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Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism (Buddhism and Modernity)

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Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism (Buddhism and Modernity) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Over the past century, Buddhism has come to be seen as a world religion, exceeding Christianity in longevity and, according to many, philosophical wisdom. Buddhism has also increasingly been described as strongly ethical, devoted to nonviolence, and dedicated to bringing an end to human suffering. And because it places such a strong emphasis on rational analysis, Buddhism is considered more compatible with science than the other great religions. As such, Buddhism has been embraced in the West, both as an alternative religion and as an alternative to religion.

This volume provides a unique introduction to Buddhism by examining categories essential for a nuanced understanding of its traditions. Each of the fifteen essays here shows students how a fundamental term—from art to word—illuminates the practice of Buddhism, both in traditional Buddhist societies and in the realms of modernity. Apart from Buddha, the list of terms in this collection deliberately includes none that are intrinsic to the religion. Instead, the contributors explore terms that are important for many fields and that invite interdisciplinary reflection. Through incisive discussions of topics ranging from practice, power, and pedagogy to ritual, history, sex, and death, the authors offer new directions for the understanding of Buddhism, taking constructive and sometimes polemical positions in an effort both to demonstrate the shortcomings of assumptions about the religion and the potential power of revisionary approaches.

Following the tradition of Critical Terms for Religious Studies, this volume is not only an invaluable resource for the classroom but one that belongs on the short list of essential books for anyone seriously interested in Buddhism and Asian religions.

Synopsis:

We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today?
 
Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry.
 
Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.

Synopsis:

This volume provides a unique introduction to Buddhism by examining categories essential for a nuanced understanding of its traditions.

About the Author

Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Carl W. Belser Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Curators of the Buddha: The Study of Buddhism under Colonialism and Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. He is also editor of the series Buddhism and Modernity.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Impressions of the Buddha

Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Buddha

Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Art

Charles Lachman

Death

Jacqueline I. Stone

Economy

Gustavo Benavides

Gift

Reiko Ohnuma

History

Timothy Barrett

Institution

Timothy Brook

Pedagogy

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Person

William Pietz

Power

Craig J. Reynolds

Practice

Carl Bielefeldt

Ritual

Robert H. Sharf

Sex

Janet Gyatso

Word

Ryuichi Abé

Modernity

Marilyn Ivy

Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226493152
Editor:
Lopez Jr, Donald S.
Editor:
Lopez Jr, Donald S.
Editor:
Lopez Jr, Donald S.
Editor:
Lopez, Donald S.
Author:
Lopez, Donald S.
Author:
Lopez Jr, Donald S.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Buddhism
Subject:
Buddhism - General
Subject:
Buddhism -- Philosophy.
Subject:
Buddhism -- Study and teaching.
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Buddhism
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Buddhism and Modernity
Publication Date:
20050531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Pages:
344
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.75 in

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Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
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Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » General

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Product details 344 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226493152 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today?
 
Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry.
 
Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.

"Synopsis" by , This volume provides a unique introduction to Buddhism by examining categories essential for a nuanced understanding of its traditions.
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