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Book Review: "Practicing Scripture: A Lay Buddhist Movement in Late Imperial China," by Barend J. Ter Haar
Author Nichols, Brian J.
Source Religious Studies Review
Volumev.42 n.4
Publisher Url
LocationOxford, UK [牛津, 英國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article; 書評=Book Review
NotePracticing Scripture: A Lay Buddhist Movement in Late Imperial China. By Barend J. Ter Haar. University of Hawaii Press, November 30, 2014. 312 pages. ISBN-10: 0824839277 ISBN-13: 978-0824839277
AbstractThe “Non‐Action Teachings” (Wuwei jiao 無爲教) was a successful religious movement that previous scholars have lumped together with millenarian groups, commonly using the label White Lotus. Ter Haar rescues this movement from such prejudice and demonstrates that it was fundamentally a lay Buddhist movement mixing elements drawn from Chan and Pure Land traditions; the core commitments of followers were vegetarianism and following of the five precepts. At the ritual heart of the movement was an anthology of Buddhist texts edited with commentary by the founding Patriarch Luo Qing 羅清 (fl. early sixteenth century) known as Five Books in Six Volumes (Wubu liuce 五部六冊). The book provides a history of the movement organized chronologically from its origins in the sixteenth century to the last reports on surviving vegetarian halls. One chapter details what (little) is known about the founder. Another chapter does the same for patriarchs Ying and Yao, who are considered responsible for spreading the cult to Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, and Fujian. Chapter 4 provides summaries of interesting conversion stories and debates recorded by the tradition. Another chapter summarizes the central elements of the rituals developed by the communities. The book is written for specialists (two chapters include appendices on the dating of key texts) and is an excellent addition to our knowledge of heterodox teachings (xiejiao) in China and is of value to all scholars of new religious movements.
ISSN0319485X (P); 17480922 (E)
Created date2017.04.19
Modified date2019.11.25

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