Reconstructing Ximing Monastery : history, imagination and scholarship in medieval Chinese Buddhism
- Presented in the cultural context of medieval Chang'an and the broader network of Buddhist Asia, this dissertation provides an interdisciplinary study on a range of topics concerning the celebrated Ximing Monastery (Ximingsi) in Tang China (618-907). As a premier center of Buddhist learning, Ximingsi not only served as a prominent national monastery active in state-protection movement, but also attracted a steady stream of Chinese pundits, Indian missionaries, Korean scholars and Japanese pilgrims, seeking to spread the Buddhist dharma across Asia. Drawing from a large body of literature including Buddhist texts, secular archives, epigraphy, illustrated manuscripts, annals, royal charters, archeological reports, as well as numerous marginal notes, the present thesis offers a study of Ximingsi that seeks to shed light onto its legend, history, art, and scholarship. Situated near the palace city in Chang'an, Ximingsi proved to be a powerful representative of a state Buddhism in support of the nation. The first part of this study offers a consideration of the monastery's dark prehistory, a sketch of its image in the literary imagination, and a reconstruction of its complex religio-political history, with special attention to the interaction between state politics and monastic Buddhism. At the same time, the monastery stood at the center of a broader story in the architectural history of East Asian Buddhism. The second part of the dissertation takes up that story and attempts to reconstruct the religious space of Ximingsi in relation to the Indian Jetavana Vihāra and the Daianji Monastery in Japan. This part focuses on two texts —— the Illustrated Scripture of Jetavana (Guanhzong chuangli jietan tujing) and the Illustration of Ximingsi (Saimyōjizu) preserved in Japan —— and combines art historical studies with archaeological discoveries at the present monastery site. Lastly, the final chapters explore the celebrated library of Ximingsi, which was built around rich collections of Buddhist scriptures and secular texts. Digging into the two major catalogues at the monastery —— the Da Tang neidian lu and Zhenyuan shijiao lu —— the dissertation highlights the Buddhist bibliographical tradition at Ximingsi and its role in cultural exchange between China and Japan.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, Department of Religious Studies
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Department of Religious Studies.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2012.
- © 2012 by Xiang Wang
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