Chapter

Adepts and Their Communities

Robert Ford Campany

in Making Transcendents

Published by University of Hawaii Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780824833336
Published online November 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780824870218
Adepts and Their Communities

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This chapter describes adepts in relation to their communities. Many practitioners of transcendence arts, for all their alleged secrecy and social disengagement, were visible, talked-about public figures. They attracted large audiences even, or especially, when they tried to remain secluded, just as other noted recluses in early medieval China drew attention by conspicuously vacating normal social relations and official roles. In addition, many self-cultivators, far from (or in alternation with) hiding in mountain caves or chambers of quietude, performed vivid wonders and told marvelous tales to crowds of onlookers. These actions showed that transcendence-seekers’ withdrawal from normal patterns of interaction did not constitute the absence of any relation to a society.

Keywords: adepts; transcendence arts; public figures; medieval China; social relations; transcendence-seekers; communities

Chapter.  17376 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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