Buddhist networks amid political transition

fisherFromComrades
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From Comrades to Bodhisattvas: Moral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China
written by Gareth Fisher

2014 | 301 pages | 13 illustrations
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3966-6 | $50.00
Topics in Contemporary Buddhism

 

“From Comrades to Bodhisattvas reveals for the first time an important and rapidly developing aspect of Chinese religiosity—the rise of lay Buddhism, which takes place in the cracks of China’s strict system of religious control. Nothing in the current literature on Buddhism or on religion in China is comparable to Fisher’s important contribution. His fascinating findings include, for example, showing how a ‘karmic’ morality offers an alternative for people unhappy with the more utilitarian morality of connection-building that characterizes much of life in Beijing. Other sections show counter-intuitively how a nostalgia for some of the ideals of the Maoist period—a sense of community, a commitment to a kind of egalitarian fairness for all, a broadly shared sense of thrift and poverty—can combine with Buddhist ideals to create a critique of the current system.” —Robert P. Weller, Boston University

 

Enlightened phrasing in Zen Buddhist learning

heineZenKoans
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Zen Koans
written by Steven Heine

2014 | 206 pages
Paper | ISBN 978-0-8248-3974-1 | $17.00
Cloth (Print on Demand) | ISBN 978-0-8248-3973-4 | $48.00
Dimensions of Asian Spirituality

 

In this compact volume, Steven Heine, who has written extensively on Zen Buddhism and koans, introduces and analyzes the classic background of texts and rites and explores the contemporary significance of koans to illuminate the full implications of this ongoing tradition. He delves deeply into the inner structure of koan literature to uncover and interpret profound levels of metaphorical significance. At the same time, he takes the reader beyond the veil of vagueness and inscrutability to an understanding of how koan writings have been used in pre-modern East Asia and are coming to be evoked and implemented in modern American practice of Zen.

 

Transitions in faith, times of turmoil in turn of the century Korea

youngEasternLearning
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Eastern Learning and the Heavenly Way: The Tonghak and Chondogyo Movements and the Twilight of Korean Independence
written by Carl F. Young

2014 | 297 pages
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3888-1 | $49.00
Hawaii Studies on Korea

It was in this context of social change and an increasingly perilous international situation that Tonghak rebuilt itself, emerging as Ch’ŏndogyo (Teaching of the Heavenly Way) in 1906. During the years before Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, Ch’ŏndogyo continued to evolve by engaging with new currents in social and political thought, strengthening its institutions, and using new communication technologies to spread its religious and political message. In spite of Korea’s loss of independence, Ch’ŏndogyo would endure and play a major role in Korean nationalist movements in the Japanese colonial period, most notably the March First independence demonstrations in 1919. It was only able to thrive thanks to the processes that had taken place in the twilight years of Korean independence.

 

 

Contemporary thoughts on Monastic Buddhism

schopenBuddhistNuns
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Buddhist Nuns, Monks, and Other Worldly Matters: Recent Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India
written by Gregory Schopen

2014 | 480 pages
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3880-5 | $70.00
Paper | ISBN 978-0-8248-3882-2 | $36.00
Studies in the Buddhist Traditions

“Gregory Schopen is undeniably one of the most important contributors to the evolving understanding of Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism. His challenging and rigorous scholarship is accomplished not only by means of canonical textual analysis, but by studies of art, inscriptions, and other material culture as well.” —Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses

Discretion’s consequence in Shin Buddhism

chilsonSecrecysPower
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Secrecy’s Power: Covert Shin Buddhists in Japan and Contraditions of Concealment
written by Clark Chilson

2014 | 235 pages
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3839-3 | $42.00
Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture


Drawing on historical and ethnographic sources, as well as fieldwork among covert Shin Buddhists in central Japan, Secrecy’s Power introduces the histories, doctrines, and practices of different covert Shin Buddhists. It shows how, despite assumptions to the contrary, secrecy has been a significant part of Shin’s history since the thirteenth century, when Shinran disowned his eldest son for claiming secret knowledge. The work also demonstrates how secrecy in Shin has long been both a source of conflict and a response to it.