Chapters on beads, bowls, buildings, staffs, statues, rags, robes, and even retail commodities in America all shed new light on overlooked items of lay and monastic practice in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Nine authors from the cognate fields of art history, religious studies, and the history of material culture analyze these "Zen matters" in all four senses of the phrase: the interdisciplinary study of Zen's matters (objects and images) ultimately speaks to larger Zen matters (ideas, ideals) that matter (in the predicate sense) to both male and female practitioners, often because such matters (economic considerations) help to ensure the cultural and institutional survival of the tradition. Zen and Material Culture expands the study of Japanese Zen Buddhism to include material inquiry as an important complement to mainly textual, institutional, or ritual studies. It also broadens the traditional purview of art history by incorporating the visual culture of everyday Zen objects and images into the canon of recognized masterpieces by elite artists. Finally, the volume extends Japanese material and visual cultural studies into new research territory by taking up Zen's rich trove of materia liturgica and supplementing the largely secular approach to studying Japanese popular culture. This groundbreaking volume will be a resource for anyone whose interests lie at the intersection of Zen art, architecture, history, ritual, tea ceremony, women's studies, and the fine line between Buddhist materiality and materialism.

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Author by Pamela Winfield
Genre eBook Art
Read Book 360
ISBN Number 9780190469290

India In The Chinese Imagination


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In this collection of original essays, leading Asian studies scholars take a new look at the way the Chinese conceived of India in their literature, art, and religious thought in the premodern era.

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Author by John Kieschnick
Genre eBook History
Read Book 305
ISBN Number 9780812245608

Cultural Intersections In Later Chinese Buddhism


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This collection of essays on later Chinese Buddhism takes us beyond the bedrock subjects of traditional Buddhist historiography - scriptures and commentaries, sectarian developments, lives of notable monks - to examine a wide range of extracanonical materials that illuminate cultural manifestations of Buddhism from the Song dynasty (960-1279) through the modern period. Straying from well-trodden paths, the authors often transgress the boundaries of their own disciplines: historians address architecture; art historians look to politics; a specialist in literature treats poetry that offers gendered insights into Buddhist lives. The broad-based cultural orientation of this volume is predicated on the recognition that art and religion are not closed systems requiring only minimal cross-indexing with other social or aesthetic phenomena but constituent elements in interlocking networks of practice and belief.

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Author by Marsha Smith Weidner
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 234
ISBN Number 0824823087

The Eminent Monk


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"In an attempt to reconstruct an elusive aspect of the medieval Chinese imagination, The Eminent Monk examines biographies of Chinese Buddhist monks, from the uncompromising ascetic to the unfathomable wonder-worker. The book treats representations of asceticism in biographies of Chinese monks, focusing particularly on attitudes toward sex, food, and clothing. It analyzes the image of the Buddhist thaumaturge in these biographies, including the monk's relationship to supernormal powers, spells, and miracles. Finally, it mines the hagiography for clues to monastic attitudes toward scholarship, including a discussion of education in the monasteries, debate, and the constraints on intellectual exchange within the monastic community." "While analyzing images of the monk in medieval China, the author addresses some questions encountered along the way: What are we to make of accounts in "eminent monk" collections of deviant monks who violate monastic precepts? Who wrote biographies of monks and who read them? How did different segments of Chinese society contend for the image of the monk and which image prevailed?" "By placing biographies of monks in the context of Chinese political and religious rhetoric, The Eminent Monk explores both the role of Buddhist literature in Chinese history and the monastic imagination that inspired this literature."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Author by John Kieschnick
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 218
ISBN Number 0824818415

Buddhism In China


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This book gathers together for the first time the most central and influential papers of the great scholar of Chinese Buddhism, Erik Zürcher, presenting the results of his career-long profound studies following on the 1959 publication of his landmark 'The Buddhist Conquest of China'. The translation and language of Buddhist scriptures in China, Buddhist interactions with Daoist traditions, the activities of Buddhists below elite social levels, continued interactions with Central Asia and lands to the west, and typological comparisons with Christianity are only some of the themes explored here. Presenting some of the most important studies on Buddhism in China, especially in the earlier periods, ever published, it will thus be of interest to a wide variety of readers.

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Author by Erik Zürcher
Genre eBook HISTORY
Read Book 688
ISBN Number 9789004263291

Religion Material Culture And Archaeology


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Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology offers a new understanding of the materiality of religion. By drawing on the field of archaeological theory and method, the relationship between religion and material culture is explored. It is argued that the material elements of religious life have been largely neglected by the discipline of religious studies, while at the same time religion has been traditionally seen as problematic for archaeologists. Why do we not talk of the discipline of the archaeology of religion, in the same way we do the anthropology of religion, or the sociology of religion? The volume considers the historical problems of approaching the material elements of religious life and bridges the methodological gap between religious studies and archaeology by proposing a new way of understanding the materiality of religion – as active, engaged and projecting a level of autonomous social agency. Finally, the critical examination of archaeological approaches to the materiality of religion is furthered through the consideration of non-archaeological ways of examining the social roles that material culture plays in human life.

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Author by Julian Droogan
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 208
ISBN Number 9781441163332

Silk Slaves And Stupas


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Following her bestselling Life Along the Silk Road, Susan Whitfield widens her exploration of the great cultural highway with a new captivating portrait focusing on material things. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas tells the stories of ten very different objects, considering their interaction with the peoples and cultures of the Silk Road—those who made them, carried them, received them, used them, sold them, worshipped them, and, in more recent times, bought them, conserved them, and curated them. From a delicate pair of earrings from a steppe tomb to a massive stupa deep in Central Asia, a hoard of Kushan coins stored in an Ethiopian monastery to a Hellenistic glass bowl from a southern Chinese tomb, and a fragment of Byzantine silk wrapping the bones of a French saint to a Bactrian ewer depicting episodes from the Trojan War, these objects show us something of the cultural diversity and interaction along these trading routes of Afro-Eurasia. Exploring the labor, tools, materials, and rituals behind these various objects, Whitfield infuses her narrative with delightful details as the objects journey through time, space, and meaning. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas is a lively, visual, and tangible way to understand the Silk Road and the cultural, economic, and technical changes of the late antique and medieval worlds.

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Author by Susan Whitfield
Genre eBook History
Read Book 376
ISBN Number 9780520957664

Translating Buddhist Medicine In Medieval China


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The transmission of Buddhism from India to China was one of the most significant cross-cultural exchanges in the premodern world. This cultural encounter involved more than the spread of religious and philosophical knowledge. It influenced many spheres of Chinese life, including the often overlooked field of medicine. Analyzing a wide variety of Chinese Buddhist texts, C. Pierce Salguero examines the reception of Indian medical ideas in medieval China. These texts include translations from Indian languages as well as Chinese compositions completed in the first millennium C.E. Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China illuminates and analyzes the ways Chinese Buddhist writers understood and adapted Indian medical knowledge and healing practices and explained them to local audiences. The book moves beyond considerations of accuracy in translation by exploring the resonances and social logics of intercultural communication in their historical context. Presenting the Chinese reception of Indian medicine as a process of negotiation and adaptation, this innovative and interdisciplinary work provides a dynamic exploration of the medical world of medieval Chinese society. At the center of Salguero's work is an appreciation of the creativity of individual writers as they made sense of disease, health, and the body in the context of regional and transnational traditions. By integrating religious studies, translation studies, and literature with the history of medicine, Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China reconstructs the crucial role of translated Buddhist knowledge in the vibrant medical world of medieval China.

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Author by C. Pierce Salguero
Genre eBook History
Read Book 256
ISBN Number 9780812209693

Buddhism Between Tibet And China


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Exploring the long history of cultural exchange between 'the Roof of the World' and 'the Middle Kingdom,' Buddhism Between Tibet and China features a collection of noteworthy essays that probe the nature of their relationship, spanning from the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 CE) to the present day. Annotated and contextualized by noted scholar Matthew Kapstein and others, the historical accounts that comprise this volume display the rich dialogue between Tibet and China in the areas of scholarship, the fine arts, politics, philosophy, and religion. This thoughtful book provides insight into the surprisingly complex history behind the relationship from a variety of geographical regions. Includes contributions from Rob Linrothe, Karl Debreczeny, Elliot Sperling, Paul Nietupski, Carmen Meinert, Gray Tuttle, Zhihua Yao, Ester Bianchi, Fabienne Jagou, Abraham Zablocki, and Matthew Kapstein.

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Author by Matthew Kapstein
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 480
ISBN Number 9780861718061