Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim on the Silk Road

Bill Porter

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Sally Hovey Wriggins

Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado, 1996.

292 pp., $32.50 (cloth).


The life of Xuanzang (Huan-tsang) is one of the ancient world’s great tales. In the seventh century, this intrepid Buddhist monk journeyed more than ten thousand miles from China to India and back again over some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain. The journey alone would have been sufficient to assure Xuanzang of membership in the select group of great travelers that would some day include Marco Polo and Columbus. But Xuanzang was much more than a traveler with a distant destination; he was a pilgrim, and it is this aspect of his journey that has elevated his travels to the realm of legend and fable.

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