CHARISMA AND COMMUNITY FORMATION IN MEDIEVAL JAPAN, by S.A. Thornton. Ithaca: Cornell University East Asia Series, 1999, 290 pp., unpriced.

The “charisma” of the title of this carefully researched and impressively thorough work of scholarship refers, in the first instance, to the medieval Buddhist ascetic and itinerant preacher Ippen, while the “community” refers to the order that grew up around him and was maintained and expanded after his death.

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