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Buddhism and Taoism Fact to Face: Scripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China Paperback – 15 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press; 1 edition (15 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824834119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824834111
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,753,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"In Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face, Christine Mollier undertakes five detailed case studies, each one illuminating a different dimension of the ritual, iconographic, and scriptural interactions of Buddhists and Taoists in medieval China. Mollier does not simply assert that these traditions influenced one another; she reveals in breathtaking detail the wide array of techniques used by Buddhists and Taoists as they appropriated and transformed the texts and icons of their rivals.... Mollier's work in this volume is brilliant. She deftly navigates through manuscripts, canonical texts, archaeological remains, and art-historical evidence.... Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face is an exhilarating display of Sinological erudition." - H-Buddhism"

About the Author

Christine Mollier is a research scholar specializing in the history of medieval Taoism at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Useful for Laypersons as well as the religious or scholarly 23 Feb 2010
By Prokopton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mollier surveys a few of the 40,000-odd manuscripts found in a sealed chamber at Dunhuang, with a particular eye to the relations between Taoism and Buddhism.

Against a background of interfaith rivalry (in which Taoists could depict Lao-tzu reincarnating as Buddha to convert the foreigners, whilst Buddhists had Lao-tzu as Buddha's disciple) she unpicks some interesting stuff about similar doctrines appearing in the texts of the two different faiths. Buddhist longevity sutras turn out to have stolen their texts wholesale from Taoist originals; Taoism in return modelled an entire deity upon a Buddhist bodhisattva.

There is much local colour for anyone who has an interest in this kind of thing -- descriptions of witchcraft practices (watch out for 'gu'!) and use of the Big Dipper, etc., revealing morsels of practice and belief. Whole texts are translated; the scholarship is very able and at times wry.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Religious Wars 1 Sep 2011
By Farmer John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The interaction between Buddhism and Taoism has always been a subject of great scholarly interest, but it was not until the last two decades that we have seen a major shift in the attitude toward the nature of the relationship between these two religious traditions. As the title of her book suggests, Mollier's agenda is to portray the relationship of Buddhism and Taoism as an adversarial one, in which each tradition uses the popular ideas of its opponent in order to attack and eventually replace it. Mollier's book is an important to the growing field of Buddho-Taoism for a number of reasons. Not only does she provide accurate and fluent translations of influential sutras and scriptures that have never been studied before in the West, she is also successful in showing the significance of popular religious practices, such as rituals and the use of talismans. Mollier's sensitive analysis of the competition between the two main religious traditions to win the hearts of potential followers reveals to us the various techniques used by religious experts in the daily life of commoners without dismissing them as folk religion. Moreover, she shows the important role played by ritual in the life of the common people who were not exposed on a daily basis to scriptural doctrine. After decades in which most scholarly attention was directed toward the study of canonical texts, books like this, which try to map out the actual religious scene of medieval China, are a welcome and refreshing addition to the field.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good scholarly work 7 Jan 2009
By Y. Zeng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Very good scholarly work on the re-examination of ancient traditions

One comment: Some scriptures, e.g. Sutra for Pacifying Houses and Sutra of Incantations of the Eight Yang, probably have earlier Taoist versions. It's more likely the Buddhist versions were adapted from lost Taoist versions, since concepts like "Pacifying Houses" and "Yang" (as in "Yin-Yang") have much longer history in Taoist traditions.
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