Chinese Religious Art

Chinese Religious Art


By (author) Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky


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Hardback $109.99
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Paperback | 394 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 28mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 20 December 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739180592
  • ISBN 13: 9780739180594
  • Illustrations note: 6 black & white illustrations, 215 black & white halftones, 1 maps
  • Sales rank: 1,156,293

Product description

Chinese Religious Art is a broad survey of the origins and development of the various forms of artistic expression of Chinese religions. The study begins with an overview of ancient archaeology in order to identify nascent religious ideologies in various Neolithic Cultures and early Chinese historical eras including the Shang dynasty (1300-1050 BCE) and Zhou Dynasty(1000-221 BCE) up until the era of the First Emperor (221-210 BCE) Part Two treats Confucianism as a religious tradition examining its scriptures, images, temples and rituals. Adopted as the state ideology in the Han dynasty, Confucian ideas permeated society for over two thousand years. Filial piety, ethical behavior and other principles shaped the pictorial arts. Part Three considers the various schools of Daoist belief and their expression in art. The ideas of a utopian society and the pursuit of immortality characterize this religion from its earliest phase. Daoism has an elaborate pantheon and ritualistic art, as well as a secular tradition best expressed in monochrome ink painting. Part Four covers the development of Buddhist art beginning with its entry into China in the second century. Its monuments-comprised largely of cave temples carved high in the mountains along the frontiers of China and large metropolitan temples -provide evidence of its evolution including the adoption of savior cults of the Buddha of the Western Paradise, the Buddha of the Future, the rise of Ch'an (Zen) and esoteric Buddhism. In their development, these various religious traditions interacted, sharing art, architecture, iconography and rituals. By the twelfth century a stage of syncretism merged all three traditions into a popular religion. All the religions are reviving after their extirpation during the Cultural Revolution. Using historical records and artistic evidence, much of which has not been published, this study examines their individual and shared manner of worshipping the divine forces.

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Author information

Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky is the O. Munsterberg Chair of Asian Art at Bard College, New York and Adjunct Professor at City College of New York. She has published numerous books and articles on Chinese culture in general and in particular on Chinese religious art, notably Buddhist and Daoist aesthetic traditions. She was editor of the Journal of Chinese Religions for five years.

Review quote

Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky has given us an important book, the first truly comprehensive scholarly study of Chinese religious art. What is particularly notable is that Karetzky correctly presents certain iconographical types of Confucian art as religious, side by side with Daoist and Buddhist art. For the first time, therefore, we are in a position to assess the significant commonalities linking all aspects of Chinese religious culture. Many works, including architectural sites, are presented for the first time in a fascinating series of photographs by the author herself. The scholarship is current with the very best being done in China and in the West. -- Jonathan Chaves, professor of Chinese, The George Washington University Patricia Karetzky's book Chinese Religious Art deals with a complex, broad, and long tradition of Chinese religious art; namely art of native traditional beliefs in spirits, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. Her approach is innovative since this fascinating book includes intriguing ancient Chinese art, both Confucian and Taoist art, which only recently received attention, and Buddhist art, which brought China a rich visual tradition. At the beginning of each chapter, she provides a brief historical and political background in a very organized manner that enables readers to understand both continuity and change over the centuries, as Chinese sacred art was largely developed with imperial and aristocratic patronage. She does not deal with the dominance of one tradition or the other but observes the complex interactions and interdependence of Chinese artistic inspirations over several thousand years from prehistoric times to the present. As voluminous new materials on Chinese art are now available on the internet and other electronic media, this fascinating book guides us with a steady stream of artistic formats and styles to a full appreciation. It provides general readers and students an organized framework to understand not only Chinese sacred narrative art, but also architectural works such as temples and palaces as structured ritual space. The book contains many of the author's photos taken during her extensive travels in China. This valuable book demonstrates why Patricia Karetzky is considered among our foremost interpreters and educators in the field of Chinese religious artistic traditions. -- Mariko Namba Walter, Director, Association for Central Asian Civilizations & Silk Road Studies (ACANSRS) Chinese Religious Art is the first single volume to treat Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist traditions of art in China. This is a substantial undertaking by Karetzky. Her book-slim in size relative to the parameters of her study-introduces general readers and new students to a sweeping range of art and architecture from the Neolithic to the late imperial periods. Coverage is a major strength, allowing students to readily perceive both common expressions and dramatic distinctions among the arts of China's major religions...Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers. CHOICE

Table of contents

Introduction Part 1: The Beginnings of Chinese Religious Art Chapter 1: Neolithic Period to Shang Dynasty Chapter 2: Ceremonial Art of the Zhou Dynasty Chapter 3: The Religious Art of the Chu Culture Chapter 4: The First Emperor Qin Shihuangdi Part 2: Confucian Art Chapter 5: The Development of Confucianism in the Han (206 bce -220 ce) Chapter 6: Confucian Art in Medieval China Six Dynasties to Song Dynasty ( 221-1279) Chapter 7: Confucian Art Yuan to Qing Dynasties (1279-1911) Chapter 8: Confucian Temples Part 3: Daoist Art Chapter 9: Daoist Art of the Han Dynasty (206 bce -220 ce) Chapter 10: Daoist Art of the Medieval Period, Tang and Song Dynasties (618-1279) Chapter 11: Daoist Art of the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties (1279-1911) Chapter 12: Daoist Ritual and Temples Part 4: Buddhist Art Chapter 13: Early Buddhist Chinese Art 1-23 (386-618) Chapter 14: Buddhist Art of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) Chapter 15: Later Buddhist Art 1-41 (Song- Qing Dynasties (960-1911) Chapter 16: Buddhist Temples