The goal of this book is to study the ways in which Chinese Buddhists expressed their religious faiths and how Chinese Buddhists interacted with society at large since the Northern and Southern dynasties (386-589), through the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911), up to the Republican era (1912-1949). The book aims to summarize and present the historical trajectory of the Sinification of Buddhism in a new light, revealing the symbiotic relationship between Buddhist faith and Chinese culture. The book examines cases such as repentance, vegetarianism, charity, scriptural lecture, the act of releasing captive animals, the Bodhisattva faith, and mountain worship, from multiple perspectives such as textual evidence, historical circumstances, social life, as well as the intellectual background at the time.
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.
A history of traditional Chinese knowledge, thought and belief from the seventh through the nineteenth centuries with a new approach that offers a new perspective. It appropriates a wide range of source materials and emphasizes the necessity of understanding ideas and thought in their proper historical contexts. Its analytical narrative focuses on the dialectical interaction between historical background and intellectual thought. While discussing the complex dynamics of interaction among the intellectual thought of elite Chinese scholars, their historical conditions, their canonical texts and the “worlds of general knowledge, thought and belief,” it also illuminates the significance of key issues such as the formation of the Chinese world order and its underlying value system, the origins of Chinese cultural identity, foreign influences, and the collapse of the Chinese world order in the 19th century leading toward the revolutionary events of the 20th century.
The matter of saṃgha-state relations is of central importance to both the political and the religious history of China. The volume
The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel brings together, for the first time, articles relating to this field covering a time span from the early Tang until the Qing dynasty. In order to portray also the remarkable thematic diversity of the field, each of the articles not only refers to a different time but also discusses a different aspect of the subject.
Contributors include: Chris Atwood, Chen Jinhua, Max Deeg, Barend ter Haar, Thomas Jülch, Albert Welter and Zhang Dewei.
Michael Loewe calls on literary and material evidence to examine three problems that arose in administering China’s early empires. Religious rites due to an emperor’s predecessors must both pay the correct services to his ancestors and demonstrate his right to succeed to the throne. In practical terms, tax collectors, merchants, farmers and townsmen required the establishment of a standard set of weights and measures that was universally operative and which they could trust. Those who saw reason to criticise the decisions taken by the emperor and his immediate advisors, whether on grounds of moral principles or political expediency, needed opportunities and the means of expressing their views, whether as remonstrants to the throne, by withdrawal from public life or as authors of private writings.