Two New Publications.

Laurentis, Pietro De. (2021) A Study of the Ji Wang shengjiao xu 集王聖教序 The Preface to the Buddhist Scriptures Engraved on Stone in Wang Xizhi’s Collated Characters (Monumenta Serica Monograph Series). Routledge.

by Pietro De (Author)

Publisher’s Blurb: This is a study of the earliest and finest collated inscription in the history of Chinese calligraphy, the Ji Wang shengjiao xu 集王聖教序 (Preface to the Sacred Teaching Scriptures Translated by Xuanzang in Wang Xizhi’s Collated Characters), which was erected on January 1, 673. The stele records the two texts written by the Tang emperors Taizong (599–649) and Gaozong (628–683) in honor of the monk Xuanzang (d. 664) and the Buddhist scripture Xin jing (Heart Sutra), collated in the semi-cursive characters of the great master of Chinese calligraphy, Wang Xizhi (303–361). It is thus a Buddhist inscription that combines Buddhist authority, political power, and artistic charm in one single monument. The present book reconstructs the multifaceted context in which the stele was devised, aiming at highlighting the specific role calligraphy played in the propagation and protection of Buddhism in medieval China.

Mattice, Sarah A. (2021) Exploring the Heart Sutra. Lexington Books.

Publisher’s blurb: Exploring the Heart Sutra offers readers an interdisciplinary philosophical approach to this much-loved Buddhist classic, with a new translation and commentary. Situating the Heart Sutra within a Chinese context, Sarah A. Mattice brings together voices past and present, Asian and Western, on topics from Buddhology, translation theory, feminism, religious studies, ethnography, Chinese philosophy, and more, in order to inspire readers to understand the sutra in a new light. Mattice’s argument for the importance of appreciating the Heart Sutra from a Chinese philosophical context includes a new hermeneutic paradigm for approaching composite texts; an argument for translating the text from the Chinese, rather than the Sanskrit; an extended discussion of the figure of Guanyin, bodhisattva of compassion and main speaker of the Heart Sutra, as a distinctively Chinese figure; an inquiry in to the history of women’s practice, with a special focus on China; and a commentary on the text that draws on philosophical resources from Chinese Buddhist, Ruist, and Daoist traditions. Mattice presents the Heart Sutra in its depth and complexity, inviting readers to return to this classic text with fresh perspectives and new insights into its relevance for living well in the contemporary world.


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