Baojuan (宝卷 bǎojuǎn), literally precious scrolls, are a genre of prosimetric texts (texts written in an alternation of prose and verse) of a religious or mystical nature, produced within the context of Chinese folk religion and individual Chinese folk religious sects. They are often written in vernacular Chinese and recount the mythology surrounding a deity or a hero, or constitute the theological and philosophical scriptures of organised folk sects.
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The modern study of “precious scrolls” (baojuan 寶卷) can be said to begin with the publication by Zheng Zhenduo 鄭振鐸 of his “Foqu xulu” 佛曲敘錄, which is a catalogue of Buddhist songs. In 1927 in Zhongguo wenxue yanjiu 中國文學研究 [Studies on Chinese Literature].
- Wilt L. Idema, “English –Language Studies of Precious Scrolls: A Bibliographical Survey,” CHINOPERL Papers 31(2012): 163-176.