Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Asian Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Paul Kroll

Second Advisor

Antje Richter

Third Advisor

Matthias Richter


Despite containing some of the most fascinating tales within the anomaly account genre, scholarship on the Xuanshi zhi remains very limited. Attributed to the Tang dynasty official Zhang Du, the work has survived in several editions for a total of 205 stories that address a wide variety of issues. However, only a handful of the longest and most influential tales have been subjected to critical examination and virtually no studies of the entire collection exist. The goal of this thesis is to address the background and textual transmission of the work while also analyzing the major theme of religion within the collection. I provide extensive background information on the collection and author, include an index and classification system, and translate and analyze 63 religious tales. Given the limited extant scholarship, it is my goal to provide an overall characterization of the work based on its background and themes.