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Receptacle of the SacredIllustrated Manuscripts and the Buddhist Book Cult in South Asia$
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Jinah Kim

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273863

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273863.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Social History of the Buddhist Book Cult

Social History of the Buddhist Book Cult

Chapter:
(p.212) (p.213) 6 Social History of the Buddhist Book Cult
Source:
Receptacle of the Sacred
Author(s):

Jinah Kim

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520273863.003.0007

This chapter examines the human agents behind the medieval Buddhist book cult-the donors, makers, and users of the illustrated manuscripts-based on a collective analysis of the colophons of thirty-six dated illustrated Buddhist manuscripts from India.The involvement of monastic donors, with the exception of monks from Tibet and elsewhere, is unexpectedly low, indicating that the Buddhist book cult remained a lay-based cultic practice, despite monastic production. The illustrated manuscripts prepared by nonmonastic ritual specialists during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries demonstrate how lay Buddhists claimed and affirmed their Buddhist identity through participation in the Buddhist book cult, an age-old Mahāyāna practice, when Buddhist monastic institutions were falling apart.

Keywords:   Mahāyāna, Esoteric (Tantric) Buddhism, book cult, patronage pattern, production pattern, sādhu, ācarya, Nālandā, āpanaka, esotericizationof iconographic programs, lay Buddhist practice, Mayāhāna laity, late Indian Buddhism

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