Ritual and Representation in Chinese Buddhism: Visualizing Enlightenment at Baodingshan from the 12th to 21st Centuries

by Karil J. Kucera


“This is so far the most comprehensive study of the sculptural groups at Baodingshan and their scriptural backgrounds. Karil Kucera’s comprehensive knowledge of the Buddhist art of this site makes it come to life in a new and engaging way. This book is a must for anyone interested in Chinese Buddhist art.”—Henrik H. Sørensen, Director, Seminar for Buddhist Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark

““Baodingshan is a unique site from many perspectives. It is also a site that is difficult to study because of the dearth of inscriptional materials and historical documents that are contemporaneous with the time when the site was created. The strength of this book is how existing textual materials, both in the form of inscribed religious texts and stele inscriptions, have been used to try to piece together the larger relationships of the components of the site. The study is organized well and in an interesting way, one which ties into the important notions of time as embodied in Buddhist notions of cause and effect that is a key message of the site’s sculptural program and corresponding texts. With its detailed analysis that goes beyond some of the limitations of other previous works, this book will contribute to the scholarship of this particular unique site and the general discourse on Buddhism in China. It is a work of scholarship that is valuable to researchers and yet accessible to general readers.”—Tom Suchan, Professor of Art History, Eastern Michigan University


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