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In: The Spread of Buddhism
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Abstract

When discussing Buddhism in ancient India and China, monasteries always occupy a central place, as monastic life is a major factor in the creation of Buddhist identity. In all kinds of texts, and certainly in disciplinary texts, monastic life therefore receives a great deal of attention: monks represent the Buddhist community and the Dharma. This is also the case with respect to bodily care. Although bodily care practices might seem trivial, they reveal what the community stands for, at least normatively. In this paper, I discuss how this normative ideal was transferred from India to China, taking into account the role of Buddhist monastics in the social networks to which they belonged. I explore how the threshold for becoming a monk advanced over time, with purity attaining an ever more central position in Buddhist discourse on bodily care.

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In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia
Author:

Abstract

When discussing Buddhism in ancient India and China, monasteries always occupy a central place, as monastic life is a major factor in the creation of Buddhist identity. In all kinds of texts, and certainly in disciplinary texts, monastic life therefore receives a great deal of attention: monks represent the Buddhist community and the Dharma. This is also the case with respect to bodily care. Although bodily care practices might seem trivial, they reveal what the community stands for, at least normatively. In this paper, I discuss how this normative ideal was transferred from India to China, taking into account the role of Buddhist monastics in the social networks to which they belonged. I explore how the threshold for becoming a monk advanced over time, with purity attaining an ever more central position in Buddhist discourse on bodily care.

In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia
In: T'oung Pao
Encounters, networks, identities and diversity are at the core of the history of Buddhism. They are also the focus of Buddhist Encounters and Identities across East Asia, edited by Ann Heirman, Carmen Meinert and Christoph Anderl. While long-distance networks allowed Buddhist ideas to travel to all parts of East Asia, it was through local and trans-local networks and encounters, and a diversity of people and societies, that identities were made and negotiated. This book undertakes a detailed examination of discrete Buddhist identities rooted in unique cultural practices, beliefs and indigenous socio-political conditions. Moreover, it presents a fascinating picture of the intricacies of the regional and cross-regional networks that connected South and East Asia.
In: The Spread of Buddhism
In no region of the world Buddhism can be seen as a unified doctrinal system. It rather consists of a multitude of different ideas, practices and behaviours. Geographical, social, political, economic, philosophical, religious, and also linguistic factors all played their role in its development and spread, but this role was different from region to region. Based on up-to-date research, this book aims at unraveling the complex factors that shaped the presence of particular forms of Buddhism in the regions to the north and the east of India. The result is a fascinating view on the mechanisms that allowed or hampered the presence of (certain aspects of) Buddhism in regions such as Central Asia, China, Tibet, Mongolia, or Korea.
In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia
In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia