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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Texts within Texts: The Avataṃsaka in Yongming Yanshou’s Records of the Source-Mirror

  • Author(s): Lee, Lotus
  • Advisor(s): Steavu-Balint, Dominic
  • et al.

In this project, I use the case study of the monk Yongming Yanshou 永明延壽 (904–976) of the state of Wuyue 吳越 to discuss the relationship between hagiographies and factional categorization, and I examine the ways he understood, related to, and used textual sources from other Buddhist doctrines in his writing. I extrapolate a definition of Chan Buddhism for Yanshou’s case specifically, and I argue that the perceived and portrayed boundaries of Chinese Buddhism during this time, doctrinal, textual, factional, or otherwise, were much more fluid and dynamic than they were recently understood to be. I argue that our understanding of Chan Buddhism should be reframed as a polythetic class to reflect the plurality of Chan and Buddhism in general.

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