By Jiang Wu
A huge paintings within the heritage of faith, the heritage of the e-book, the research of politics, and bibliographical learn, this quantity follows the making of the chinese language Buddhist canon from the fourth century to the electronic period. forthcoming the topic from a ancient viewpoint, it ties the spiritual, social, and textual practices of canon formation to the advance of East Asian Buddhist tradition and enlivens chinese language Buddhist texts for readers attracted to the evolution of chinese language writing and the Confucian and Daoist traditions.
The assortment undertakes broad readings of significant scriptural catalogs from the early manuscript period in addition to significant published variations, together with the Kaibao Canon, Qisha Canon, Goryeo Canon, and Taisho Canon. members upload attention-grabbing intensity to such understudied concerns because the historic strategy of compilation, textual manipulation, actual construction and administration, sponsorship, the dissemination of varied variants, cultic actions surrounding the canon, and the canon's reception in several East Asian societies. The chinese language Buddhist canon is without doubt one of the such a lot enduring textual traditions in East Asian faith and tradition, and during this exhaustive, multifaceted attempt, a necessary physique of labor turns into a part of a brand new, flexible narrative of East Asian Buddhism that has far-reaching implications for international history.
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Extra info for Spreading Buddha’s Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon
Moreover, the canon served as the religious work among the large literary compilations intended to bring about a cultural revival after the disruption during the Five Dynasties period. As for the Korean canon, chapter 8 by Wu and Dziwenka illustrates how foreign canons (both Kaibao and Khitan) had been successfully transformed into a powerful talismanic tradition to serve the royal court in times of national crisis. And the modern Taisho¯ Canon, as Wilkinson’s chapter 9 informs us, was politically appropriated into Japan’s imperialist agenda.
For example, the method of title initials (jingming biaozhi fa 經名標誌法 or jingming zhihao fa 經名帙號法) employs one character from the title of the text in the canon to mark each individual scroll or case. The method of “fixed shelf storage” (ding ge chucun fa 定格儲存法) was used to store different categories of cases in fixed positions in a huge cabinet. The method of verse-based case number (jisong zhihao fa 偈頌帙號法) assigned characters in popular liturgical verses to each case. These methods were supposed to distinguish each individual text and provide readers an easy way to retrieve it from the shelf.
In this chapter, I intend to orient readers toward a basic understanding of the Chinese Buddhist canonic tradition and focus on some critical categories and issues in the study of this great textual culture. I first outline the origin of the Chinese Buddhist canon and its historical development. Next I describe the structure of the canon as seen in various catalogs. Because the canon is also a physical object, its material aspects and physical layout will be discussed as well. Finally, I will single out a few critical issues in the study of the Chinese canon.