Ritual and Representation in Buddhist Art
This publication investigates representations of Buddhist thought and art in Central and East Asia with respect to aspects of their ritual and cultural contexts. The book looks into the question of how various religious environments have been central to the shaping of art and art forms throughout the history of Buddhism and its influence on the material cultures of different regions. Through the essays in this publication, the reader is provided with multiple layers of methodological approaches. The contributions range from the Buddhist cult of relics in ancient China, to material evidence for Buddhist rituals of confession and repentance in Northern Chinese cave temples, to aspects of the development of popular iconographies based on Avataṃsaka doctrine in Tang China and the Korean kingdom of Unified Silla. Investigating Tibetan medical thangkas mainly of the nineteenth century, basic principles of Tibetan medicine informed by Buddhist philosophy are further elaborated. Finally, the book scopes out issues concerning visual traditions in Japanese Buddhist art, namely, the development of Japanese sculptures of the Kamakura period, as well as mytho-historical connotations of lacquered temple implements in Negoro style.