This book will open up a new window into early medieval religion by focusing on a special genre of textsBuddhist miracle tales--little studied in Western academia. The text in question is the Mingxiang ji, written by a 5th century literates....
|Title||:||Signs from the Unseen Realm: Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China|
|Number of Pages||:||300 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Signs from the Unseen Realm: Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China Reviews
Campany is one of my favorite Chinese historians of religion. I have all his previous books which first intoduced me to the Zhiguai tales and the immortals. He is a great scholar at interpreting and presenting stories and religious ideas. His latest volume is a departure from his previous works on Taoism to look at Buddhist miracle tales.The book comprises a relatively detailed examination of the text he has chosen and how it relates to other Buddhist texts and Taoist texts from the same period. It shows the development of lay Buddhism at an early period of it's introduction into China. One of the things that I found most interesting was the majority of the stories focused around Guan Yin (or Guan Shi Yin as he was known then). Even before she had her sex change Guan Yin was the focus of devotion among lay people and stories of his/her ability to save people from Earthly calamities were being circulated. The importance of the focus on Guan Yin in these stories was something that I thought Campany should have examined a little more. He seemed rather uninterresed in looking at the specific diety but rather the tales and what they related in general. The second half of the text is a translation of the 5th century text Mingxiang ji. Each story is translated in full with a commentary after the text. The stories were interesting though I must admit I prefer the Taoist tales. There were several examples in the translation of Taoism failing where Buddhism succeeded. People who were seen as pursuing the way of immortality were shown to be following an inferior path, and the Buddhists were able to succeed where the Taoists were not. There were also stories against local houshold gods. Stories of posession where the Buddhists were able to cure what the other religions could not. There were also stories of ghosts and many tales of people dying before their time, visiting the underworld seeing the horrors there and returning to life. I enjoyed this book but I think I will wait till it gets a little cheaper before buying my own copy.
a new genre--miracle tales and their interpretative communities;