Possibly the most profound and far-reaching effects of Buddhism on Chinese culture occurred at the level of practice in religious rituals designed to cure people of disease, demonic possession, and bad luck. A basic concern with healing characterizes the entire gamut of religious expression in East Asia. By concentrating on the medieval development of Chinese therapeutic ritual, the author discovers the origins of many surviving rituals across the social and doctrinal frontiers of Buddhism and Taoism, including transmission to persons outside the Buddhist or Taoist fold. The author describes and translates many classical Chinese liturgies, analyzes their structure, and seeks out nonliturgical sources to shed further light on the politics involved in specific performances. Unlike the few previous studies of related rituals, this book combines a scholar's understanding of structure and goals of these rites with a healthy suspicion of the practitioners' claims to uniqueness.