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Fazang'S Religious Life

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Chapter Summary

Fazang’s religious life was complex, containing elements that seem expected of a prestigious and learned scholar-monk, such as translating and preaching the fine points of sūtras, but also those that are less examined by modern historians. This chapter takes up the latter in four categories: esoteric rituals, Daoist practices, relic veneration, and self-immolation. These practices may be considered as two pairs, each composed of two interdependent elements. Esoteric rituals and Daoist practices go hand-in-hand as do relic veneration and self-immolation. The chapter then focuses on the complexity of Fazang’s Daoist connections and their far- reaching implications, and his esoteric practices. It considers Fazang’s practices of relic veneration and self-immolation together.

Keywords: Daoist practices; esoteric rituals; Fazang



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