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.
This work explores the Christian-Chinese encounter from a non-Confucian perspective, exemplified by the comparison between Jesus and the philosopher Mozi (5th c. B.C.). The investigation is based on the work
Mozi yu Yesu of the Hanlin scholar and convert Wu Leichuan (1869–1944). The first part gives a biographical sketch and discusses the writings and prolegomena of the Sino-Christian hermeneutics of Wu. Part two describes the social reformer Mozi and his teachings that are interpreted by Wu in a Christian way. Part three presents the life and teachings of Jesus according to Wu as well as his attempts to establish a “Ruist” view of the Christian tradition. Part four is dedicated to the comparison between Mozi and Jesus, with special emphasis on Wu’s understanding of religion. The fifth part refers to the defectiveness of the Chinese and Christian traditions and to the necessity of a return to the “true and original Dao.”