First volume of Brill Book Series

First volume of Brill Book Series

We are pleased to announce the release of the first volume in a new series published by Brill: Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. The series editors include Meir Sharar (co-editor of the first volume), James Benn, and Jinhua Chen. Several project participants will be contributors, including Robert Sharf on this first volume. For more information or to order, please visit


Bringing together leading authorities in the fields of Chinese and Tibetan Studies alike, Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism engages cutting-edge research on the fertile tradition of Esoteric Buddhism (also known as Tantric Buddhism). This state of the art volume unfolds the sweeping impact of esoteric Buddhism on Tibetan and Chinese cultures, and the movement’s role in forging distinct political, ethical, and religious identities across Asia at large.

Deciphering the oftentimes bewildering richness of esoteric Buddhism, this broadly conceived work exposes the common ground it shares with other Buddhist schools, as well as its intersection with non-Buddhist faiths. As such, the book is a major contribution to the study of Asian religions and cultures.

Contributors are: Yael Bentor, Ester Bianchi, Megan Bryson, Jacob P. Dalton, Hou Chong, Hou Haoran, Eran Laish, Li Ling, Lin Pei-ying, Lü Jianfu, Ma De, Dan Martin, Charles D. Orzech, Meir Shahar, Robert H. Sharf, Shen Weirong, Henrik H. Sørensen, and Yang Fuxue and Zhang Haijuan.


Table of Content:


Preliminary Material (Pages: i–xi)
Editors: Yael Bentor
and Meir Shahar

Introduction (Pages: 1–14)
Authors: Yael Bentor and Meir Shahar

  1. Tantric Subjects: Liturgy and Vision in Chinese Esoteric Ritual Manuals (Pages: 17–40)
    Author: Charles D. Orzech
  2. Spells and Magical Practices as Reflected in the Early Chinese Buddhist Sources (c. 300–600 CE) and Their Implications for the Rise and Development of Esoteric Buddhism (Pages: 41–71)
    Author: Henrik H. Sørensen
  3. The Terms “Esoteric Teaching” (“Esoteric Buddhism”) and “Tantra” in Chinese Buddhist Sources (Pages: 72–82)
    Author: Jianfu Lü
  4. Buddhist Veda and the Rise of Chan (Pages: 85–120)
    Author: Robert H. Sharf
  5. A Comparative Approach to Śubhakarasiṃha’s (637–735) “Essentials of Meditation”: Meditation and Precepts in Eighth-Century China (Pages: 121–146)
    Author: Pei-ying Lin
  6. The Tantric Origins of the Horse King: Hayagrīva and the Chinese Horse Cult (Pages: 147–190)
    Author: Meir Shahar
  7. Crazy Wisdom in Moderation: Padampa Sangyé’s Use of Counterintuitive Methods in Dealing with Negative Mental States (Pages: 193–214)
    Author: Dan Martin
  8. Perception, Body and Selfhood: The Transformation of Embodiment in the Thod rgal Practice of the “Heart Essence” Tradition (Pages: 215–229)
    Author: Eran Laish
  9. Tibetan Interpretations of the Opening Verses of Vajraghaṇṭa on the Body Maṇḍala (Pages: 230–260)
    Author: Yael Bentor
  10. Ming Chinese Translations of Tibetan Tantric Buddhist Texts and the Buddhist Saṃgha of the Western Regions in Beijing (Pages: 263–299)
    Author: Weirong Shen
  11. Sino-Tibetan Buddhism: Continuities and Discontinuities: The Case of Nenghai’s Legacy in the Contemporary Era (Pages: 300–319)
    Author: Ester Bianchi
  12. On the Significance of the Ārya-tattvasaṃgraha-sādhanopāyikā and Its Commentary (Pages: 321–337)
    Author: Jacob P. Dalton
  13. Avalokiteśvara and the Dunhuang Dhāraṇī Spells of Salvation in Childbirth (Pages: 338–352)
    Authors: Ling Li and De Ma
  14. Notes on the Translation and Transmission of the Saṃpuṭa and Cakrasaṃvara Tantras in the Xixia Period (1038–1227) (Pages: 355–376)
    Author: Haoran Hou
  15. Mongol Rulers, Yugur Subjects, and Tibetan Buddhism (Pages: 377–387)
    Authors: Fuxue Yang and Haijuan Zhang
  16. The Chinese Origins of Dali Esoteric Buddhism (Pages: 389–401)
    Author: Chong Hou
  17. Between China and Tibet: Mahākāla Worship and Esoteric Buddhism in the Dali Kingdom (Pages: 402–428)
    Author: Megan Bryson

Index (Pages: 429–450)
Authors: Yael Bentor and Meir Shahar

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