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Making TranscendentsAscetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China$
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Robert Ford Campany

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833336

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833336.001.0001

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Hagiographic Persuasions

Hagiographic Persuasions

(p.216) Chapter 8 Hagiographic Persuasions
Making Transcendents

Robert Ford Campany

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter asserts that every instance of discourse about a holy person, whether oral or written, is an attempt at persuasion. This feature is common to hagiographic writings, one of which is the rhetorical strategy used in the hagiography of Liu Gen, which was written in Ge Hong’s Traditions of Divine Transcendents. His writings explained the sort of struggle for status that was waged between local officials and adepts, and narrated the awesome powers adepts were often believed to wield and the vivid, hair-raising spectacles they could mount for audiences. Moreover, it showed that transcendents could be objects of fear and dread by discussing the ways in which they created such impressions.

Keywords:   holy person, hagiographic writings, rhetorical strategy, hagiography, Liu Gen, adepts, transcendents

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