Rethinking, Protecting and Transmitting the Tangible and Intangible Buddhist Spirit of Leshan Giant Buddha

Luo, Jiaming and Zeng, Chunjing (2008) Rethinking, Protecting and Transmitting the Tangible and Intangible Buddhist Spirit of Leshan Giant Buddha. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

This paper will rethink the meaning of the ‘spirit of the Giant Buddha’ through two aspects. One is to explain the processes of objectification of that spirit; and, revivifying the genius of the creator through analyzing the historical background, Buddhist culture and the natural environment when it was built. The second is to analyze how people or users maintain and enrich the spirit of the Giant Buddha through their understanding and transformation. It will argue that the spirit of Giant Buddha is composed by numerous tangible and intangible “significant forms”, they gathered and accumulated in specific ways to form the spirit of the Giant Buddha, and give the meaning, value and significance “to place”. The paper will point out current protection and management problems, and explore a holistic and appropriate conservation method. Finally, it will discuss on transmitting this spirit in a modern commercial society.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Luo, Jiaming
Zeng, Chunjing
Languages: English
Keywords: buddha; buddhism; conservation; intangible heritage; spirit of place; World Heritage List
Subjects: M.WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 03. World Heritage List
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 09. Historic buildings
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Leshan Giant Buddha, China
UNESCO WHC Number: 779
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2010 08:54
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:12
References: Clive Bell. Zhou Jinghuan, Ma Zhong Yun translation.1984. Art. Beijing: China Artistic Unite Press.

Gan Shude. 1993. The summary of history and Culture of Leshan Giant Buddha. Chengdu: Chengdu Science and Technology University press.

Ge Zhaoguang. 2000. History of Chinese Thought. Shanghai: Fudan University press

Luo Mengding. 2002. The world’s concern—Leshan Giant Buddha. Chengdu: Bashu press.

Pan Zhichang. 2006. “The Substitution of Aesthetic Education for Religion”: A Hundred Years of Wrong Path in Chinese Aesthetics. Academic Monthly 2006(01): 118-124.

Wang Jie. 2007. A new explanation for the enigma of Leshan Giant Buddha. Beijing: Center for Chinese Studies press.

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