This concluding chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. The examples of Buddho-Taoist exchange examined in the preceding chapters offer a new perspective on the religious situation in medieval China. These religious scriptures are not, by and large, representative of the highest religious scholasticism. Neither, however, do they emerge from an undistinguished religious background. They show, on the contrary, that their authors were keen to make their religious affiliations explicit and to affirm a strong commitment to their denominational identities. The diverse scriptural and ritual traditions studied also reveal the presence of a third party animating the religious marketplace in medieval China. This third class of specialists in recipes, working on the margins of the Taoist and Buddhist organizations, belonged to the milieux of astrologers, diviners, medicine men, and other experts in parareligious techniques.
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