Catalogue


Miracles of book and body [electronic resource] : Buddhist textual culture and medieval Japan /
Charlotte c Eubanks.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2011.
description
xviii, 269 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780520265615 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
series title
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2011.
isbn
9780520265615 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction: the cult of the book and the culture of text -- The ontology of sutras -- Locating setsuwa in performance -- Decomposing bodies, composing texts -- Textual transubstantiation and the place of memory -- Conclusion: on circumambulatory reading.
catalogue key
8843608
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 237-256) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Miracles of Book and Bodyis fluidly written and engaging. This book brings the reader to an awareness of the range and foci of medieval 'popular' readings of sutra literature, and Eubanks provides an important perspective to interpreting these narratives that is original and stimulating."--Thomas W. Hare, author ofZeami, Performance Notes
Flap Copy
"This is an exciting exploration of the world of Buddhist attitudes towards religious texts, from Indian scriptures to Japanese medieval tales. Its emphasis on discursive strategies--how Buddhist texts function and what they expect of their readers/users (especially, the connection between books, their content, and their readers' bodies)--is a welcome new perspective."--Fabio Rambelli, author of Buddhist Materiality " Miracles of Book and Body is fluidly written and engaging. This book brings the reader to an awareness of the range and foci of medieval 'popular' readings of sutra literature, and Eubanks provides an important perspective to interpreting these narratives that is original and stimulating."--Thomas W. Hare, author of Zeami: Performance Notes "Charlotte Eubanks' sophisticated, insightful and readable study of the physicalities of sutra texts and sutra recitation makes sense of some of the strangest phenomena in medieval Japan. By disentangling the literal and metaphorical meanings in Buddhist setsuwa, Eubanks explains such things as how memorizing a text is an embodiment thereof, how texts can become sentient beings, and why the scroll is an appropriate format for recording dharma. Her work is both important and engaging."--Margaret H. Childs, University of Kansas "Drawing on an impressive range of Mahayana scriptures and medieval Japanese didactic tales, Eubanks unpacks recurrent tropes correlating text and flesh to reveal surprising connections among the literary, material, and ritual dimensions of Buddhist textual culture. Elegantly written and theoretically astute, this volume will be welcomed not only by specialists in Buddhist literature but also by readers interested in broader issues of text-based religious practice."--Jacqueline Stone, author of Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An ambitious and largely successful project. . . . [This book] should fruitfully provoke scholars studying any culture." -- Journal of Religion
"An ambitious and largely successful project. . . . [This book] should fruitfully provoke scholars studying any culture."
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Miracles of Book and Body is the first book to explore the intersection of two key genres of sacred literature in medieval Japan: sutras, or sacred Buddhist texts, and setsuwa , or "explanatory tales," used in sermons and collected in written compilations. For most of East Asia, Buddhist sutras were written in classical Chinese and inaccessible to many devotees. How, then, did such devotees access these texts? Charlotte D. Eubanks argues that the medieval genre of "explanatory tales" illuminates the link between human body (devotee) and sacred text (sutra). Her highly original approach to understanding Buddhist textuality focuses on the sensual aspects of religious experience and also looks beyond Japan to explore pre-modern book history, practices of preaching, miracles of reading, and the Mah y na Buddhist "cult of the book."
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text explores the intersection of two key genres of sacred literature in medieval Japan: sutras, or sacred Buddhist texts, and setsuwa, or 'explanatory tales', used in sermons and collected in written compilations.
Main Description
Miracles of Book and Bodyis the first book to explore the intersection of two key genres of sacred literature in medieval Japan: sutras, or sacred Buddhist texts, andsetsuwa, or "explanatory tales," used in sermons and collected in written compilations. For most of East Asia, Buddhist sutras were written in Classical Chinese and inaccessible to many devotees. How, then, did such devotees access these texts? Charlotte Eubanks argues that the medieval genre of "explanatory tales" illuminates the link between human body (devotee) and sacred text (sutra). She focuses on the sensual aspects of religious experience and on the act of reading, understood as the literal incorporation of sutra texts into the body and thus a bridge between text and flesh. Eubanks's highly original approach to understanding Buddhist textuality also looks beyond Japan to explore pre-modern book history, practices of preaching, miracles of reading, and the Mah y na Buddhist "cult of the book."
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Note on Sutras
Note on Setsuwa
List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Cult of the Book and the Culture of Text
The Ontology of Sutras
Locating Setsuwa in Performance
Decomposing Bodies, Composing Texts
Textual Transubstantiation and the Place of Memory
Conclusion: On Circumambulatory Reading
Glossary
Works Cited
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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