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Edited by Michael Lackner, Kwok-kan Tam, Monika Gänssbauer and Terry Siu Han Yip

The essays collected in Fate and Prognostication in the Chinese Literary Imagination deal with the philosophical, psychological, gender and cultural issues in the Chinese conception of fate as represented in literary texts and films, with a focus placed on human efforts to solve the riddles of fate prediction. Viewed in this light, the collected essays unfold a meandering landscape of the popular imaginary in Chinese beliefs and customs.
The chapters in this book represent concerted efforts in research originated from a project conducted at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Contributors are Michael Lackner, Kwok-kan Tam, Monika Gaenssbauer, Terry Siu-han Yip, Xie Qun, Roland Altenburger, Jessica Tsui-yan Li, Kaby Wing-Sze Kung, Nicoletta Pesaro, Yan Xu-Lackner, and Anna Wing Bo Tso.

The Annotated Critical Laozi

With Contemporary Explication and Traditional Commentary

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Guying Chen

Edited by Paul D'Ambrosio

Masters of Psalmody (bimo)

Scriptural Shamanism in Southwestern China

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Aurélie Névot

In Masters of Psalmody (bimo ) Aurélie Névot analyses the religious, political and theoretical issues of a scriptural shamanism observed in southwestern China among the Yi-Sani. Her focus is on blood sacrifices and chants based on a secret and labile writing handled only by ritualists called bimo.

Through ethnographic data, the author presents the still little known bimo metaphysics and unravels the complexity of the local text-based ritual system in which the continuity of each bimo lineage relies on the transmission of manuscripts whose writing relates to lineage blood. While illuminating the usages of this shamanistic tradition that is characterized by scriptural variability between patrilineages, Aurélie Névot highlights the radical changes it is undergoing by becoming a Chinese state tradition.

Diamond Sutra Narratives

Textual Production and Lay Religiosity in Medieval China

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Chiew Hui Ho

Contextualizing the sutra within a milieu of intense religious and cultural experimentation, this volume unravels the sudden rise of Diamond Sutra devotion in the Tang dynasty against the backdrop of a range of social, political, and literary activities. Through the translation and exploration of a substantial body of narratives extolling the efficacy of the sutra, it explores the complex social history of lay Buddhism by focusing on how the laity might have conceived of the sutra and devoted themselves to it. Corroborated by various sources, it reveals the cult’s effect on medieval Chinese religiosity in the activities of an empowered laity, who modified and produced parasutraic texts, prompting the monastic establishment to accommodate to the changes they brought about.

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Kilian Stumpf SJ

Edited by Paul Rule and Claudia von Collani

The Acta Pekinensia is a Latin manuscript found in the Jesuit Roman Archives. It is a record of the papal legation to China of Charles Maillard de Tournon, from his arrival in China to his death in Macau. It was compiled by Kilian Stumpf, a German Jesuit missionary/scientist serving at the court of the Kangxi Emperor of China. Stumpf was in a privileged position to record day by day the events of this crucial episode not only in the history of Christianity in China but in Chinese-Western relations. This annotated translation provides a full documentation and an acute and lively commentary on the clash of values which resulted in the failure of the legation and the condemnation of Chinese Rites.

Zhipan’s Account of the History of Buddhism in China

Volume 1: Fozu tongji, juan 34-38: From the Times of the Buddha to the Nanbeichao Era

Thomas Jülch

The Fozu tongji by Zhipan (ca. 1220-1275) is a key text of Chinese Buddhist historiography. In the present volume Thomas Jülch presents his translation of the first five juan of the massive annalistic part. Rich annotations clarify the backgrounds to the historiographic contents, presented by Zhipan in a highly essentialized style. For the historical traditions the sources Zhipan refers to are meticulously identified. In those cases where the accounts presented are inaccurate or imprecise, Jülch points out how the relevant matter is depicted in the sources Zhipan relies on. With this carefully annotated translation of Fozu tongji, juan 34-38, Thomas Jülch enables an indepth understanding of a key text of Chinese Buddhist historiography.

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John Lagerwey

From the fifth century BC to the present and dealing with the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism) as well as popular religion, this introduction to the eight-volume Early and Modern Chinese Religion explores key ideas and events in four periods of paradigm shift in the intertwined histories of Chinese religion, politics, and culture. It shows how, in the Chinese church-state, elite processes of rationalization, interiorization, and secularization are at work in every period of major change and how popular religion gradually emerges to a position of dominance by means of a long history of at once resisting, adapting to, and collaborating with elite-driven change. Topics covered include ritual, scripture, philosophy, state policy, medicine, sacred geography, gender, and the economy. It also serves as the basis for an on-line Coursera course.

Taoism and Self Knowledge

The Chart for the Cultivation of Perfection (Xiuzhen tu)

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Catherine Despeux

Catherine Despeux’s book Taoism and Self Knowledge is a study of the Internal Alchemical text "Chart for the Cultivation of Perfection." It begins with an analysis of pictographic and symbolic representation of the body in early Taoism after which the author examines different extant versions of the "Chart" as it was transmitted among Quanzhen groups in the Qing dynasty. The book is comprised of four main parts: the principal parts of the body and their nomenclature in Internal Alchemy, the spirits in the human body, and the alchemical processes and procedures used in thunder rituals and self-cultivation. This is a revised, expanded edition of the original French edition Taoïsme et connaissance de soi. La carte de la culture de la perfection (Xiuzhen tu) Paris, 2012.

L’Hymnaire manichéen chinois Xiabuzan 下部讚 à l’usage des Auditeurs

Un manuscrit trouvé à Dunhuang, traduit, commenté et annoté

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Lucie Rault

L’Hymnaire manichéen chinois offre un ensemble de 25 hymnes destinées à la pratique de la religion manichéenne par la Section des Auditeurs. Mis au jour à Dunhuang (actuel Gansu) au début du 20ème siècle, après être resté enfoui dans une cache pendant quelque douze siècles, ce rouleau écrit en langue chinoise, comprend plusieurs hymnes transcrites de diverses langues courantes en Asie centrale à l’époque de sa rédaction.
Cette traduction apporte une vision nouvelle de la Religion de Lumière, telle qu’elle se vit adoptée par les Chinois, ainsi que de l’ampleur du message du prophète iranien Mani (216-276), aspirant à une portée universelle et destiné à relier entre eux les hommes de tous horizons de par le monde, quelque soit leur origine, leur langue ou leur histoire.



L’Hymnaire manichéen chinois presents a collection of twenty-five hymns that were intended for the Manichean religious practice of the class of Auditors. The scroll, which came to light in the early twentieth century in the province of Dunhuang (modern Ganzu) after lying buried for around twelve centuries, contains several hymns transcribed from a variety of languages that were current in Central Asia during the epoch of its redaction. This translation provides a new perspective on the Religion of Light as it was adopted in China, and on the wide reach of the message of the Iranian prophet Mani (216-276) that aimed at universal scope and was meant to unite people from all parts of the world, of whatever origin, language and history.

Fenggang Yang

The speed and the scale with which traditional religions in China have been revived and new spiritual movements have emerged in recent decades make it difficult for scholars to stay up-to-date on the religious transformations within Chinese society.

This unique atlas presents a bird’s-eye view of the religious landscape in China today. In more than 150 full-color maps and six different case studies, it maps the officially registered venues of China’s major religions - Buddhism, Christianity (Protestant and Catholic), Daoism, and Islam - at the national, provincial, and county levels. The atlas also outlines the contours of Confucianism, folk religion, and the Mao cult. Further, it describes the main organizations, beliefs, and rituals of China’s main religions, as well as the social and demographic characteristics of their respective believers. Putting multiple religions side by side in their contexts, this atlas deploys the latest qualitative, quantitative and spatial data acquired from censuses, surveys, and fieldwork to offer a definitive overview of religion in contemporary China.

An essential resource for all scholars and students of religion and society in China.