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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 4.1 (2021): 59–98; https://dx.doi.org/10.15239/hijbs.04.01.03
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhist Worldmaking Programs & Tiantai/Chontae/Tendai Buddhism)
She Association Manuscripts from Dunhuang and the Study of Medieval She Association
HAO Chunwen 郝春文
The Capital Normal University
Abstract: This study reviews the contents, structure and classification of nearly half a thousand of Dunhuang manuscripts about grassroots associations/societies (she 社 or yi 邑) in Dunhuang. It highlights the importance and value that these obscure manuscripts have for deepening and widening our understanding of an important aspect of pre-modern society in the Dunhuang region and also in the rest of China. The second part of this study is devoted to a thorough review of some major scholarly progresses on this genre of manuscripts in the course of nearly seven decades spanning from 1938 to 2006.
Keywords: she 社 association, yi 邑, Dunhuang, Guiyi jun 歸義軍, manuscript culture
About the Author: Hao Chunwen 郝春文 is a Yanshan 燕山 Distinguished Professor of the School of History at Capital Normal University, also serving as the head of the university’s Institute of Historical Studies. His main areas of research are Dunhuang documents, Buddhism in China, and Chinese history, especially from the third to thirteenth century. In the past few decades, he has published several monographs on various related topics, which include Zhonggu shiqi sheyi yanjiu 中古時期社邑研究 [The Study of Confraternities in Medieval China], Tang houqi Wudai Song chu Dunhuang sengni de shehui shenghuo 唐後期五代宋初敦煌僧尼的社會生活 [The Social Life of Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Dunhuang during the Late Tang, Five Dynasties, and the Early Song], Shishi xiejing: Dunhuang yishu 石室寫經——敦煌遺書 [Scriptural Manuscripts in Stone Chambers: Dunhuang Documents], Dunhuang de lishi he wenhua 敦煌的歷史和文化 [The History and Culture of Dunhuang] (co-author), and Dunhuang sheyi wenshu jijiao 敦煌社邑文書輯校 [A Critical Collection of Documents concerning Confraternities from Dunhuang] (co-author). In addition, he was the chief editor of Vol. 12–14 in a multi-volume collection of Dunhuang manuscripts which are preserved in the United Kingdom and have published a host of articles. His current primary work-in-progress is an investigation of Dunhuang documents kept in the U.K., with the goal of collecting and studying the data related to social history. This is one of the major research projects sponsored by the National Social Science Fund of China. The outcome of this project will be a 30-volume series Ying cang Dunhuang shehui lishi wenxian shilu 英藏敦煌社會歷史文獻釋錄 [Annotated Transcription of the Dunhuang Literature concerning Social History Preserved in the U.K.], of which 15 volumes have already been published. He has served in a wide range of institutions. These posts include President of the Institute of Dunhuang and Turfan Studies of China, Chief Editor of Dunhuang xue guoji lianluo weiyuanhui tongxun 敦煌學國際聯絡委員會通訊 [Newsletter of International Liaison Committee for Dunhuang Studies], chief editor of Dunhuang Tulufan yanjiu 敦煌吐鲁番研究 [Studies on Dunhuang and Turfan], and editorial member of Zhongguo shi yanjiu 中國史研究 [Journal of Chinese Historical Studies].
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.