Ancestors and Anxiety: Daoism and the Birth of Rebirth in China

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University of California Press, Aug 2, 2007 - Religion - 232 pages
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This innovative work on Chinese concepts of the afterlife is the result of Stephen Bokenkamp's groundbreaking study of Chinese scripture and the incorporation of Indic concepts into the Chinese worldview. Here, he explores how Chinese authors, including Daoists and non-Buddhists, received and deployed ideas about rebirth from the third to the sixth centuries C.E. In tracing the antecedents of these scriptures, Bokenkamp uncovers a stunning array of non-Buddhist accounts that provide detail on the realms of the dead, their denizens, and human interactions with them. Bokenkamp demonstrates that the motive for the Daoist acceptance of Buddhist notions of rebirth lay not so much in the power of these ideas as in the work they could be made to do.
 

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Contents

Envisioning the Dead
33
The Unquiet Dead and Their Families Political and Agnate
60
Questionable Shapes How the Living Interrogated Their Dead
95
Doomed for a Certain Term The Intimate Dead
130
Rebirth Reborn
158
Postscript
193
Abbreviations
199
Bibliography
203
Index
215
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About the author (2007)

Stephen R. Bokenkamp is Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University. He is the author of Early Daoist Scriptures (UC Press).

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