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Ritualized Writing – Buddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Ritualized Writing: Buddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan

Bryan D. Lowe


Transcribing scripture (sutras) represents one of the most central devotional practices in the Buddhist world. Sutra copying functioned as a form of ritualized writing, a practice strategically set apart from more mundane forms through a set of practices and beliefs. This book highlights sutra transcription throughout Asia, but focuses primarily on seventh- through ninth-century Japan, where the practice is particularly well-documented. It shows how scribes engaged in ritual practices related to purification and how patrons held elaborate dedication ceremonies upon the completion of a project. ... More

Keywords: Sutra copying, Nara period, Buddhism, premodern Japan, ritual, Shōsōin, manuscripts, scribes, religion and the state, history of the book

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780824859404
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824859404.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bryan D. Lowe, author
Vanderbilt University