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Mothers and Sons in Chinese Buddhism

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Taking a new approach to the history of Buddhism, this book describes how Buddhist authors reorganized family values in China. Close readings of more than twenty Buddhist texts written in China from the fifth to the thirteenth century demonstrate that Buddhist authors crafted new models for family reproduction based on a mother-son style of filial piety, in contrast to the traditional father-son model. The author draws on modern critical and psychoanalytic perspectives to argue that by reorienting family values, ...
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Overview

Taking a new approach to the history of Buddhism, this book describes how Buddhist authors reorganized family values in China. Close readings of more than twenty Buddhist texts written in China from the fifth to the thirteenth century demonstrate that Buddhist authors crafted new models for family reproduction based on a mother-son style of filial piety, in contrast to the traditional father-son model. The author draws on modern critical and psychoanalytic perspectives to argue that by reorienting family values, the Buddhists succeeded in bridging the gap between the private world of the Chinese family and the public presence of monastic Buddhism, thereby working Buddhism into Chinese society on several levels: sexual, familial, monetary, and political.
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Editorial Reviews

Charles B. Jones
This is without question the wittiest and most stylishly-written academic book I have come across, and is one of the most lucid in terms of putting complicated ideas into accessible prose. The book was a true pleasure to read....[T]his book is a fascinating and enlightening piece of cultural criticism that will alter many of the ways that scholars think of the transmission of Buddhism to China. May it abide long in the world.
Journal of Buddhist Ethics
Charles B. Jones
This is without question the wittiest and most stylishly-written academic book I have come across, and is one of the most lucid in terms of putting complicated ideas into accessible prose. The book was a true pleasure to read....[T]his book is a fascinating and enlightening piece of cultural criticism that will alter many of the ways that scholars think of the transmission of Buddhism to China. May it abide long in the world.
Journal of Buddhist Ethics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804731522
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Pages: 303
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on Transliterations and Abbreviations
Texts Analyzed in This Volume
1 Buddhist Propaganda 1
2 Confucian Complexes 14
3 Nascent Buddhist Filial Piety 41
4 Mothers and Sons in the Beginning 56
5 Mothers and Sons in the Ghost Festival 80
6 The Buddhist Elite Talk About Mothers and Sons 103
7 The Sutra on the Profound Kindness of Parents 132
8 Mu Lian and the Ten Kindnesses of the Mother 159
9 Buddhist Biology 192
10 Bifurcated Mothers and Other Conclusions 226
Notes 239
Bibliography 280
Character List 293
Index 295
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