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Animals in Medieval Chinese Biographies of Buddhist Monks

Department of Religious Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
Religions 2019, 10(6), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060348
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract

In this paper, I examine the presentation of animals in medieval Chinese Buddhist biographies. These biographies tell stories about strange animals, whose behavior signals that they are far from ordinary—some local deities, underlings of such deities, or even former friends from a past life. By focusing on two biography collections separated in time by over 100 years, in this paper, I argue that the differing presentation of animals reflects the changing fortunes of Buddhism in China, from its early establishment to its successful reception by the imperial court. View Full-Text
Keywords: Buddhism; China; snakes; birds; tigers; monks; biography Buddhism; China; snakes; birds; tigers; monks; biography
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Shinohara, K. Animals in Medieval Chinese Biographies of Buddhist Monks. Religions 2019, 10, 348.

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