PDF The Mystique of Transmission: On an Early Chan History and Its Contexts

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This is a finely crafted piece of scholarship, over which the author has labored for years; it was the subject of her doctoral dissertation completed a little over a decade ago. One of the things that this work is not is a narrowly conceived treatise on an obscure Chan text. Along with other manuscripts discovered at Dunhuang, the Lidai fabao ji has had a monumental impact on our understanding of early Chan history. As the first book on the Lidai fabao ji and Bao Tang school to appear in a Western language, Mystique of Transmission makes an important contribution to the developing scholarly literature on Chan, Buddhist, and Chinese history.

Chapter 2 is a good example. The same may be said for chapters 3 and 4. Aside from the brief, introductory chapter which includes a discussion on the background of the Lidai fabao ji text--the text figures parenthetically, but strategically, to the discussion until we get to chapter 5, at which time concerns central to the Chan school emerge to take center stage.

However formulated, the Bao Tang school and the Lidai fabao ji remain central to the discussion. The Lidai fabao ji , expertly translated and amply annotated, is contained in part 2. The translation is based on Stein ms. Adamek also consulted Pelliot ms. The translation is divided into forty-three sections, following Yanagida, according to natural divisions in the narrative. Students and scholars alike will be pleased that Adamek has included the Chinese text of the Lidai fabao ji.

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Clouds Thick, Whereabouts Unknown. Charles Egan. Martin Bradley. Sources of Tibetan Tradition. Historical Dictionary of Taoism. Add to cart. Adamek , Hardcover. Be the first to write a review About this product. The text is the only remaining relic of the little-known Bao Tang Chan school of Sichuan, and combines a sectarian history of Buddhism and Chan in China with an account of the eighth-century Chan master Wuzhu in Sichuan. Chinese religions scholar Wendi Adamek compares the "Lidai fabao ji" with other sources from the fourth through eighth centuries, chronicling changes in the doctrines and practices involved in transmitting medieval Chinese Buddhist teachings.

While Adamek is concerned with familiar Chan themes like patriarchal genealogies and the ideology of sudden enlightenment, she also highlights topics that make "Lidai fabao ji" distinctive: formless practice, the inclusion of female practitioners, the influence of Daoist metaphysics, and connections with early Tibetan Buddhism. The "Lidai fabao ji" was unearthed in the early twentieth century in the Mogao caves at the Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang in northwestern China.

Discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts has been compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as these documents have radically changed our understanding of medieval China and Buddhism.

Mario Poceski

A crucial volume for students and scholars, "The Mystique of Transmission" offers a rare glimpse of a lost world and fills an important gap in the timeline of Chinese and Buddhist history. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Pre-owned Pre-owned.