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Buddhist Hagiography in Early Japan: Images of Compassion in the Gyoki Tradition
     

Buddhist Hagiography in Early Japan: Images of Compassion in the Gyoki Tradition

by Jonathan Morris Augustine, Augustine Jonat
 

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ISBN-10: 0415322456

ISBN-13: 9780415322454

Pub. Date: 01/11/2005

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Hagiographies or idealized biographies which recount the lives of saints, bodhisattvas and other charismatic figures have been the meeting place for myth and experience. In medieval Europe, the 'lives of saints' were read during liturgical celebrations and the texts themselves were treated as sacred objects. In Japan, it was believed that those who read the

Overview

Hagiographies or idealized biographies which recount the lives of saints, bodhisattvas and other charismatic figures have been the meeting place for myth and experience. In medieval Europe, the 'lives of saints' were read during liturgical celebrations and the texts themselves were treated as sacred objects. In Japan, it was believed that those who read the biographies of lofty monks would acquire merit. Since hagiographies were written or compiled by 'believers', the line between fantasy and reality was often obscured. This study of the bodhisattva Gyoki - regarded as the monk who started the largest social welfare movement in Japan - illustrates how Japanese Buddhist hagiographers chose to regard a single monk's charitable activities as a miraculous achievement that shaped the course of Japanese history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415322454
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
01/11/2005
Series:
Routledge Studies in Asian Religion Series
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Uncovering the Lives of Gyoki 1. The Received Biography of Gyoki 2. The Historicity of Gyoki's Accounts 3. Gyoki and the Soniryo: Violations of Early Monastic Regulations in Japan 4. Gyoki and the Politics of the Nara Court 5. Gyoki's Charitable Projects 6. The Development of Gyoki Biographies 7. Conclusion

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