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India in the Chinese Imagination
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India and China dominate the Asian continent, but the two lands are separated by formidable geographic barriers and language differences. For many centuries, most of the information that passed between the two countries came through Silk Route intermediaries in lieu of first-person encounters—leaving considerable room for invention. From their introduction to Indian culture in the first centuries C.E., Chinese thinkers, writers, artists, and architects imitated India within their own borders, giving Indian images and ideas new forms and adapting them to their own culture. Yet India's impact on China has not been greatly researched or well understood.

India in the Chinese Imagination takes a new look at how the Chinese embedded India in diverse artifacts of Chinese religious, cultural, artistic, and material life in the premodern era. Leading Asian studies scholars explore the place of Indian myths and storytelling in Chinese literature, the ways Chinese authors integrated Indian history into their conception of the political and religious past, and the philosophical relationships between Indian Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and Daoism. This multifaceted volume, illustrated with over a dozen works of art, reveals the depth and subtlety of the encounter between India and China, shedding light on what it means to imagine another culture—and why it matters.

Contributors: Stephen R. Bokenkamp, Bernard Faure, John Kieschnick, Victor H. Mair, John R. McRae, Christine Mollier, Meir Shahar, Robert H. Sharf, Nobuyoshi Yamabe, Ye Derong, Shi Zhiru.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. C-C
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  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Part I: Indian Mythology and the Chinese Imagination
  2. pp. 11-12
  1. Chapter 1. Transformation as Imagination in Medieval Popular Buddhist Literature
  2. Victor H. Mair
  3. pp. 13-20
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  1. Chapter 2. Indian Mythology and the Chinese Imagination: Nezha, Nalakubara, and Krsna
  2. Meir Shahar
  3. pp. 21-45
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  1. Chapter 3. Indic Influences on Chinese Mythology: King Yama and His Acolytes as Gods of Destiny
  2. Bernard Faure
  3. pp. 46-60
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  1. Chapter 4. Indian Myth Transformed in a Chinese Apocryphal Text: Two Stories on the Buddha’s Hidden Organ
  2. Nobuyoshi Yamabe
  3. pp. 61-80
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  1. Part II: India in Chinese Imaginings of the Past
  2. pp. 81-82
  1. Chapter 5. From Bodily Relic to Dharma Relic Stupa: Chinese Materialization of the Aśoka Legend in the Wuyue Period
  2. Shi Zhiru
  3. pp. 83-109
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  1. Chapter 6. “Ancestral Transmission” in Chinese Buddhist Monasteries: The Example of the Shaolin Temple
  2. Ye Derong
  3. pp. 110-124
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  1. Chapter 7. The Hagiography of Bodhidharma: Reconstructing the Point of Origin of Chinese Chan Buddhism
  2. John R. McRae
  3. pp. 125-138
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  1. Part III: Chinese Rethinking of Indian Buddhism
  2. pp. 139-140
  1. Chapter 8. Is Nirvana the Same as Insentience? Chinese Struggles with an Indian Buddhist Ideal
  2. Robert H. Sharf
  3. pp. 141-170
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  1. Chapter 9. Karma and the Bonds of Kinship in Medieval Daoism: Reconciling the Irreconcilable
  2. Christine Mollier
  3. pp. 171-181
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  1. Chapter 10. This Foreign Religion of Ours: Lingbao Views of Buddhist Translation
  2. Stephen R. Bokenkamp
  3. pp. 182-198
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 199-216
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 217-268
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 269-298
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  1. List of Contributors
  2. pp. 299-300
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 301-305
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