Abstract

This essay reconsiders the Qing imperial appropriation of the sacred mountain range of Wutai Shan through a study of three Manchu monasteries, Baodi Si, Baoxiang Si, and Shuxiang Si, built at the court of the Qianlong emperor between 1750 and 1775. Qianlong's consuming interest in the vision cult of Wutai Shan's resident deity Mañjuśrī is displayed in the building of the three monasteries, which were all modelled after famed temples at Wutai Shan. An investigation of the ritual, architectural, and artistic productions surrounding the three monasteries reveals the crafting of a distinct Manchu Imperial Buddhist identity centered on Qianlong himself as the apparition of Mañjuśrī at Wutai Shan.

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