Eminent Monk / Edition 1

Eminent Monk / Edition 1

by John Kieschnick, Kieschnick
     
 

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… See more details below

Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780824818418
Publisher:
University of Hawaii Press, The
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Series:
Studies in East Asian Buddhism
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Ch. 1Asceticism16
Ch. 2Thaumaturgy67
Ch. 3Scholarship112
Final Reflections139
Abbreviations147
Notes149
Glossary187
Works Cited195
Index213

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