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Nicol, Janine (2022) '“This is The Very Place!”: Shi Daoxuan 釋道宣 (c. 596–667) and The Creation of Buddhist Sacred Sites in China.' East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 54 (2). pp. 200-237.

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Scholars such as John Strong and James Robson have laid firm foundations for the study of the development of Buddhist sacred geography, highlighting the role of relics, stupas and the importance of pre-Buddhist sites of religious significance. Their work has inspired this paper which examines extracts from three texts produced by the monk Shi Daoxuan between 650 and 667 ce: the Shijia fangzhi 釋迦方志 (A Geography of the Śākyas, 650 ce), the Ji Shenzhou Sanbao gantong lu 集神州三寶感通錄 (Collected Records of Stimulus and Responses to the Triple Gem in the Divine Continent, 664) and the Lüxiang gantong zhuan 律相感通傳 (Account of the Stimuli and Responses Related to the Vinaya, 667). Concentrating on two places, the Zhongnan Mountains and Mount Wutai, these materials provide a rare opportunity to examine the role one man played in the promotion of these sites over few decades. This paper argues that Daoxuan was among the first to promote the idea of Mañjuśrī being present in China, initially in the Zhongnan, and only latterly on Wutai, and that Daoxuan was influenced by the picture of Indian Buddhist sacred geography provided by the accounts of Xuanzang’s travels in his consolidation and development of a similar geography for China. Daoxuan utilised Buddhist and non-Buddhist writings, and eyewitness testimony from the human realm and beyond, in his efforts to promote these two places. A close reading of these extracts can provide insight into the factors which stimulate the creation of sacred sites, and the methods and processes through which they develop and evolve.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre of Buddhist Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
ISSN: 26669323
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2022 11:22

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