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Rebirth of a lineage: the hereditary household of the Han Celestial Master and Celestial Masters Daoism at Dragon and Tiger Mountain

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This dissertation is a study and translation of the Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家), a hagiographical account of successive generations of the Zhang family patriarchs of Celestial Masters Daoism (Tianshi dao 天師道) at Dragon

This dissertation is a study and translation of the Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家), a hagiographical account of successive generations of the Zhang family patriarchs of Celestial Masters Daoism (Tianshi dao 天師道) at Dragon and Tiger Mountain (Longhu shan 龍虎山) in Jiangxi province that was compiled in stages between the late fourteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The Zhang family emerged in the late Tang or early Five dynasties period and rose to great prominence and power through the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties on the basis of the claim of direct and unbroken lineal descent from Zhang Daoling 張道陵 the ancestral Celestial Master whose covenant with the deified Laozi in 142 C.E. is a founding event of the Daoist religion. In this study I trace the lineal history of the Zhang family as presented in the Hereditary Household in chronological parallel to contrasting narratives found in official histories, epigraphy, and the literary record. This approach affords insight into the polemical nature of the text as an assertion of legitimacy and allows for a demonstration of how the work represents an attempt to create in writing an idealized past in order to win prestige in the present. It also affords the opportunity to scour the historical record in an attempt to ascertain a plausible timeframe for the origin of the movement and to explore the relationship of the Hereditary Household to earlier hagiographic works that may have informed it. This study also contextualizes the Hereditary Household in the post-Tang religious climate of China. In that period the establishment of lineal authenticity and institutional charisma through narratives of descent became a widespread tool of legitimation employed by Buddhists, Daoists, and Confucians in hopes of obtaining imperial recognition and patronage.

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2016

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Placing Ye: the city and its representation in literature

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the history of the early medieval city Ye 鄴 and its place in the literary tradition. Ye was the powerbase of the warlord Cao Cao 曹操 (155–220) and the birthplace of the Jian’an 建安 literature. It was

ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the history of the early medieval city Ye 鄴 and its place in the literary tradition. Ye was the powerbase of the warlord Cao Cao 曹操 (155–220) and the birthplace of the Jian’an 建安 literature. It was also the capital city of the Later Zhao 後趙 (319–349), the Former Yan 前燕 (337–370), the Eastern Wei 東魏 (534–550), and the Northern Qi 北齊 (550–577). Through a contextualized close reading of a variety of literary and historical texts, including poems, prose, scholar notes, and local gazetteers, this study shows how Ye, destroyed in 580, continued to live on in various forms of representation and material remains, and continued to evolve as an imagined space that held multiple interpretations. The interpretations are represented in works that treat the heroic enterprise of Cao Cao in founding the city, the double-sided poems that collapsed celebration and themes of carpé diem in the Jian'an era, and in tropes of sorrow and lamentation on the glories, or ruins, of the city that had passed its life in a brilliant flash, and then was lost to time and text. Ye’s most iconic structure, the Bronze Bird Terrace, developed a distinct terrace-scape, a nearly mythical space where poets tangled with questions of sorrow, consciousness after death, and lamentation for women forced to serve their lord long after his demise. The last material vestiges of the city, its tiles which were shaped into inkstones, created a discourse in the Song and Yuan periods of heavy censure of Cao Cao's exercise of power and his supposed eventual failure of ambition and retreat to concern over meaningless material possessions. Over the years, these representations have seen in Ye a fertile ground, either experienced or imagined, where questions about political rise and fall and about the meaning of human life could be raised and partially answered. This dissertation looks closely at the ambivalent attitudes of writers through the ages about, and at their sometimes ambiguous representation of, the status and meaning of that ancient city.

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2016

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Neither dust nor gold: a comprehensive study of the Dadao School from 1115-1398

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During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly attention, the others have been largely ignored. By focusing on

During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly attention, the others have been largely ignored. By focusing on just one school--Dadao--as in depth as possible and within the historical context, I hope to elucidate the flourishing state of Daoism in North China during the twelfth through fourteenth centuries beyond just the activity of the Quanzhen school. To that end, I have amassed sixteen inscriptions and records, as well as reconstructed one inscription previously incomplete, and added them to the eleven inscriptions and records published in the Daojia jinshi lüe and the three pieces of Yuan-dynasty poetry and prose contained in the Nan Song chu Hebei xin Daojiao kao. This has doubled the available source material. Most of these have been previously published individually, but have never been studied in conjunction with the other known Dadao texts. The result is the most comprehensive study of the school in over seventy-five years, in which I also present a new understanding of the school’s founder, how the lineages developed, and the school’s ultimate fate. The portrait of the school which emerges from this dissertation challenges the notion that Dadao was nothing more than a minor variation of the Quanzhen school or is otherwise unworthy of scholarly attention.

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2017

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Jōjin’s Travels in Northern Song China: Performances of Place in the Travel Diary A Record of a Pilgrimage to Tiantai and Wutai Mountains

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In 1072 Jōjin (1011-1081) boarded a Chinese merchant ship docked in Kabeshima (modern Saga) headed for Mingzhou (modern Ningbo) on the eastern coast of Northern Song (960-1279) China. Following the convention of his predecessors, Jōjin kept a daily record of

In 1072 Jōjin (1011-1081) boarded a Chinese merchant ship docked in Kabeshima (modern Saga) headed for Mingzhou (modern Ningbo) on the eastern coast of Northern Song (960-1279) China. Following the convention of his predecessors, Jōjin kept a daily record of his travels from the time he first boarded the Chinese merchant ship in Kabeshima to the day he sent his diary back to Japan with his disciples in 1073.

Jōjin’s diary in eight fascicles, A Record of a Pilgrimage to Tiantai and Wutai Mountains (San Tendai Godaisan ki), is one of the longest extant travel accounts concerning medieval China. It includes a detailed compendium of anecdotes on material culture, flora and fauna, water travel, and bureaucratic procedures during the Northern Song, as well as the transcription of official documents, inscriptions, Chinese texts, and lists of personal purchases and official procurements. The encyclopedic nature of Jōjin’s diary is highly valued for the insight it provides into the daily life, court policies, and religious institutions of eleventh-century China. This dissertation addresses these aspects of the diary, but does so from the perspective of treating the written text as a material artifact of placemaking.

The introductory chapter first contextualizes Jōjin’s diary within the travel writing genre, and then presents the theoretical framework for approaching Jōjin’s engagement with space and place. Chapter two presents the bustling urban life in Hangzhou in terms of Jōjin’s visual and material consumption of the secular realm as reflected in his highly illustrative descriptions of the night markets and entertainers. Chapter three examines Jōjin’s descriptions of sacred Tendai sites in China, and how he approaches these spaces with a sense of familiarity from the textual milieu that informed his movements across this religious landscape. Chapter four discusses Jōjin’s impressions of Kaifeng and the Grand Interior as a metropolitan space with dynamic functions and meanings. Lastly, chapter five concludes by considering the means by which Jōjin’s performance of place in his diary further contributes to the collective memory of place and his own sense of self across the text.

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2018

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From Hangzhou to Lin'an: history, space, and the experience of urban living in narratives from Song Dynasty China

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This dissertation uncovers the contemporary impressions of Song cities represented in Song narratives and their accounts of the interplay between people and urban environments. It links these narratives to urban and societal changes in Hangzhou 杭州 (Lin’an 臨安) during the

This dissertation uncovers the contemporary impressions of Song cities represented in Song narratives and their accounts of the interplay between people and urban environments. It links these narratives to urban and societal changes in Hangzhou 杭州 (Lin’an 臨安) during the Song dynasty, cross-referencing both literary creations and historical accounts through a close reading of the surviving corpus of Song narratives, in order to shed light on the cultural landscape and social milieu of Hangzhou. By identifying, reconstructing, and interpreting urban changes throughout the “pre-modernization” transition as well as their embodiments in the narratives, the dissertation links changes to the physical world with the development of Song narratives. In revealing the emerging connection between historical and literary spaces, the dissertation concludes that the transitions of Song cities and urban culture drove these narrative writings during the Song dynasty. Meanwhile, the ideologies and urban culture reflected in these accounts could only have emerged alongside the appearance of a consumption society in Hangzhou. Aiming to expand our understanding of the literary value of Song narratives, the dissertation therefore also considers historical references and concurrent writings in other genres. By elucidating the social, spatial, and historical meanings embedded in a variety of Song narrative accounts, this study details how the Song literary narrative corpus interprets the urban landscapes of the period’s capital city through the private experiences of Song authors. Using a transdisciplinary methodology, it situates the texts within the cultural milieu of Song society and further reveals the connections of these narratives to the transformative process of urbanization in Song society.

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2017

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The English Translation of the Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne by Tao Hongjing

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This thesis is a translation and analysis of the “Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom

Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne” (Epitaph below). The author was Tao Hongjing (456 CE-536 CE). The subject of this Epitaph inscribed

This thesis is a translation and analysis of the “Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom

Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne” (Epitaph below). The author was Tao Hongjing (456 CE-536 CE). The subject of this Epitaph inscribed on a stele was Ge Xuan (trad. 164 CE-244 CE). Ge Xuan had two titles attributed to him by later Daoists. According to the Lingbao scriptures, Ge was appointed by the Perfected of Grand Bourne, a heavenly title. Later, in the Shangqing scriptures, Ge Xuan was said to be an earthly transcendent without any heavenly appointment. This debate occurred before Tao Hongjing began to write. This stele epitaph is essential, as it records sayings from both Lingbao and Shangqing scriptures. By reading this translated epitaph, scholars can know more about different versions of Ge Xuan's legend, as well as how Ge Xuan's legend was constantly rewritten by later Daoists.

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2020