Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Pure Mind in a Clean Body: Bodily Care in the Buddhist Monasteries of Ancient India and China

Ann Heirman & Mathieu Torck

Publication Year:

Gent: Academia Press


Buddhist monasteries, in both Ancient India and China, rightfully attract the attention of many scholars, discussing historical backgrounds, institutional networks or influential masters. Still, some aspects of monastic life have not yet received the attention they deserve. This book therefore aims to study some of the most essential, but often overlooked, issues of Buddhist life, namely, practices and objects of bodily care. For monastic authors, bodily care primarily involves bathing, washing, cleaning, shaving and trimming the nails, activities of everyday life that are performed by lay people and monastics alike. In this sense, they provide a potential bridge between two worlds that are constantly interacting with each other: monastic people and their lay followers.

Table of Contents:

1.Bodily care practices and objects
2. Overview of sources
3. Outline of chapters

Bathing Facilities
1. Bathing practices in vinaya texts
2. Bathing facilities in Chinese vinaya commentaries an disciplinary guidelines
3. A new genre develops: qing gui 清規, ‘rules of purity’
4. Concluding remarks: monks, laymen, and soap

Toilet Facilities
1. Toilet practices in vinaya texts
2. Toilet habits in Chinese vinaya commentaries and disciplinary guidelines
3. A new genre develops: qing gui 清規, ‘rules of purity’
4. Concluding remarks: pigsties, paper and wiping sticks

Cleaning the Mouth and Teeth
1. Dental care in the vinaya texts
2. Dental care in Chinese disciplinary texts
3. Concluding remarks: paste, brushes, and tooth wood

Shaving the Hair and Trimming the Nails
1. Hair and nails in Buddhist disciplinary texts
2. Shaving and trimming in early Chinese disciplinary texts
3. Concluding remarks: identity, beauty, and cleanliness


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