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  • The Shaolin Monastery

  • History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts
  • By: Meir Shahar
  • Narrated by: Kevin Young
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Categories: History, Asia
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Shaolin Monastery charts for the first time in any language the history of the Shaolin Temple and the evolution of its world-renowned martial arts. In this meticulously researched and eminently readable study Meir Shahar considers the economic political and religious factors that led Shaolin monks to disregard the Buddhist prohibition against violence and instead create fighting techniques that by the 21st century have spread throughout the world. Meir Shahar is associate professor in the Dept of East Asian Studies Tel Aviv University.

©2008 University of Hawai?i Press (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"[Shahar] brilliantly demonstrates the complex ebb and flow of the Shaolin monastery's political and economic fortune in relation to its monks' voluntary and compulsory battles. . . . This highly readable book is a welcomed edition for scholars and students of Chinese Buddhism, religion, history, and martial arts." ( Journal of Religion)
"This expert and readable distillation of several aspects of Chinese martial arts history sums up, definitively in English for the present, the verifiable facts and intriguing legends about the Shaolin Temple in North China. . . . . The book's scholarship is impeccable. . . . Both the graduate student and the kung fu aficionado can learn from this work" ( The Historian)
"A real gift to martial arts enthusiasts and historians alike . . . This refreshingly original study is indispensable for understanding both the history and the hype." ( Choice)

What listeners say about The Shaolin Monastery

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enlightening

Fascinating historical journey, helping to demistify the evolution of the famous Shaolin Monastic culture.

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  • Stephen Romney
  • 22-07-2019

A fascinating exploration of history and myth

This book separates history from mythology in regards to Chinese martial arts. A must read!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jamil anthony
  • 30-03-2019

A in-indepth history

I loved the book and the amount of scholarship that went into it. This is worth buying!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-09-2018

Excellent.

Quite an enjoyable book. I wish there were more like it. There's a treasure trove of information in this volume.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-04-2021

Cool

Good overview of Chinese martial arts related to the (northern) Shaolin temple, both empty hand and weapons (usually a staff). Ranges from early times to modern. More focused on general arts; don't expect specific styles (like praying mantis or eagle claw or whatever) to be covered in depth or at all. Author draws on historical documents, epigraphy (stuff carved on stelae, temple thresholds, etc.) and literature (e. g. The water margin). Narrator doesn't speak Chinese but he pronounces it well enough to be understood. Besides, most of the terms are translated by the author so it doesn't make much of a difference.

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  • Joe
  • 26-08-2020

Headline is here

Don't force people to write reviews if they only want to leave a star rating.

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  • Jonathan
  • 18-07-2017

Dry and uninspired

It is performed like your least favorite teacher teeing an awful textbook. Retrieve this information elsewhere.

3 people found this helpful

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