The global eminent life: sixth-century collected biographies from Gregory of Tours to Huijiao of Jiaxiang Temple

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Abstract

Sanctity and the holy have been useful concepts for scholars seeking to compare religious cultures. This paper seeks to extend the project of comparisons by investigating the organisational contexts that produced collected biographies about holy women and men. It focuses on case studies from Latin and Byzantine Christianity and Buddhist China in the sixth century CE to highlight useful similarities in the authors’ conceptions of their work in the face of fluid traditions and contested religious environments. It also sketches some of the ways in which manuscript production and library organisation helped to generate the texts we have. Without consideration of these organisational factors, it is argued, the traditional project of comparing holy figures is on uncertain ground.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-41
JournalMedieval Worlds. Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies
Volume8
Early online date29 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Collected biographies
  • Hagiography
  • Manuscripts
  • Libraries
  • Gregory of Tours
  • Gregory the Great
  • John of Ephesus
  • Cyril of Scythopolis
  • Baochang
  • Huijiao
  • Mahāyāna Buddhism
  • Christianity

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