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4. Spirituality and Wellbeing in Traditional China: Food, Self-Sacrifice, and Spiritual Practice in a Chinese Buddhist Legend

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1. Title Title of document 4. Spirituality and Wellbeing in Traditional China: Food, Self-Sacrifice, and Spiritual Practice in a Chinese Buddhist Legend - Spirituality and Wellbeing
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Thomas Jansen; University of Wales Trinity St David; United Kingdom
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) spiritual experience; wellbeing; health; spirituality and health; religion and food; Legend of Miaoshan; Teilhard de Chardin; Carl Rogers
5. Subject Subject classification Spirituality; Health
6. Description Abstract This chapter examines the interrelationship between bodily nourishment, spirituality and wellbeing in traditional China, using the well-known Legend of Princess Miaoshan as an example. The Miaoshan story engages several interrelated themes that lie at the heart of Chinese ideas of wellbeing and spirituality: filial piety, spiritual cultivation, body, gender, and sexuality. Miaoshan symbolizes cultural characteristics—motherhood, spiritual aspirations, physicality, social engagement—that go beyond conventional gender-related dichotomies in favour of general human concerns. The chapter discusses different interpretations and uses of the legend and its religious imagery by men and women, utilizing Caroline Bynum’s work on religious imagery in spiritual writings of the later middle ages in Europe. The legend’s vision of spiritual transformation, it is argued, shows a remarkable similarity to modern ideals of evolving personhood, for example in the person-centred approach of psychotherapist Carl Rogers or the dialectical relationship between personalisation and socialisation in the thought of Teilhard de Chardin. The chapter concludes by suggesting that wellbeing could be construed not as a state of being (‘well-being’) but rather as a fluid process of becoming in which the different actors constantly negotiate the meaning of wellbeing from personal, inter-personal or societal perspectives.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 15-Mar-2020
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.35869
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Spirituality and Wellbeing
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd