To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: A Translation and Study of Ge Hong's Traditions of Divine Transcendents

To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: A Translation and Study of Ge Hong's Traditions of Divine Transcendents

by Robert Ford Campany, Hong Ge
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520230345

ISBN-13: 9780520230347

Pub. Date: 04/08/2002

Publisher: University of California Press

In late classical and early medieval China, ascetics strove to become transcendents—deathless beings with supernormal powers. Practitioners developed dietetic, alchemical, meditative, gymnastic, sexual, and medicinal disciplines (some of which are still practiced today) to perfect themselves and thus transcend death. Narratives of their achievements circulated

Overview

In late classical and early medieval China, ascetics strove to become transcendents—deathless beings with supernormal powers. Practitioners developed dietetic, alchemical, meditative, gymnastic, sexual, and medicinal disciplines (some of which are still practiced today) to perfect themselves and thus transcend death. Narratives of their achievements circulated widely. Ge Hong (283-343 c.e.) collected and preserved many of their stories in his Traditions of Divine Transcendents, affording us a window onto this extraordinary response to human mortality.

Robert Ford Campany's groundbreaking and carefully researched text offers the first complete, critical translation and commentary for this important Chinese religious work, at the same time establishing a method for reconstructing lost texts from medieval China. Clear, exacting, and annotated, the translation comprises over a hundred lively, engaging narratives of individuals deemed to have fought death and won. Additionally, To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth systematically introduces the Chinese quest for transcendence, illuminating a poorly understood tradition that was an important source of Daoist religion and a major social, cultural, and religious phenomenon in its own right.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520230347
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/08/2002
Series:
Daoist Classics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
633
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.75(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments

PART ONE: TRADITIONS OF DIVINE TRANSCENDENTS AND ITS CONTEXT
Opening
Ge Hong and the Writing of Traditions of Divine Transcendents
The Nature of the Religion Reflected in Ge Hong's Works
Text-Critical Matters

PART TWO: A CRITICAL, ANNOTATED TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY
Group A: Earliest-Attested Hagiographies
Group A: Earliest-Attested Fragments
Group B: Early-Attested Hagiographies
Group B: Early-Attested Fragments
Group C: Later-Attested Hagiographies

PART THREE: TEXT-CRITICAL NOTES
On the Source Tests and the Temporal Differentiation of Passages
Group A: Sources of Earliest-Attested Hagiographies
Group A: Sources of Earliest-Attested Fragments
Group B: Sources of Early-Attested Hagiographies
Group B: Sources of Early-Attested Fragments
Group C: Sources of Later-Attested Hagiographies
Items Attributed to Shenxian zhuan Excluded from This Translation

Bibliography

Index

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