Sunday, August 25, 2013

Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang 敦煌學十八講

Rong Xinjiang 榮新江


Publication Year : 

In Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang, Rong Xinjiang provides an accessible overview of Dunhuang studies, an academic field that emerged following the discovery of a medieval monastic library at the Mogao caves near Dunhuang. The manuscripts were hidden in a cave at the beginning of the 11th century and remained unnoticed until 1900, when a Daoist monk accidentally found them and subsequently sold most of them to foreign explorers and scholars. The availability of this unprecedented amount of first-hand material from China’s middle period provided a stimulus for a number of scholarly fields both in China and the West. Rong Xinjiang’s book provides, for the first time in English, a convenient summary of the history of Dunhuang studies and its contribution to scholarship.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ethics in Early China: An Anthology

Chris Fraser, Dan Robins and Timothy O'Leary

Publication Date:

Hong Kong University Press


Early Chinese ethics has attracted increasing scholarly and social attention in recent years, as the virtue ethics movement in Western philosophy sparked renewed interest in Confucianism and Daoism. Meanwhile, intellectuals and social commentators throughout greater China have looked to the Chinese ethical tradition for resources to evaluate the role of traditional cultural values in the contemporary world. Publications on early Chinese ethics have tended to focus uncritical attention toward Confucianism, while neglecting Daoism, Mohism, and shared features of Chinese moral psychology. This book aims to rectify this imbalance with provocative interpretations of classical ethical theories including widely neglected views of the Mohists and newly reconstructed accounts of the "embodied virtue" tradition, which ties ethics to physical cultivation. The volume also addresses the broader question of the value of comparative philosophy generally and of studying early Chinese ethics in particular.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Five-Colored Clouds of Mount Wutai: Poems from Dunhuang

Mary Anne Cartelli


Publication Year:


In The Five-Colored Clouds of Mount Wutai: Poems from Dunhuang, Mary Anne Cartelli examines a set of poems from the Dunhuang manuscripts about Mount Wutai, the most sacred mountain in Chinese Buddhism. Dating from the Tang and Five Dynasties periods, they reflect the mountain’s transformation into the home of the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, and provide important literary evidence for the development of Buddhism in China. This interdisciplinary study analyzes the poems using Buddhist scriptures and pilgrimage records, as well as the contemporaneous wall-painting of Mount Wutai in Dunhuang cave 61. The poems demonstrate how the mountain was created as a sacred Buddhist space, as their motifs reflect the cosmology associated with the mountain by the Tang dynasty, and they vividly portray the experience of the pilgrim traveling through a divinely empowered landscape.

Table of Contents:

1 Ascending and Wandering: Introduction 1 --
Sacred Mountains in Ancient China 3 --
Dunhuang and the Dunhuang Caves 8 --
Dunhuang Literature 10 --
Dunhuang and Mount Wutai 12 --
Mountains in Early Chinese Poetry 14 --
About the Book 22 --

2 The Clear and the Cold: Mount Wutai 27 --
Early Literature on Mount Wutai 27 --
Early Legends about Mount Wutai 29 --
Chinese Emperors and Mount Wutai 31 --
Mañjusri and the Chinese Buddhist Scriptures 37 --
The Mañjusri-parinirvana sutra 41 --
Mount Wutai as a Manifestation of the Buddhist Doctrine 46 --
Early Chinese Poetry on Mount Wutai 49 --
The Mount Wutai Poetry of the Dunhuang Manuscripts 53 --

3 The Hall of the Great Sage: The Songs of Mount Wutai 57 --
The Hall of the Great Sage 59 --
I Ascend the Eastern Terrace 66 --
I Ascend the Northern Terrace 71 --
I Ascend the Central Terrace 74 --
I Ascend the Western Terrace 78 --
I Ascend the Southern Terrace 82 --

4 The Land of Vaidurya: Eulogy on Mount Wutai 87 --
Eulogy on Mount Wutai 90 --

5 Inconceivable Light: Eulogy on Mount Wutai 121 --
The Pure Land School 122 --
The Pure Land Monk Fazhao 124 --
Eulogy on Mount Wulai 129 --

6 The Gold-Colored World: Eulogy on the Holy Regions of Mount Wutai 147 --
Eulogy on the True Countenance of the Great Sage 149 --
Eulogy on Samantabhadra 153 --
The Eastern Terrace 155 --
The Northern Terrace 158 --
The Central Terrace 159 --
The Western Terrace 161 --
The Southern Terrace 163 --
The Holy Region of the Vajra Grotto 165 --
The Auspicious Stupa of King Asoka 167 --
Eulogy on the Physical Body of Rahula 169 --
A Vision of Sutra Recitation by the Vajra Grotto 170 --

7 Word and Image: The Mount Wutai Wall Painting at Dunhuang 175 --
Map or Painting? 176 --
Iconography and Imagery in Cave 61 180 --
Mountain as Icon 192 --

8 Poetry as a Buddhist Matter: Conclusion 195 --
Transmission of the Vision 199 --
Literati Poets and Mount Wutai 202 --

For the Purpose of Salvation 204.