First published in French in 1956, this classic work integrates the study of Buddhist doctrine with that of Chinese society from the fifth to the tenth centuries.
Jacques Gernet is the author of China and the Christian Impact: A Conflict of Cultures and Daily Life in China: On the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276. He is the coauthor of A History of Chinese Civilization.Franciscus Verellen is a member of the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Oreint.
This work will remain one of this century's classic histories of China. Gernet's account of Buddhism is sobering. Journal of Asian Studies This is perhaps the greatest contribution of Gernet's work: he demonstrates through the skilled use of a dazzling variety of literary evidence the complexity of the interchange between Buddhism and Chinese society. China Review International This is an analysis of Buddhist practice within its socio-economic context and still one of the best examples of Chinese social history in any discipline in forty years. For new generations of researchers, the forty years' wait [for the English translation] has been worth it. China Review The value of this book is its translations of primary sources and its salutary reminder of the importance of economic motivations and activities in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Pacific Affairs