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Figures to Inscribing Scriptural Catalogs in TPAO 106:5-6 (2020)

posted on 05.02.2021, 16:53 by Xiaodong Yang
Commonly referred to in Chinese by the term jinglu, scriptural catalogs constitute a specific sort of Sinitic bibliographical literature that deals primarily with texts
accepted in East Asian Buddhist circles as authoritative in matters of religion. The role that these catalogs played in the history of the Chinese Buddhist canon has become the subject of various important studies, but still oft-neglected are the functional places that such texts filled in the sphere of Buddhist devotional practice. To try to redress the balance, this essay brings into focus a small but significant
group of Southern Song (1127-1279) Buddhist monuments in the Sichuan basin. Not only do these monuments allow us a rare glimpse into the devotional uses and symbolic functions of scriptural catalogs, but they offer a vantage point from which to view at least a part of what premodern Buddhists in the Sichuan basin actually believed and practiced.