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The Legend of Miaoshan : Revised Edition - Glen Dudbridge

The Legend of Miaoshan

Revised Edition

Hardcover Published: 1st April 2004
ISBN: 9780199266715
Number Of Pages: 172

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In Chinese legend, the princess Miaoshan defied her father by refusing to marry, and pursued her austere religious vocation to the death, but returned to life to be his saviour and the saviour of all mankind. The story is inseparable from the female bodhisattva Guanyin, whose cult dominated religious life at all levels in traditional China and is still powerful in rural China today. Miaoshan herself became a lasting symbol of the tension in women's lives between individual spiritual fulfilment and the imperatives of family duty. The previous edition of this book was the first full monograph on the subject. It deals with the story's background, early history, and more developed later versions, bringing much of this material to the attention of modern readers for the first time. It analyses the basic sources, many of them in Buddhist scripture, and the overall pattern of development. It finally offers a range of interpretations which discover here myths of religious celibacy, of filial piety, and of ritual salvation of the dead. The legend of Miaoshan spans the uncertain boundaries between Chinese popular literature, theatre, and religion, and this book directly addresses students of those fields. But it holds a larger significance for those interested in the position of women in traditional society, and students of comparative literature and folklore will find here a version of the 'King Lear' story. This new edition takes account of epigraphical evidence, discovered and accessed since the time of first publication, which enriches and refines the discussion. This and other additional evidence, introduced for the sake of a more complete picture, leave the argument and conclusions of the original study still essentially intact.

`Review from previous edition the book is a model of meticulous scholarship and a continuous pleasure to read.' T'oung Pao `Dudbridge has drawn upon an astonishing variety of sources ... and has employed a formidable battery of methodologies.' Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies `There are ... some extremely interesting insights into the position of women in Chinese society.' Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

1: Introduction 2: The Guanyin cult at Xiangshan Monastery 3: The original story 4: Versions of the story to 1500 5: The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 6: Anatomy of the story 7: Interpretations

ISBN: 9780199266715
ISBN-10: 0199266719
Series: Oxford Oriental Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 172
Published: 1st April 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.5  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Type: Revised