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In the early nineteenth century the monk Ruhai Xiancheng 如海顯承 traveled through China and wrote a route book recording China’s most famous pilgrimage routes. Knowing the Paths of Pilgrimage (Canxue zhijin 參學知津) describes, station by station, fifty-six pilgrimage routes, many converging on famous mountains and urban centers. It is the only known route book that was authored by a monk and, besides the descriptions of the routes themselves, Knowing the Paths contains information about why and how Buddhists went on pilgrimage in late imperial China. Knowing the Paths was published without maps, but by geo-referencing the main stations for each route we are now able to map an extensive network of monastic pilgrimage routes in the nineteenth century. Though most of the places mentioned are Buddhist sites, Knowing the Paths also guides travelers to the five marchmounts, popular Daoist sites such as Mount Wudang, Confucian places of worship such as Qufu, and other famous places. The routes in Knowing the Paths traverse not only the whole of the country’s geography, but also the whole spectrum of sacred places in China.

十九世紀早期,如海顯承和尚在遊歷中國後寫了一本關於中國一些最著名的朝聖之路的路線紀錄。這本「參學知津」(朝聖之路指引)一站一站地描述了五十六條朝聖路線,含括著名的山岳與城鎮。此為目前已知的唯一一本由僧侶著述的路線紀錄,不僅詳述每條路線,且說明在中國晚清時期僧侶們如何與為何踏上朝聖之旅。本書在出版時不含地圖。藉由路線上主要地標彼此之相關地理訊息,我們能深入描繪十九世紀時的寺廟朝聖網路。雖然本書主要描述的是佛教聖地,但也指引旅人關於五嶽、著名道教聖地武當山、儒家朝聖之地曲阜、與其他名勝。「參學知津」裡描述的路線不僅橫貫整個國家的地理版圖,也展現了中國聖地的完整圖譜。 (This article is in English.)

In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society

The different readings given in the apparatus of the authoritative Taishō edition of the Buddhist canon are widely used, but we do not know much about their relationship to previous efforts, their accuracy and comprehensiveness, because the witnesses used in the collation are not readily available to researchers. Moreover, we do not know exactly how other canonical editions that were discovered in the 20th century compare to the Taishō edition and to what degree a further collation might be useful. This paper tries to answer some of these questions by expanding the Taishō apparatus of the Song Gaoseng Zhuan (T.2061) through collation with the Qisha canon and a categorization of the variations encountered. The combination of qualitative judgments about the variations together with quantitative data about their occurrence makes it possible to present a clearer picture of the relationship between these two versions of the text.

In: East Asian Publishing and Society


The excerpts below were selected to introduce a number of disparate genres and types of discourses about healing, illness, and cure that are embedded within the Chinese Buddhist canon. They include an excerpt from a monastic disciplinary code concerning the storage of medicines, a scripture with a story of an encounter between a bodhisattva and a famous physician, a liturgy dedicated to a major healing deity, an author’s advice to doctors from a Buddhist perspective, and a devotional verse that plays on medical metaphors. Taken together, they indicate some of the diversity of perspectives and approaches of Buddhist materials and suggest the potential importance of often-overlooked Buddhist materials for the study of Asian medicine.

In: Asian Medicine