Seventh volume of Brill Book Series

Seventh volume of Brill Book Series

We are pleased to announce the release of the seventh volume in the series published by Brill: Disciplinary Rituals in Dunhuang Buddhism. The book is authored by Ru Zhan and edited by Jinhua Chen. For more information or to order, please visit


Drawing on Dunhuang manuscripts and the latest scholarship in Dunhuang and Buddhist Studies, this translation analyzes Buddhist monasticism via such topics as the organizational forms of Dunhuang Buddhist monasteries, the construction and operation of ordination platforms, ordination certificates and government ordination licenses, and meditation retreats, etc.

Assuming a pan-Asian perspective, the monograph also made trailblazing contributions to the study of Buddhist Sinicization and Sino-Indian cultural exchanges and is bound to exert long-lasting influences on the worldwide academic study of Buddhism.


Table of Content:

List of Figures

  1. Introduction
    1.1 History of Indian Buddhist Vinaya Studies
    1.2 History of Chinese Buddhist Vinaya Studies
    1.3 A History of the Studies of the Disciplinary Rituals of Dunhuang Buddhism
  2. The Organization and Character of Dunhuang’s Buddhist Temples, Meditation Caves, and Araṇya
    2.1 Preamble
    2.2 Early Monastic Regulations in China
    2.3 Administrators (Gangguan 綱管) of Dunhuang Monasteries
    2.4 The Organizational Structure of the Three Meditation Caves
    2.5 The Principle of Dhūta (Austerities) and Its Social Function Reflected in Dunhuang’s Araṇya
    2.6 Characteristics of Dunhuang’s Buddhist Temples
  3. Evolution of the Ordination Platform and Dunhuang’s Fangdeng Daochang 方等道場 (Vaipulya Ordination Platform)
    3.1 Preamble
    3.2 The Origins and Formation of the Ordination Platform
    3.3 Transformation of the Ordination Platform
    3.4 Dunhuang’s Fangdeng Ordination Platforms and Lintan Dade 臨壇大德 (Ordination Platform Presiders of Great Virtue)
    3.5 Concluding Remarks
  4. Research on Dunhuang’s Precept Certificates, Rites for Conferring Precepts, and Ordination Licenses
    4.1 Preamble
    4.2 The Contents of the Baguan Zhai 八關齋 (Eightfold Purificatory Observance) and Their Receipt and Upholding
    4.3 Protocols for the Rites of Conferral and Receipt of the Baguan Zhai
    4.4 The Composition and Characteristics of Dunhuang’s Baguan Zhai Certificates
    4.5 Translation and Circulation of Scriptures on the Bodhisattva Precepts
    4.6 Ritual Procedures for the Conferring and Receiving of Bodhisattva Precepts
    4.7 Certificates for Bodhisattva Precepts
    4.8 Ordination Licenses
  5. A New Investigation of Upavasatha Texts and Upavasatha Procedures
    5.1 Origins
    5.2 Prātimokṣa and Upavasatha in Sectarian Buddhism
    5.3 Upavasatha Texts and Upavasatha Procedures in Dunhuang Buddhism
    5.4 Concluding Remarks
  6. Examination of the Dunhuang Summer Retreat
    6.1 Preamble
    6.2 The Vinaya Piṭaka ‘Retreat Khandhaka’ and the Form of Retreat in Early Buddhism
    6.3 Summer Retreat and Winter Retreat in Dunhuang Buddhism
    6.4 Concluding Remarks
  7. Stotra (Hymns) in Pure Land Teachings at Dunhuang
    7.1 Zanwen 讚文 (Extolment), Jizan 偈讚 (Extol Verse) and the Pure Land Extolment Texts
    7.2 Research on Extolment Verses of Pure Land Teachings
    7.3 Concluding Remarks
  8. Analysis of Dunhuang ZhaiwenZhai Gatherings, and Dharma Gatherings
    8.1 Presenting the Problematic
    8.2 The Origins and Evolution of Zhai 齋
    8.3 Zhai Gatherings and Folk Beliefs in the Tang and Five Dynasties
    8.4 Dunhuang Zhaiwen
    8.5 Zhai Wanwen 齋琬文 (Zhai Model Texts) and Buddhist Procedures
    8.6 Zhai Gatherings in Dunhuang
    8.7 Dunhuang Zhai Gatherings and Folk Beliefs
    8.8 Dunhuang Wuzhe (Non-Obstructing) Great Gatherings
  9. General Conclusion
    9.1 Features of Dunhuang Buddhist Communities
    9.2 Disciplinary Rituals and the State Control
    9.3 Multi-Facetted Beliefs about the Pure Land in Dunhuang
    9.4 Formation of Dunhuang Buddhist Rituals

Appendix 1: Translations of Dunhuang Manuscripts and Inscriptions

  • Appendix 2: Charts and Lists



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