Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Benn, James A., 1964- author

Title Tea in China : a religious and cultural history / James A. Benn
Published Honolulu : University of Hawaiʻi Press, [2015]
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  
JSTOR eBooks    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 288 pages)
Contents Tea as a religious and cultural commodity in traditional China -- The early history of tea: myth and reality -- Buddhism and tea during the Tang Dynasty -- Tea poetry in Tang China -- The patron saint of tea: religious aspects of the life and work of Lu Yu -- Tea: invigorating the body, mind, and society in the Song Dynasty -- Tea comes to Japan: Eisai's Kissa yojoki -- Religion and culture in the tea economy of late imperial China -- Conclusions
Summary "Tea in China explores the contours of religious and cultural transformation in traditional China from the point of view of an everyday commodity and popular beverage. The work traces the development of tea drinking from its mythical origins to the nineteenth century and examines the changes in aesthetics, ritual, science, health, and knowledge that tea brought with it. The shift in drinking habits that occurred in late medieval China cannot be understood without an appreciation of the fact that Buddhist monks were responsible for not only changing people's attitudes toward the intoxicating substance, but also the proliferation of tea drinking. Monks had enjoyed a long association with tea in South China, but it was not until Lu Yu's compilation of the Chajing (The Classic of Tea) and the spread of tea drinking by itinerant Chan monastics that tea culture became popular throughout the empire and beyond. Tea was important for maintaining long periods of meditation; it also provided inspiration for poets and profoundly affected the ways in which ideas were exchanged. Prior to the eighth century, the aristocratic drinking party had excluded monks from participating in elite culture. Over cups of tea, however, monks and literati could meet on equal footing and share in the same aesthetic values. Monks and scholars thus found common ground in the popular stimulant - one with few side effects that was easily obtainable and provided inspiration and energy for composing poetry and meditating ..."--Publisher's description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Tea in literature.
Tea -- Social aspects -- China.
Tea -- China -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0824839641 (alk. paper)
0824853989 (electronic bk.)
9780824839642 (alk. paper)
9780824853983 (electronic bk.)
(alk. paper)