Signs from the Unseen Realm (Mingxiang ji): A Collection of Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China
A Numata Colloquium Series talk by Professor Robert Campany, USC
Friday, April 16, 20103:00 PM - 4:30 PM
243 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Just prior to 500 C.E., scholar-official Wang Yan compiled and circulated a collection of Buddhist miracle tales titled Mingxiang ji 冥祥記 or Signs from the Unseen Realm. Around 130 tales from this once much larger text, plus Wang’s preface, survive. In this talk I will first introduce the text and the larger miracle-tale genre to which it belongs. I will then offer remarks on selected themes in the text that are of interest to historians of Buddhism, Chinese religions, and comparative religions. One of these themes will be the relation, in general, between miracle tales and the social and religious networks that produce them. Another will be the extent to which Mingxiang ji exemplifies the “sinification” of Buddhism—and what this might mean.
Cost : Free and Open to the Public
Sponsor(s): Center for Buddhist Studies, Center for Chinese Studies