Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim on the Silk Road

Sallly Hovey Wriggins, Author, Sally Hovey Wriggins, Author, Frederick W. Mote, Introduction by
Sallly Hovey Wriggins, Author, Sally Hovey Wriggins, Author, Frederick W. Mote, Introduction by Westview Press $49 (292p) ISBN 978-0-8133-2801-0
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A remarkable and unprecedented pilgrimage to India in A.D. 639-645 by the Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang is one of the great milestones in the history of China's long love affair with Buddhism. Xuanzang returned from that trip laden with Buddhist scriptures, artifacts and a treasure trove of spiritual learning for his homeland, thus transforming Buddhism's position in China and energizing its reception by the ruling classes. Wriggins has, in this small book, provided a practical introduction to Xuanzang and a useful text accompanied by maps and photographs. Despite the fact that Wriggins's prose is often dull (the stuff of guidebooks rather than of holy travel), Xuanzang's travels prove interesting enough to make even these flaws seem minor; and Wriggins's book will provide a significant introduction to an extraordinary traveler's extraordinary contribution to Buddhist history. (May)
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