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Mid-Tang Scholar-Officials as Local Patrons of Buddhist Monasteries

Anna Sokolova

Pages 467 - 490


This article discusses five accounts of reconstructions of Buddhist monasteries that were written by Tang Dynasty literati between 813 and 835. These records (ji 記) show that the Tang aristocracy developed a new strategy of establishing themselves at regional sites by engaging with local Buddhism, while Buddhist accounts and local gazetteers from the same era demonstrate that the five monasteries in question all enjoyed esteemed status within their respective religious communities and accommodated popular local practices. It is argued that mid-Tang scholar-officials associated with these significant local institutions in order to construct new social identities for themselves, gain influence with local elites and religious communities, and sustain their former networks after displacement from high office and disengagement from central government.


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