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Kuan-yin : The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara - Chun-Fang Yu


The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara

Paperback Published: 22nd February 2001
ISBN: 9780231120296
Number Of Pages: 688
For Ages: 22+ years old

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By far one of the most important objects of worship in the Buddhist traditions, the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is regarded as the embodiment of compassion. He has been widely revered throughout the Buddhist countries of Asia since the early centuries of the Common Era. While he was closely identified with the royalty in South and Southeast Asia, and the Tibetans continue to this day to view the Dalai Lamas as his incarnations, in China "he" became a "she" -- Kuan-yin, the "Goddess of Mercy" -- and has a very different history. The causes and processes of this metamorphosis have perplexed Buddhist scholars for centuries.

In this groundbreaking, comprehensive study, ChA1/4n-fang YA1/4 discusses this dramatic transformation of the (male) Indian bodhisattva Avalokitesvara into the (female) Chinese Kuan-yin -- from a relatively minor figure in the Buddha's retinue to a universal savior and one of the most popular deities in Chinese religion.

Focusing on the various media through which the feminine Kuan-yin became constructed and domesticated in China, YA1/4 thoroughly examines Buddhist scriptures, miracle stories, pilgrimages, popular literature, and monastic and local gazetteers -- as well as the changing iconography reflected in Kuan-yin's images and artistic representations -- to determine the role this material played in this amazing transformation. The book eloquently depicts the domestication of Kuan-yin as a case study of the indigenization of Buddhism in China and illuminates the ways this beloved deity has affected the lives of all Chinese people down the ages.

Industry Reviews

A major case study of the Mahayana concept of upaya... excellent and comprehensive. Journal of Religion

Prefacep. ix
Mapsp. 28
Introductionp. 1
Scriptural Sources for the Cult of Kuan-yinp. 31
Indigenous Chinese Scriptures and the Cult of Kuan-yinp. 93
Miracle Tales and the Domestication of Kuan-yinp. 151
Divine Monks and the Domestication of Kuan-yinp. 195
Indigenous Iconographies and the Domestication of Kuan-yinp. 223
The Ritual of Great Compassion Repentance and the Domestication of the Thousand-handed and Thousand-eyed Kuan-yin in the Sungp. 263
Princess Miao-shan and the Feminization of Kuan-yinp. 293
P'u-t'o Shan: Pilgrimage and the Creation of the Chinese Potalakap. 353
Feminine Forms of Kuan-yin in Late Imperial Chinap. 407
Venerable Mother: Kuan-yin and Sectarian Religions in Late Imperial Chinap. 449
Conclusionp. 487
Stele Text of the "Life of the Great Compassionate One"p. 495
Chinese Women Pilgrims' Songs Glorifying Kuan-yinp. 505
Notesp. 511
Bibliographyp. 555
Index and Glossaryp. 595
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231120296
ISBN-10: 023112029X
Series: Iaswr Series
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 688
Published: 22nd February 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.8  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.93

Earn 136 Qantas Points
on this Book