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Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China. By Stuart H. Young. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015. 352 pages. Hardcover. isbn 9780824841201. us$60.00.

Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China. By Stuart H. Young. Honolulu: University of... Stuart Young’s new book, Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China, is framed as a study of India through the medieval Chinese Buddhist looking-glass—an inquiry into how East Asian religious communities over a half-millennium of time (early fifth through late tenth century ce) “conceived repertoires of Indianness” (11) when they engaged with one or more of the three Buddhist scholar-saints Aśvaghoṣa (Maming 馬鳴), Nāgārjuna (Longshu 龍樹), and Āryadeva (Tipo 提婆), who all allegedly lived and authored outstanding works of verse and philosophy in second-century ce India. Young shows how representing these patriarchs as exegetes, ritual-masters, and deities functioned to “bridge the Sino-Indian divide,” reinforcing while reinterpreting pre-Buddhist understandings of what saints (sheng 聖) do and are. The monograph traverses traditional areas of Buddhological concern for this period: the development of hagiography as a genre; the accumulation of Buddhist systems of thought; the periodization of the dharma; the defense of the sangha vis-à-vis the state; the assemblage of sectarian lineages; and the growth of esoteric Buddhist practice. Overall, Young charts new points of data within these well-established paradigms.At a methodical level, in my reading, Young rehabilitates the historiographic trope of “sinification” under the new banner of “localization”—the book’s titular “conceiving” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Religion and Chinese Society Brill

Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China. By Stuart H. Young. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015. 352 pages. Hardcover. isbn 9780824841201. us$60.00.

Review of Religion and Chinese Society , Volume 4 (1): 4 – Apr 27, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2214-3947
eISSN
2214-3955
DOI
10.1163/22143955-00401009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Stuart Young’s new book, Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China, is framed as a study of India through the medieval Chinese Buddhist looking-glass—an inquiry into how East Asian religious communities over a half-millennium of time (early fifth through late tenth century ce) “conceived repertoires of Indianness” (11) when they engaged with one or more of the three Buddhist scholar-saints Aśvaghoṣa (Maming 馬鳴), Nāgārjuna (Longshu 龍樹), and Āryadeva (Tipo 提婆), who all allegedly lived and authored outstanding works of verse and philosophy in second-century ce India. Young shows how representing these patriarchs as exegetes, ritual-masters, and deities functioned to “bridge the Sino-Indian divide,” reinforcing while reinterpreting pre-Buddhist understandings of what saints (sheng 聖) do and are. The monograph traverses traditional areas of Buddhological concern for this period: the development of hagiography as a genre; the accumulation of Buddhist systems of thought; the periodization of the dharma; the defense of the sangha vis-à-vis the state; the assemblage of sectarian lineages; and the growth of esoteric Buddhist practice. Overall, Young charts new points of data within these well-established paradigms.At a methodical level, in my reading, Young rehabilitates the historiographic trope of “sinification” under the new banner of “localization”—the book’s titular “conceiving”

Journal

Review of Religion and Chinese SocietyBrill

Published: Apr 27, 2017

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