Click here return to the Hualin main page.
Click here return to the Hualin E-Journal Vol 1.2 Table of Contents page.
Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 1.2 (2018): 231–268
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhist Arts)
Liuli in Buddhist Rituals and Art in Medieval China
Keywords: liuli, poli, Seven Treasures, Buddhist rituals, religious practices
Abstract: In Buddhist texts, liuli was considered as one of the Seven Treasures (qibao 七寶). The author investigated all kinds of materials concerning glass: Buddhist scriptures, historical records, Chinese poetries and literatures, stone inscriptions, manuscripts and paintings from the Dunhuang Library Cave, mural paintings in Gansu and Xinjiang, archeological relics from terrestrial palaces of Buddhist pagodas, tombs and cellars, and focuses on the relationship between liuli and other unearthed remains in a holistic approach to the Seven Treasures, and in the context of Buddhist offerings (treasure offering and perfume offering) and sacred utensils.
The author hopes to cast some new light on the religious function and symbolic meaning of liuli in Buddhist ritual practices, trace the origin of this concept and examine its demonstration in text and art. This paper is a case study intended to develop a comprehensive understanding of ritual texts and religious practices in the using of sacred objects and to rethink the role of material culture in Buddhist history and natural history in Medieval China.