By James A. Benn
The shift in consuming behavior that happened in overdue medieval China can't be understood with no an appreciation of the truth that Buddhist priests have been chargeable for not just altering people's attitudes towards the intoxicating substance, but additionally the proliferation of tea ingesting. priests had loved a protracted organization with tea in South China, however it was once no longer till Lu Yu's compilation of the Chajing (The vintage of Tea) and the unfold of tea consuming through itinerant Chan monastics that tea tradition turned well known in the course of the empire and past.
Tea was once vital for protecting lengthy classes of meditation; it additionally supplied idea for poets and profoundly affected the ways that rules have been exchanged. ahead of the 8th century, the aristocratic consuming get together had excluded clergymen from partaking in elite tradition. Over cups of tea, even if, clergymen and literati may possibly meet on equivalent footing and proportion within the comparable aesthetic values. clergymen and students hence came upon universal flooring within the well known stimulant—one with few negative effects that was once simply accessible and supplied notion and effort for composing poetry and meditating. furthermore, rituals linked to tea ingesting have been constructed in Chan monasteries, assisting within the transformation of China's sacred panorama on the well known and elite point. Pilgrimages to monasteries that grew their very own tea have been crucial within the unfold of tea tradition, and a few monasteries owned substantial tea plantations. by way of the top of the 9th century, tea was once an essential part within the chinese language economic system and in daily life.
Tea in China transcends the bounds of spiritual stories and cultural historical past because it attracts on a huge diversity of materials—poetry, histories, liturgical texts, monastic regulations—many translated or analyzed for the 1st time. The publication can be of curiosity to students of East Asia and all these all in favour of the spiritual dimensions of commodity tradition within the premodern world.
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Additional resources for Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History
Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History by James A. Benn