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Space and Function

Buddhist State Monasteries in Early Medieval China and their Impact on East Asia

Liqun He
Publication Year:
172 pages. Illustrated throughout in black & white, and colour
BAR number:


Space and Function is a study of Buddhist State Monasteries in medieval East Asia. The research is based on archaeological evidence and focuses on how the monastery’s layout developed with the evolution of Buddhist philosophy and practice.Building on earlier literature regarding the development of Buddhist monastery layouts, Dr He relies on his two decades of excavation experience of relevant monasteries in central China. His assessment of the development of state monasteries between the fifth and seventh century AD is examined in depth.Scholars interested in Buddhism, Chinese architecture, and the history of medieval China and East Asia will find this work informative and valuable.

Liqun He has a PhD from Heidelberg University and is an associate researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is also a chief researcher of the Innovation Project and the Secretary General of the Professional Committee of Religious Archaeology of the Chinese Archaeological Society.

‘Dr He is one of the most prominent archaeologists in China in the field of Buddhist archaeology, excavating two state monasteries in the city of Ye in the period relevant to this research. His knowledge of the data, including the historical background and the development of Buddhism in China, is outstanding.’ Professor Vignato Giuseppe, Peking University

‘One of the greatest strengths of this study is the enormous amount of textual and material evidence the author has drawn together on the topic of early Buddhist monasteries. The author clearly knows many of these sites well, in some cases even having been involved in their excavations.’ Dr Aurelia Campbell, Boston College

Introduction (S3110_He_9781407358147_-_intro.pdf, 1,159 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (S3110_He_9781407358147_-_toc.pdf, 207 Kb) [Download]