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Esoteric Buddhist Art In China, 960–1279

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Chapter Summary

As was the case with Esoteric Buddhist practices in the post-Tang period, Esoteric Buddhist art can be characterized by its discontinuity with the Zhenyan tradition that dominated Esoteric Buddhist art in China during the second half of the Tang. Esoteric Buddhism was vital in many provinces of the Song empire, though it was a bifurcated and nonheterogenous tradition without a firm center. Some of the features of Esoteric Buddhist art from the Liao, especially that dating from the first century of the dynasty, reflect a rather pronounced influence from the second half of the Tang. Information about art related to Esoteric Buddhism from the Jin is generally hard to come by; however, in recent years new or hitherto overlooked material has come to light. Esoteric Buddhist art under the Xixia can be divided into three types.

Keywords: Esoteric Buddhism; Jin; Liao; post-Tang period; Xixia

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