The Administration of Buddhism in China: A Study and Translation of Zanning and the Topical Compendium of the Buddhist Clergy (Da Song Seng shilue)

by Albert Welter


"Albert Welter’s magisterial study and translation of Zanning’s Da Song Seng shilüe is a scholarly tour de force. Professor Welter teases out of this seminal text a plethora of fascinating data on the depth and breadth of the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state in premodern China. It confirms his reputation as the premier exegete of his generation on the Song-dynasty Buddhist tradition." —Robert Buswell, Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities, Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies, and Director of the Center for Buddhist Studies, UCLA

"Meticulously introduced, translated and annotated by an accomplished historian of Song Dynasty Buddhism, Albert Welter’s English rendering of Zanning’s Topical History of the Buddhist Clergy affords us access to one of the most innovative periods of Chinese Buddhist institutional history, as well as one of the most enduring works of the Chinese Buddhist historiographical imaginaire. This book is an important addition to Buddhist studies; it provides valuable insights on the subjects that Zanning considered crucial to understanding the thousand-year history of the Buddhist monastic Sangha in China." —Daniel B. Stevenson, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Kansas

"With its curious blend of furniture and festivals, titles and forms of address, etiquette and power politics, the Seng shi lüe, translated here for the first time, is an important testament to the incorporation of Buddhism into the Chinese imperial bureaucracy. In addition to serving as a window to Buddhism in China at the dawn of the second millennium, this valuable book, presented here with extensive annotation, holds a unique place in Chinese historiography." —John Kieschnick, The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Professor of Buddhist Studies and Department Chair of Religious Studies, Stanford University

"This work is extremely valuable for understanding Buddhism-State relations in Chinese history, and its translation is a major milestone in Chinese Buddhist studies. The translation is copiously annotated and is preceded by a generally helpful and informative introduction. No similar work has ever been translated into English and the book will be of great value to anyone interested in Buddhism and Chinese history, including students of Chinese State-Buddhism relations, those interested in the history of social control in China, and Song historians in general. Many scholars will want to own a copy of this book, and a large number of universities and colleges will certainly want to buy this for their libraries. It is also likely that the book will be used at least in part in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses." —Morten Schlütter, Associate Professor of Chinese Religion Department of Religious Studies, and Director, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, The University of Iowa


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