Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Shaping the Lotus Sutra: Buddhist Visual Culture in Medieval China

Shaping the Lotus Sutra: Buddhist Visual Culture in Medieval China (Hardback)

£74.00
To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.
Email me when back in stock

Synopsis

The Lotus Sutra has been the most widely read and most revered Buddhist scripture in East Asia since its translation in the third century. The miracles and parables in the "king of sutras" inspired a variety of images in China, in particular the sweeping compositions known as transformation tableaux that developed between the seventh and ninth centuries. Surviving examples in murals painted on cave walls or carved in relief on Buddhist monuments depict celestial journeys, bodily metamorphoses, cycles of rebirth, and the achievement of nirvana. Yet the cosmos revealed in these tableaux is strikingly different from that found in the text of the sutra. Shaping the Lotus Sutra explores this visual world. Challenging long-held assumptions about Buddhist art, Eugene Wang treats it as a window to an animated and spirited world. Rather than focus on individual murals as isolated compositions, Wang views the entire body of pictures adorning a cave shrine or a pagoda as a visual mapping of an imaginary topography that encompasses different temporal and spatial domains.

He demonstrates that the text of the Lotus Sutra does not fully explain the pictures and that a picture, or a series of them, constitutes its own "text." In exploring how religious pictures sublimate cultural aspirations, he shows that they can serve both political and religious agendas and that different social forces can co-exist within the same visual program. These pictures inspired meditative journeys through sophisticated formal devices such as mirroring, mapping, and spatial programming - analytical categories newly identified by Wang. The book examines murals in cave shrines at Binglingsi and Dunhuang in northwestern China and relief sculptures in the grottoes of Yungang in Shanxi, on stelae from Sichuan, and on the Dragon-and-Tiger pagoda in Shandong, among other sites. By tracing formal impulses in medieval Chinese picture-making, such as topographic mapping and pictorial illusionism, the author pieces together a wide range of visual evidence and textual sources to reconstruct the medieval Chinese cognitive style and mental world. The book is ultimately a history of the Chinese imagination. Read an interview with the author: http://dgeneratefilms.com/cinematalk/cinematalk-interview-with-professor-eugene-wang-on-chinese-art-and-film/

Eugene Y. Wang is Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, Harvard University.

More books by Eugene Y. Wang

Leave Review

Delivery

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Second Class Available free for ALL orders. No charge for each additional book. 3-7 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

The Teabowl: East and West
(Hardback)
Bonnie Kemske
 
 
£35.00
 
The Art of Korea: Highlights from the...
(Paperback)
Kumja Paik Kim
 
 
£22.50
 
Making Photography Matter: A Viewer's...
(Paperback)
Cara A. Finnegan
 
 
£22.99
 

Currently out of stock

Latest Blog
#FoylesFive: Pre-Orders
21/08/2017

We all know a good book is worth the wait. But the waiting is also really hard when you’re dying to read that hotly anticipated thriller or the latest volume of a great series. Here at Foyles we’ve got you covered.

ZED Books: The role of the independent publisher in a content-obsessed world
18/08/2017

Indie publisher ZED Books have a radical approach to their books and their company structure. Here, they talk to us about the role independent publishers can play in a world of ever expanding (and less than reliable) information sources.

Blog - J R Wallis on Monsters as Metaphors
16/08/2017

J R Wallis questions the conventional view of monsters as metaphors for the worries we have about the state of the world around us.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd