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Fazang The Wonderworker

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Chapter Summary

Fazang was an adroit politician and Buddhist leader. In both cases, he was able to maneuver across numerous stages, matching and mixing his connections within the imperial family and wielding a polymathic array of ritual, textual, and charismatic techniques. This chapter looks at another instance of multiple identities. It is his role of intermediary between the heavenly and human realms. The perception of Fazang as a wonderworker seems mostly to have been created posthumously. One may say that after an important career as religious leader and court politician, Fazang continued to be important in the afterlife, or as Paul Groner has so aptly put it, his “posthumous career.” Like many historical figures, his death created a life story that was continuously reshaped by his hagiographers generation after generation.

Keywords: Fazang; wonderworker

10.1163/ej.9789004156135.i-542.66
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    Philosopher, Practitioner, Politician: the Many Lives of Fazang (643-712) — Recommend this title to your library
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