The rise and decline of the scripture platforms in medieval chinese buddhism huaiyu chen

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Abstract

The cult of the sacred scriptures in early Buddhism had an impact on Chinese Buddhism, which manifested itself by the rise of the scriptural platform in the medieval period. The rise of the scriptural platform shows that in medieval China the very places associated with particular Buddhist texts and figures have become the objects of worship and pilgrimage, and they constantly appeared in Buddhist writings as the commemorative sites for particular scriptures and their commentaries. Various forms of the scriptural platforms also illustrated the rich practice of Buddhist texts in medieval China, such as translating, commenting, copying and reciting, as well as worshipping. Occasionally the scriptural platforms also appeared as the sacred places for housing sacred scriptures, which later would be replaced by the Buddhist monastic library. Practice of the Buddhist texts remained, yet the scriptural platform disappeared due to the rise of Chan Buddhist literature. This study suggests that the material culture, the rituals and the texts can barely be separated from each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-165
Number of pages26
JournalMaterial Religion
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Buddhism
  • Cult
  • Material culture
  • Memory
  • Ritual
  • Sacred scriptures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies

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