Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Old Society, New BeliefReligious transformation of China and Rome, ca. 1st-6th Centuries$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mu-chou Poo, H. A. Drake, and Lisa Raphals

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278359.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 April 2019

Understanding Retribution in a Changing Religious Landscape

Understanding Retribution in a Changing Religious Landscape

The Case of Yan Zhitui 顏之推‎ (531–591 CE)

(p.231) 14 Understanding Retribution in a Changing Religious Landscape
Old Society, New Belief

Natasha Heller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers ideas of sin, retribution, and injustice from the introduction of Buddhism to China to 600 CE. The concepts of karma and transmigration are usually considered among the most significant contributions Buddhism made to religious belief in China, but these ideas were understood within an existing framework of how transgressions were handled in both the human and superhuman realms. This chapter examines the interaction of these new and old discourses by focusing on the sixth-century collection known as Annals of Avenging Spirits (Yuanhun zhi 冤魂志‎), compiled by the eminent literatus Yan Zhitui 顏之推‎ (531–591 CE). This chapter considers how this concept of injustice is in dialogue with both pre-Buddhist and Buddhist texts on sin, revenge, and retribution. It discusses how instances of injustice fit into narrative and the degree to which injustice as a plot device also functions to model moral thinking about misdeeds and retribution.

Keywords:   retribution, sin, religious justice, social morality, karma, transmigration

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .