The first scholarly monograph on Buddhist maṇḍalas in China, this book examines the Maṇḍala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas. This iconographic template, in which a central Buddha is flanked by eight attendants, flourished during the Tibetan (786–848) and post-Tibetan Guiyijun (848–1036) periods at Dunhuang. A rare motif that appears in only four cave shrines at the Mogao and Yulin sites, the maṇḍala bore associations with political authority and received patronage from local rulers. Attending to the historical and cultural contexts surrounding this iconography, this book demonstrates that transcultural communication over the Silk Routes during this period, and the religious dialogue between the Chinese and Tibetan communities, were defining characteristics of the visual language of Buddhist maṇḍalas at Dunhuang.
Michelle C. Wang, Ph.D. (Harvard, 2008), is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Georgetown University. A specialist in medieval Chinese art, her publications have addressed Buddhist maṇḍalas, Dunhuang painting, and art of the Silk Road.
Table of contents
ContentsAcknowledgementsList of IllustrationsAbbreviations and ConventionsIntroduction Recentering Buddhism at Dunhuang The Shingon Impact Maṇḍalas in the Making Overview of Chapters 1
From Dhāraṇī to MaṇḍalaDhāraṇī Pillars in Medieval China Maṇḍalas and Altars Visualizing the Maṇḍala 2
The Crowned Buddha and Narratives of Enlightenment The Cult of Vairocana in Early Tibet The Crowned Buddha Networks of Transmission Stylistic Bilingualism in Images of Vairocana The Eight Bodhisattvas 3
Maṇḍalas and Historical Memory Mogao Cave 156 and the Victory of Zhang Yichao The Cult of Avalokiteśvara at Dunhuang The Maṇḍala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas in the Guiyijun Period Amoghavajra and the Vajradhātu Maṇḍala Maṇḍalas and Ritual Space 4
Maṇḍalas, Repentance, and Vision The Vajra Realm in Ritual Manuals from Dunhuang The Five Buddhas and Repentance Altars 5
Beyond the Maṇḍala Bodhisattvas and Repentance The
Kalyāṇamitras as Embodied Experience The Vows of Samantabhadra The Ascent to the Dharma Realm
All those with an interest in cross-cultural interactions in Chinese and Tibetan visual culture and Buddhism, as well as specialists in esoteric Buddhism, Silk Road art, and Dunhuang studies.