【新書快訊】Thriving in Crisis: Buddhism and Political Disruption in China, 1522–1620

【新書快訊】Thriving in Crisis: Buddhism and Political Disruption in China, 1522–1620

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Author: Dewei Zhang

Publication Date: May 2020

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Description

Late imperial Chinese Buddhism was long dismissed as having declined from the glories of Buddhism during the Sui and Tang dynasties (581–907). In recent scholarship, a more nuanced picture of late Ming-era Buddhist renewal has emerged. Yet this alternate conception of the history of Buddhism in China has tended to focus on either doctrinal contributions of individual masters or the roles of local elites in Jiangnan, leaving unsolved broader questions regarding the dynamics and mechanism behind the evolution of Buddhism into the renewal.

Thriving in Crisis is a systematic study of the late Ming Buddhist renewal with a focus on the religious and political factors that enabled it to happen. Dewei Zhang explores the history of the boom in enthusiasm for Buddhism in the Jiajing-Wanli era (1522–1620), tracing a pattern of advances and retrenchment at different social levels in varied regions. He reveals that the Buddhist renewal was a dynamic movement that engaged a wide swath of elites, from emperors and empress dowagers to eunuchs and scholar-officials. Drawing on a range of evidence and approaches, Zhang contends that the late Ming renewal was a politically driven exception to a longer-term current of disfavor toward Buddhism and that it failed to establish Buddhism on a foundation solid enough for its future development. A groundbreaking interdisciplinary study, Thriving in Crisis provides a new theoretical framework for understanding the patterns of Buddhist history in China.

Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
Abbreviations and Conventions
Chronology
Introduction
1. Setting the Stage
2. Emperor Jiajing (r. 1522–1566): A Four-Decade Persecutor
3. Empress Dowager Cisheng (1545–1614): A Great Patron
4. The Eunuchs: Organized but Not Always Reliable
5. Scholar-Officials: Struggling for the Right Position
6. Eminent Monks: Engaged in, or Entangled with the World?
7. Temples: Evolving Under Influence
8. Setbacks: Losing Beijing as a Growth Engine
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

Link: CUP

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華人文化主體性研究中心

華人文化主體性研究中心

政治大學受教育部高教深耕計畫補助成立「華人文化主體性研究中心」,期能透過跨領域的研究整合,提高台灣在華人文化研究方面的國際能見度與學術水平,並期待因而能在華人學術圈中催生創新的思潮,讓全球共享中華文化的博大與精深。

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