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Bonds of the Dead: Temples, Burial, and the Transformation of Contemporary Japanese Buddhism (Buddhism and Modernity)

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Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

This study traces the modern transformation of Japanese Buddhist concepts across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, specifically the notion of the historical Buddhaand#151;i.e., the prince of ancient Indian descent who abandoned his wealth and power to become an and#147;awakenedand#8221; being. Since Buddhism arrived in Japan in the sixth century, the historical figure of the Buddha has repeatedly disappeared from view and returned, always in different forms and to different ends. Micah Auerback offers the first account of the changing fortunes of the Japanese Buddha, following the course of early modern and modern producers and consumers of both and#147;highand#8221; and and#147;lowand#8221; culture, who found novel uses for the Buddhaand#8217;s story outside the confines of the Buddhist establishment. Auerback challenges the still-prevalent concept that Buddhism had grown ossified and irrelevant during Japanand#8217;s early modernity, and complicates the image of Japanese Buddhism as a and#147;sui generisand#8221; tradition within the Asian Buddhist world. Auerback also links the later Buddhist tradition in Japan to its roots on the Continent, and argues for the relevance of attention to narrative and the historical imagination in the study of Buddhist Asia more broadly conceived. And, Auerback engages the question of secularization by examining the and#147;after lifeand#8221; of the Buddha in the hagiographic literature, demonstrating that the late Japanese Buddha did not, as is widely thought, fade into a ghost of its former self, but rather underwent a complete transformation and reincarnation. The book thus joins the larger discussion of secularization in modernity beyond Buddhism, Japanese religions, and the Asian continent.

About the Author

Mark Michael Rowe is associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226730158
Author:
Rowe, Mark
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Auerback, Micah L.
Author:
Rowe, Mark Michael
Subject:
India
Subject:
Religion-Eastern - General
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Buddhism and Modernity
Publication Date:
20111131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 halftones
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
» History and Social Science » World History » India
» History and Social Science » World History » Japan
» Religion » Comparative Religion » General
» Religion » Eastern Religions » General

Bonds of the Dead: Temples, Burial, and the Transformation of Contemporary Japanese Buddhism (Buddhism and Modernity) New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226730158 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
This study traces the modern transformation of Japanese Buddhist concepts across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, specifically the notion of the historical Buddhaand#151;i.e., the prince of ancient Indian descent who abandoned his wealth and power to become an and#147;awakenedand#8221; being. Since Buddhism arrived in Japan in the sixth century, the historical figure of the Buddha has repeatedly disappeared from view and returned, always in different forms and to different ends. Micah Auerback offers the first account of the changing fortunes of the Japanese Buddha, following the course of early modern and modern producers and consumers of both and#147;highand#8221; and and#147;lowand#8221; culture, who found novel uses for the Buddhaand#8217;s story outside the confines of the Buddhist establishment. Auerback challenges the still-prevalent concept that Buddhism had grown ossified and irrelevant during Japanand#8217;s early modernity, and complicates the image of Japanese Buddhism as a and#147;sui generisand#8221; tradition within the Asian Buddhist world. Auerback also links the later Buddhist tradition in Japan to its roots on the Continent, and argues for the relevance of attention to narrative and the historical imagination in the study of Buddhist Asia more broadly conceived. And, Auerback engages the question of secularization by examining the and#147;after lifeand#8221; of the Buddha in the hagiographic literature, demonstrating that the late Japanese Buddha did not, as is widely thought, fade into a ghost of its former self, but rather underwent a complete transformation and reincarnation. The book thus joins the larger discussion of secularization in modernity beyond Buddhism, Japanese religions, and the Asian continent.
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