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The Shaolin Monastery charts, for the first time in any language, the history of the Shaolin Temple and the evolution of its world-renowned martial arts. In this meticulously researched and eminently readable study, Meir Shahar considers the economic, political, and religious factors that led Shaolin monks to disregard the Buddhist prohibition against violence and instead create fighting techniques that by the twenty-first century have spread throughout the world. He reveals the intimate connection between monastic violence and the veneration of the violent divinities of Buddhism and analyzes the Shaolin association of martial discipline and the search for spiritual enlightenment.
Meir Shahar is associate professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, Tel Aviv University.
Table of Contents
|Maps and Figures||p. ix|
|Origins of a Military Tradition (500-900)|
|The Monastery||p. 9|
|Serving the Emperor||p. 20|
|Systemizing Martial Practice (900-1600)|
|Defending the Nation||p. 55|
|Staff Legends||p. 82|
|Fist Fighting and Self-Cultivation (1600-1900)|
|Hand Combat||p. 113|
|Suspect Rebels||p. 182|
|Conclusion: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts||p. 197|
|Some Editions of the Sinews Transformation Classic||p. 203|
|Works Cited||p. 247|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|