In this interesting and well-written study Mark Halperin paints a multi-faceted and complex picture of how members of the Song-dynasty educated elite viewed Buddhism and Buddhist institutions, and how in writing about them literati were able to express a range of opinions and critiques that went far beyond the Buddhist cloister. It is a welcome addition to a number of recent studies on the social history of the Song literati class and on elite Buddhism in the Song, but at the same time it offers an approach not attempted in any previous work. (Morten Schlutter Chinese Historical Review
About the Author
Mark Halperin is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis.