- Illuminations (2)
- Arabic calligraphy (1)
- Benedict, Saint, Abbot of Monte Cassino (1)
- Benedictines (1)
- Buddhism (1)
- Inscriptions, Chinese (1)
- Islamic calligraphy (1)
- Koran (1)
- Mahāyāna Sūtras (1)
- Monastic and religious life (1)
- Prayers (1)
- Spiritual life (1)
- Tang dynasty, 618-907 (1)
Buddhist Sutra “Jū-issai-fukutoku-zanmai-kyō”
The hand copying of Buddhist sutras was believed to confer great merit and spiritual benefit, so that from the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century, numerous manuscripts were reproduced throughout the country. Shown here is a volume from the hand-copied Issai-kyō (a Buddhist corpus) commissioned by the Empress Kōmyō (701−60), wife of the Emperor Shōmu, to pray for the repose of her parents, Fujiwara no Fuhito and Tachibana no Michiyo. The work commissioned by the empress amounts to about 7,000 volumes, which include almost all ...
Rule of Saint Benedict
Ora et labora (pray and work) is the well-known phrase that reflects the basic idea underlying the rule of monastic life, which was originally formulated by Saint Benedict of Nursia (around 480−547) and initially intended as an internal rule for the monks of Benedict’s own monastery of Montecassino in Italy. The Rule of Saint Benedict spread widely beginning in the seventh century, but in France it became the sole authoritative rule of the order only in the late eighth and early ninth centuries. Adoption of the rule was ...
This eighth century calligraphic fragment from the collections of the Library of Congress is most likely the oldest Islamic text in North America, one that could have been touched by the youngest companions of the Prophet Muhammad. The fragment includes verses 53-54 of the 34th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat Saba' (Sheba), as well as the first ten verses of the 35th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat al-Fatir (The originator). Surat al-Fatir is an early Meccan surah that deals with the mystery of creation and angels ...
One Million Small Wooden Pagodas and Dharani Prayers
Hyakumanto Darani (The one million pagodas and Dharani prayers) is the oldest traceable publication in the world whose production date is clearly identified. In 764, the Empress Shōtoku (718-770) ordered the donation of Hyakumanto Darani, each containing a small scroll printed with four Buddhist Dharani sutras, to ten major temples. The National Diet Library holds several of the scrolls that were donated to the Hōryūji Temple in Nara prefecture in western Japan. These three-tiered pagodas were painted with white clay. It is unclear whether the printing blocks were of wood ...
Stele of the Spread of the Assyrian Teachings of the Great Qin to the Central States
This stele was erected in the second year of the Jianzhong era of the Tang period (781 A.D.), by the Persian missionary Yazdhozid, in the Great Qin Temple. The text was composed by the Persian missionary Jingjing; the calligraphy is by Lü Xiuyan. The text of the stele describes the propagation of the “Luminous Teachings" (of the Assyrian Church of the East, sometimes erroneously referred to as Nestorians) in the Tang dynasty, including the translation into Chinese of the Assyrian religious text Sutra of the Teachings of the World-Honored ...