The Women Who Ruled China: Buddhism, Multiculturalism, and Governance in the Sixth Century (Paperback)

The Women Who Ruled China: Buddhism, Multiculturalism, and Governance in the Sixth Century By Stephanie Balkwill Cover Image
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In the late fifth century, a girl whose name has been forgotten by history was born at the edge of the Chinese empire. By the time of her death, she had transformed herself into Empress Dowager Ling, one of the most powerful politicians of her age and one of the first of many Buddhist women to wield incredible influence in dynastic East Asia. In this book, Stephanie Balkwill documents the Empress Dowager’s rise to power and life on the throne against the broader world of imperial China under the rule of the Northern Wei dynasty, a foreign people from Inner Asia who built their capital deep in the Chinese heartland.
Building on largely untapped Buddhist materials, Balkwill shows that the life and rule of the Empress Dowager is a larger story of the reinvention of religious, ethnic, and gender norms in a rapidly changing multicultural society. The Women Who Ruled China recovers the voices of those left out of the mainstream historical record, painting a compelling portrait of medieval Chinese society reinventing itself under the Empress Dowager’s leadership.

About the Author

Stephanie Balkwill is Assistant Professor of Chinese Buddhism in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is also Associate Director of the Center for Buddhist Studies.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780520401815
ISBN-10: 0520401816
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: August 6th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English