Modernizing and colonizing forces brought nineteenth-century Sri Lankan Buddhists both challenges and opportunities. How did Buddhists deal with social and economic change; new forms of political, religious, and educational discourse; and Christianity? And how did Sri Lankan Buddhists, collaborating with other Asian Buddhists, respond to colonial rule? To answer these questions, Anne M.
While Tamil-speaking South India is celebrated for its preservation of Hindu tradition, other religious communities have played a significant role in shaping the region's religious history. Among these non-Hindu communities is that of the Buddhists, who are little-understood because of the scarcity of remnants of Tamil-speaking Buddhist culture.
Buddhist Manuscript Cultures explores how religious and cultural practices in premodern Asia were shaped by literary and artistic traditions as well as by Buddhist material culture. This study of Buddhist texts focuses on the significance of their material forms rather than their doctrinal contents, and examines how and why they were made.
Offering perspectives from a distinguished group of international scholars, this book provides a multidisciplinary inquiry into the various forms of Buddhism that thrived during the early centuries of the common era in the Krishna River Valley areas of what is now the modern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The contributors explore not only the factors that led to the rise of Buddhist communities, but also the significance of these early Buddhist communities in the unfolding of the greater history of Buddhism throughout the Asian world.
Over the past half century in America, Buddhism has grown from a transplanted philosophy to a full-fledged religious movement, rich in its own practices, leaders, adherents, and institutions. Long favored as an essential guide to this history, Buddhism in America covers the three major groups that shape the tradition -- an emerging Asian immigrant population, native-born converts, and old-line Asian American Buddhists -- and their distinct, yet spiritually connected efforts to remake Buddhism in a Western context.
This book covers new ground on the diffusion and transmission of geographical knowledge that occurred at critical junctures in the long history of the Silk Road. Much of twentieth-century scholarship on the Silk Road examined the ancient archaeological objects and medieval historical records found within each cultural area, while the consequences of long-distance interaction across Eurasia remained poorly studied. Here ample attention is given to the journeys that notions and objects undertook to transmit spatial values to other civilizations.
This is the first book to examine the British discovery of Buddhism during the Victorian period. It was only during the nineteenth century that Buddhism became, in the western mind, a religious tradition separate from Hinduism. As a result, Buddha emerge from a realm of myth and was addressed as a historical figure. Almond's exploration of British interpretations of Buddhism--of its founder, its doctrines, its ethics, its social practices, its truth and value--illuminates more than the various aspects of Buddhist culture: it sheds light on the Victorian society making these judgements.
For more than one thousand years, the vast Buddhist monastery and temple complex on remote Mount Kōya has been one of Japan's most important religious centers. Saint Kōbō Daishi (also known as Kūkai), founder of the esoteric Shingon school and one of the great figures of world Buddhism, consecrated the mountain for holy purposes in the early 800s. Buried on Kōyasan, Kōbō Daishi is said to be still alive, selflessly advocating for the salvation of all sentient beings.
Of the many eccentric figures in Japanese Zen, the Soto Zen master Tosui Unkei (d. 1683) is surely among the most colorful and extreme. Variously compared to Ryokan and Francis of Assisi, Tosui has been called "the original hippie". After many grueling years of Zen study and the sanction of a distinguished teacher, Tosui abandoned the religious establishment and became a drifter.
A Buddhist Spectrum is a collection of essays by Marco Pallis concerning Buddhism. Pallis offers the reader a series of profound comparisons and insights concerning the diverse spiritual doctrines of Buddhism and Christianity. Prompting a dialogue on both practical and metaphysical matters, A Buddhist Spectrum informatively and thoughtfully delves into such matters as whether there truly is such a problem as Evil; the question of whether Buddhism allows for 'grace'; the concept of dharma; musical polyphony, and more.
Northern Japan is home to an ancient, esoteric tradition of self-mummifying Buddhist monks, little known to the outside world. Long after death, these ascetics continue to be revered as Living Buddhas. This first English-language work on the subject recounts the process by which these monks starve themselves for a decade, bury themselves alive with only a small breathing tube, and meditate until death. After three years, the mummified body is exhumed and displayed.
Japanese Buddhism was introduced to a wide Western audience when a delegation of Buddhist priests attended the World's Parliament of Religions, part of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In describing and analyzing this event, Judith Snodgrass challenges the predominant view of Orientalism as a one-way process by which Asian cultures are understood strictly through Western ideas.
Drawing on the latest research and scholarship, this newly revised and updated edition of Religions of the Silk Road explores the majestically fabled cities and exotic peoples that make up the romantic notions of the colonial era while examining how cultural traditions also travelled to the people encounted on the Silk Road.
The aim of this study is to investigate the meaning of mysticism in Indi an Buddhism. This task is accomplished through a religion-phenomeno logical analysis trying to relate the ideas expressed in Buddhist texts to certain human ways of experiencing one's being-in-the-world. Underlying this approach is a view of religious texts as "tracks" of various kinds of human experiences, mystical and otherwise.
"Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste" is an exploration of the historical roots of Navayana, or New Buddhism, an Eastern Liberation Theology launched seemingly single-handedly by the father of modern India's constitution, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The first of India's untouchables to rise to not only national but international prominence, Ambedkar was a double PhD from Columbia and the London School of Economics.
Taiwan's Buddhist nuns are as unique as they are noteworthy. Boasting the greatest number of Buddhist nuns of any country, Taiwan has a much larger number of nuns than monks. These women are well known and well regarded as dharma teachers and for the social service work that has made them a central part of Taiwan's civil society.
This major new work explores the British encounter with Buddhism in nineteenth century Sri Lanka, examining the way Buddhism was represented and constructed in the eyes of the British scholars, officials, travellers and religious seekers who first encountered it. Tracing the three main historical phases of the encounter from 1796 to 1900, the book provides a sensitive and nuanced exegesis of the cultural and political influences that shaped the early British understanding of Buddhism and that would condition its subsequent transmission to the West.
This book analyses the transplantation, development and adaptation of the two largest Tibetan and Zen Buddhist organizations currently active on the British religious landscape: the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives (OBC). The key contributions of recent scholarship are evaluated and organised thematically to provide a framework for analysis, and the history and current landscape of contemporary Tibetan and Zen Buddhist practice in Britain are also mapped out.