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Religious Experience and Lay Society in T'ang China

Religious Experience and Lay Society in T'ang China
A Reading of Tai Fu's 'Kuang-i chi'


Part of Cambridge Studies in Chinese History, Literature and Institutions

  • Date Published: June 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521893220

£ 45.99

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About the Authors
  • The remains of Tai Fu's lost collection Kuang-i chi ('The Great Book of Marvels') preserve three hundred short tales of encounters with the other world. This study develops a style of close reading through which those tales give access to the lives of individuals in eighth-century China. Through the eyes of a mid-century county official the picture emerges of a complex lay society, served by a mixed priesthood of ritual practitioners, whose members' lives at all levels were profoundly shaped by their perceived experience of contact with the other world. It was a society embarking on fundamental change, and this book uses the sharp historical focus of Tai Fu's collection to study the dynamics of that change. The work gracefully reveals the transition from the beliefs and institutions of early mediaeval China towards those we now recognize as modern.

    • Vivid stories of otherworldly encounters make good reading
    • Learned, historically informed analysis - author uses literature to shed light on social history and beliefs of the period
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521893220
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.418kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Note to the reader
    1. A sequence of voices
    2. A contemporary view
    3. The dynamics of Tai Fu's world
    4. The worshippers of Mount Hua
    5. Yü-ch'ih Chiung at An-yang
    6. Victims of the Yüan Ch'ao rebellion
    7. Mating with spirits
    Appendix: the stories of Kuang-i chi
    List of works cited

  • Author

    Glen Dudbridge, University of Oxford

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