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Sacred economies : Buddhist monasticism & territoriality in medieval China

Author: Michael J Walsh
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©2010.
Series: Sheng Yen series in Chinese Buddhist studies.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Buddhist monasteries in medieval China employed a variety of practices to ensure their ascendancy and survival. Most successful was the exchange of material goods for salvation, as in the donation of land, which allowed monks to spread their teachings throughout China. By investigating a variety of socioeconomic spaces produced and perpetuated by Chinese monasteries, the author reveals the "sacred economies" that  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael J Walsh
ISBN: 9780231148320 0231148321 9780231519939 0231519931
OCLC Number: 318191433
Description: xii, 237 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm.
Contents: Monastic identity, Buddhist religiosity, and land --
A square at the center of the world --
Corporate bodies --
A culture of estates --
Grains of sand --
Cultivating salvation --
Salvation and survival.
Series Title: Sheng Yen series in Chinese Buddhist studies.
Other Titles: Buddhist monasticism and territoriality in medieval China
Responsibility: Michael J. Walsh.

Abstract:

Buddhist monasteries in medieval China employed a variety of practices to ensure their ascendancy and survival. Most successful was the exchange of material goods for salvation, as in the donation of land, which allowed monks to spread their teachings throughout China. By investigating a variety of socioeconomic spaces produced and perpetuated by Chinese monasteries, the author reveals the "sacred economies" that shaped early Buddhism and its relationship with consumption and salvation. Centering his study on Tiantong, a Buddhist monastery that has thrived for close to seventeen centuries in southeast China, the author follows three main topics: the spaces monks produced, within and around which a community could pursue a meaningful existence; the social and economic avenues through which monasteries provided diverse sacred resources and secured the primacy of Buddhist teachings within an agrarian culture; and the nature of "transactive" participation within monastic spaces, which later became a fundamental component of a broader Chinese religiosity.

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The book is a good read. -- Robert Tollison EH Net Walsh has made a valuable contribution to the field of Chinese Buddhism. -- Ryan Richard Overbey Religious Studies Review

 
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