Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism

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University of Hawai'i Press, 2007 - Religion - 360 pages
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Burning for the Buddha: Self-Immolation in Chinese Buddhism is the first book-length study of the theory and practice of "abandoning the body" (self-immolation) in Chinese Buddhism. Although largely ignored by conventional scholarship, the acts of self-immolators (which included not only burning the body but also being devoured by wild animals, drowning oneself, and self-mummification, among others) form an enduring part of the religious tradition and provide a new perspective on the multifarious dimensions of Buddhist practice in China from the early medieval period to the present time. This book examines the hagiographical accounts of all those who made offerings of their own bodies and places them in historical, social, cultural, and doctrinal context.

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Contents

SelfImmolation in Early Medieval China
19
of SelfImmolation
78
Chapter 4
104
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

James A. Benn is assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University.

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