Co-Winner of the 1988 Best First Book Prize in the History of Religions, American Council of Learned Societies
"Teiser offers an excellent study of the role of the festival in medieval (third-to-ninth centuries) Chinese religious life. . . . [A] vibrant portrayal of the living faith of a large portion of medieval China. . . . His transcendence of traditional boundaries between Buddhology and sinology has set a new standard for future studies of Chinese religion." --Terry F. Kleeman, The Journal of Asian Studies
"An admirable attempt to focus on the interstices of Chinese and Buddhist conceptions of the afterlife." --Linda L. Lam-Easton, Religious Studies Review
Even a brief experience of the ghost festival leaves an impression of spirited diversity. My own encounter with the annual celebration began in Taiwan on September 5, 1979, when string after string of firecrackers punctuated an already fitful night of sleep. All month long hungry ghosts had been wandering the earth, released from their usual torments in the dark regions of hell to visit their families, who welcomed their own kin but warded off stranger ghosts with noisemakers and smoke.
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