Shaolin Monastery at Mount Song is considered the epicentre of the Chan school of Buddhism. It is also well known for its martial arts tradition and has long been regarded as a special cultural heritage site and an important symbol of the Chinese nation. This book is the first scholarly work in English to comprehensively examine the full history of Shaolin Monastery from 496 to 2016. More importantly, it offers a clear grasp of the origins and development of Chan Buddhism through an examination of Shaolin, and highlights the role of Shaolin and Shaolin kung fu in the construction of a national identity among the Chinese people in the past two centuries.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Early Days of Shaolin 3. The Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties 4. The Transformation of Shaolin in the Ming Dynasty 5. The Development of Shaolin in the Qing Dynasty 6. The Republic of China Era: Warlords, Militarism and Nationalism 7. Surviving Socialist Reforms 8. The Revival of Shaolin in the Era of Reform and Opening Up 9. Conclusion
Lu Zhouxiang is Lecturer in Chinese Studies within the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland.
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"...it is impossible to deny that Shaolin has indeed played an important role throughout Chinese history and has certainly contributed to the construction of a strong national identity. Moreover, the true strength of this volume lies not so much in Lu’s conclusions about the importance of Shaolin, but rather the exposition itself of the most comprehensive history of Shaolin in English to this date."- Joseph Chadwin, University of Vienna