- Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs (Book 272)
- Hardcover: 364 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Asia Center (October 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674022653
- ISBN-13: 978-0674022652
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,312,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Out of the Cloister: Literati Perspectives on Buddhism in Sung China, 960-1279 (Harvard East Asian Monographs)
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Customers who bought this item also bought
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 2007-04-01)
About the Author
Mark Halperin is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
There are a lot of little things about the book too that stand out. The one chapter on T'ang dynasty commemorations serves its purpose of contrasting with the Sung dynasty commemorations so as to highlight the latter's unusual characteristics, but it's also interesting in and of itself in showing the educated layman's grasp of Buddhist doctrine and devotion to Buddhist deities. The mutual interpenetration of Buddhism and the Imperial cult, the degree to which Sung Emperors were divinized, and the role of Buddhist temples throughout the empire in establishing commoner consciousness of the political/religious center were all new and fascinating topics (for me, at least). And it was nice to get a glimpse of the lives and ideas of literati not on the "top ten list"--educated and politically active men of some distinction other than Chu Hsi, Chou Tun-i, or the Ch'eng brothers--not that these latter guys aren't interesting or important, but with this book I got a more concrete sense of how their ideas were affecting their peers and society at large.
Prospective readers of this fine book should keep in mind that it is a pretty specialized study in some ways. As someone with some familiarity with East Asian history and religion, I still found that Halperin was assuming knowledge on his reader's part that I didn't have (or did have but in a fuzzy, vague state). Most of this had to do with the ups and downs of Sung history, and if you're rusty on this you might want to give yourself a quick review. Also, he keeps referring to what I would identify as "Neo-Confucianism" with the term "Tao-hsueh"--I'm not sure what is at stake in not using the standard English term, but perhaps there are good reasons (why not then be consistent and render "Buddhism" in Chinese as well?)--if so, a quick explanation of the reasoning behind this terminological choice may have been in order, at least in a footnote, for the sake of those of us not "in the know". None of this detracts from the book, of course, and the author's overall argument is still quite clear if you have a reasonable level of background knowledge.
In short, this is a valuable and well-written study grounded in extensive and careful work with primary texts all substantiating an important, overarching point. Anyone curious about how Buddhism actually functions in society should find it indispensable.