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Lives of the Nuns: Biographies of Chinese Buddhist Nuns from the Fourth to Sixth Centuries

Tsai, Kathryn Ann

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0824815416 / ISBN 13: 9780824815417
Published by University of Hawaii Press
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

0824815416 > DJ 1994. 188 pages. Beige cloth with gilt spine titling. Spine and binding sound. Cloth free of wear. Dust jacket intact and clean. Interior bright and unmarked. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-0772043

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Lives of the Nuns: Biographies of Chinese ...

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


This book contains the biographies of 65 Chinese women who were Buddhist monks in early China. It is a great read for anyone interested in Buddhism or women in religion.

From the Back Cover:

A millennium and a half ago some remarkable women cast aside the concerns of the world to devote their lives to Buddhism. Lives of the Nuns, a translation of the Pi-ch'iu-ni chuan, was compiled by Shih Pao-ch'ang in or about A.D. 516 and covers exactly that period when Buddhist monasticism for women was first being established in China. Originally written to demonstrate the efficacy of Buddhist scripture in the lives of female monastics, the sixty-five biographies are now regarded as the best source of information about women's participation in Buddhist monastic practice in premodern China. Among the stories of the Buddhist life well lived are entertaining tales that reveal the wit and intelligence of these women in the face of unsavory officials, highway robbers, even fawning barbarians. When Ching-ch'eng and a fellow nun, renowned for their piety and strict asceticism, are taken to "the capital of the northern barbarians" and plied with delicacies, the women "besmirch their own reputation" by gobbling down the food shamelessly. Appalled by their lack of manners, the disillusioned barbarians release the nuns, who return happily to their convent. Lives of the Nuns gives readers a glimpse into a world long vanished yet peopled with women and men who express the same aspirations and longing for spiritual enlightenment found at all times and in all places. Buddhologists, sinologists, historians, and those interested in religious studies and women's studies will welcome this volume, which includes annotations for readers new to the field of Chinese Buddhist history as well as for the specialist.

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