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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 4.1 (2021): 178–214;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhist Worldmaking Programs & Tiantai/Chontae/Tendai Buddhism)

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A Short History of an Abbreviated Tang Tiantai Text

SOAS, University of London, London, UK

Abstract: The abbreviation of the Mohe zhiguan made by Liang Su in the late eighth century has come down to us as the result of a complex process of international transmission. First committed to print in the early eleventh century, a second edition was probably exported to Japan soon after its production at the start of the thirteenth, and reprinted in that country in the seventeenth century in an edition that was to be republished in a modern typeset edition at the start of the twentieth century, by which point any earlier Chinese edition had been long lost. Contemporary digitized editions in the Chinese world go back to this Japanese typeset edition, but now do not quite reflect in every particular the earliest complete surviving edition, which is that of seventeenth century Japan.

Keywords: Liang Su 梁肅 (753–793), Shanding zhiguan 删定止觀, Hangzhou printing, Wu Keji 吳克己 (1140–1214), Sōshan Gensei 艸山元政 (1623–1668)


About the Author: T. H. Barrett studied Chinese at Cambridge and Buddhist Studies at Yale, and in Japan, before returning to the United Kingdom to teach at Cambridge for over a decade before switching to London. A portion of his doctoral work was published in 1992 as Li Ao: Buddhist, Taoist, or Neo-Confucian? Since 2014 he has been Professor Emeritus of East Asian History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where much of his teaching and research was concerned with aspects of the religious history of China, primarily during the first millennium CE, such as the relationship between Buddhism and the development of Chinese printing; he continues to work in this area. His other interests include the history of cats in China, the transmission of the Liezi, the development of an understanding of China in Britain, eighteenth century Japanese critics of Buddhism, images of Mongol rule in China, the development of the academic study of Daoism, the ‘Zen and History’ controversy and other aspects of the history of Chan/Zen, and other topics. He has reviewed for the London Review of Books, The Independent, and other periodicals, and participated in the radio series ‘In Our Time’.


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