Making Transcendents: Ascetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China, by Robert Ford Campany, received an honorable mention for the Association for Asian Studies’ 2010 Joseph Levenson Prize (pre-1900 category). The Levenson Prize is awarded annually to English-language books that make the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of China.
Praise for Making Transcendents:
“Campany summarizes scholarship on the sociology of secrecy, recent work on how identity is shaped through culture, and he supplies the best discussion I have read on the problems and explanatory potential of hagiography. The epilogue which addresses the fundamental problems of how we can assess the sincerity and motivations of adepts and the extent to which we can determine from stories about transcendents what really happened, is especially clear and eloquent. In short, this is a book as surprising and rich in detail as the stories that inspired it.” —Journal of Chinese Studies
“If one day we arrive at a more profound understanding of the hidden agendas behind so much of Chinese writing, hagiographical as well as historical, Making Transcendents will undoubtedly have played a significant role in that process.” —Journal of Asian Studies
“Invaluable for anyone who wishes to understand the phenomenon of sanctity in general and the Chinese cult of xian in particular.” —Religious Studies Review