China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period: Cultural Crossings and Inter-Regional Connections

by Dorothy C. Wong and Gustav Heldt


"Highly recommended to every student who wants to study medieval China not as an insular exception, but as an active part of world history." —Journal of World History

"Highly recommended to those seeking new research on the transmission of Mahayana Buddhism across Asia, and Chinese textual and religious culture to Japan." —Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

"Every criterion of a successful edited volume, and in addition a book with new information on a heavily researched subject, is met in this book, and more are accomplished. China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period is an excellent collection of twenty-one chapters that offers twenty-one fresh ideas; many of them are important ... Editors, authors, and others involved in this book are to be commended." —Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

"This is a splendid book on cultural interactions across Eurasia, which crosses many boundaries--disciplinary, national, and conceptual--to provide us with an awe-inspiring picture ... The important insights provided by this book, which illuminate a whole range of issues, stand on a solid bedrock of scholarship. ... Specialists in the various disciplines covered in this volume will find much that is new and rewarding, while the general reader can also benefit from the many thought-provoking ideas and insights it has to offer." —The Book Review

“Wong’s and Heldt’s edited anthology represents the future of Asian Studies. A thoroughly transcultural perspective that characterizes the volume sheds new lights on issues that have been studied only within the framework of East Asian modern nation states. At the same time, it demonstrates how immediately relevant the same issues are to the studies of other areas of Asia and beyond. This anthology is a must for anyone who aims at introducing innovations into area studies across diverse academic disciplines.” — Ryuichi Abe, Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions, Harvard University

“If any readers are still tempted to believe that Chinese civilization was in past centuries immured in introspective isolation, this is the book that should swiftly set them right. Contributors, editors and publishers have all done brilliantly to recreate a long gone wider world, full of colour and movement,within which China was—however important, but one element in a much larger whole. No history lesson today could be more important than this.” — T. H. Barrett, Research Professor of East Asian History, SOAS, University of London

“As this international and interdisciplinary group of scholars shows so well, ideas, people, and things were in motion across Eurasia all during the first millennium CE. The material culture of Buddhism is at the heart of a third of the twenty-one chapters, but less expected topics appear as well, from the use of Chinese poetry at the Nara court to reaction against foreign dress in Tang China and the Zoroastrian imagery in Sogdian tombs. The chapters on Chinese-Japanese interactions are especially welcome, as this side of Eurasian cultural interchange is rarely treated in the same volume as China-Central Asia ones. The rich bibliographies should inspire students and scholars to venture further into the many sides of cultural interaction.” — Patricia B. Ebrey, Professor of History, University of Washington


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