Fields of Merit, Harvests of Health: Some Notes on the Role of Medical Karma in the Popularization of Buddhism in Early Medieval China (English)

In: Asian Philosophy   ;  23 ,  4  ;  341-349  ;  2013

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One of the most significant philosophical doctrines of Buddhism, and an idea that has remained at the centre of its theory and practice in virtually all historical times and places, is karma. The motivations for being involved in the accumulation of karmic merit in early medieval China were diverse, but one frequently mentioned goal was the health of the physical body. This brief article examines several facets of the relationship between karma and well-being, providing a few examples of the wide range of sources on this subject and reflecting on its role in the popularization of Buddhism in China. I argue that medical metaphors were central to how the doctrine of karma was explained to diverse audiences, that the translation of these ideas emphasized connections with indigenous beliefs and social practices and that medical karma encouraged the self-regulation of behaviour and thoughts in conformity with Buddhist ideology.

Table of contents – Volume 23, Issue 4

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The tables of contents are generated automatically and are based on the data records of the individual contributions available in the index of the TIB portal. The display of the Tables of Contents may therefore be incomplete.

305
Buddhist Impact on Chinese Culture
Guang, Xing | 2013
323
Mettābhāvanā in Traditional and Popular Buddhist Contexts
Patel, Deven M. | 2013
341
Fields of Merit, Harvests of Health: Some Notes on the Role of Medical Karma in the Popularization of Buddhism in Early Medieval China
Salguero, C. Pierce | 2013
350
Re-Creation of Rituals in Humanistic Buddhism: A Case Study of FoGuangShan
Yu, Xue | 2013
365
Buddhist Conceptual Rhyming and T.S.Eliot's Crisis of Connection in TheWaste Land and ‘Burnt Norton’
Bruno, Tim | 2013
ebi
Editorial Board
| 2013
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