Series Four Volume 4

The Synchronicity of Preaching-Hearing- Enlightenment: Buddhist Preachers’ Performing “[At] One Time” (Yishi 一時) in Late Medieval China

This paper examines how Buddhist preachers in late medieval China expanded the meaning of the temporal register of an oft-used phrase “[at] one time” (Ch. yishi 一時, Skt. ekasmin samaye, Pāli ekaṃ samayaṃ) in the opening formula of Buddhist scriptures. Through an analysis of the “sutra lecture texts” (jiangjingwen 講經文) found in the Dunhuang manuscripts, this study explores how these…

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Series Four Volume 4

REVIEW: What Happened after Mañjuśrī Migrated to China?, edited by Chen, Kuan, and Fo

What Happened after Mañjuśrī Migrated to China?: The Sinification of the Mañjuśrī Faith and the Globalization of the Wutai Cult. Edited by Jinhua Chen, Guang Kuan, and Hu Fo. New York: Routledge, 2022. 316 pages. $170.00 (hardcover). Comprehensive index. Notes and bibliography follow each chapter. ISBN 9781032073491. When we write phrases like “the history of Buddhism,” what in the world…

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Series Four Volume 2

Review: Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese

Despite the rapid growth of Tibetan Buddhism in the last thirty years among Chinese peoples in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and throughout the international Chinese diaspora, Han practitioners and their Tibetan Buddhist teachers have remained a relatively understudied part of Chinese religious life. As the first monograph devoted to this subject in nearly a decade, Joshua Esler’s Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese marks an important step toward filling this gap in our understanding of the contemporary Chinese religious landscape. Rooted in extensive fieldwork, including more than eighty interviews con- ducted in Beijing, Dechen/Diqing, Lijiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2011, Esler provides an intimate and richly detailed account of some of the ways in which Tibetan Buddhist teachers and Han practitioners are adapting Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary Chinese societies.

Series Four Volume 1

The History of the Heart Sutra as a Palimpsest

In this article, I consult commentarial and bibliographical texts from the early Tang dynasty to better understand the history of the Heart Sutra. As in a palimpsest, there appears to be another, earlier his- tory partially preserved beneath the text of the received history. This early layer says that the Heart Sutra was composed in China, prob- ably by Xuanzang. He combined a selection of popular extracts from the Large Prajñāpāramitā sūtra with a dhāraṇī to produce a “condensed sutra.” Even before the death of Xuanzang, this earlier history was being effaced and replaced by elements of the received history. It appears that both the Sanskrit text and the translation attributed to Kumārajīva were knowing forgeries produced to make the new his- tory plausible.