What is Geyi, After All?

Submitted by James Miller on Wed, 05/14/2014 - 16:53
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TitleWhat is Geyi, After All?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMair, V. H.
JournalChina Report
Pagination29 - 59
Date Published2012
PublisherSage Publications, New Delhi India
ISBN Number0009-4455, 0009-4455
Keywords*Buddhism, *Buddhists, *India, *Middle Ages, *Peoples Republic of China, 0911: political sociology/interactions; interactions between societies, nations, & states, article, Buddhism Taoism/Daoism geyi/ko-yi translation technical terms numbered lists

The term geyi is often rendered as 'matching concepts' and held to be a key means for the transmission of Buddhism from India to China. It is said to be a translation technique whereby Buddhists borrowed Taoist terms to express Indian ideas in Chinese. This study thoroughly debunks that notion, demonstrating that geyi was actually a very short-lived attempt to deal with numbered lists that came to China from India in great profusion during the early medieval period, and that the current misunderstanding of the true nature of geyi is purely a matter of modern scholarship. [Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd., copyright holder.]