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.
Dr. George Tanabe (left, wearing medal) accepts the commendation from Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda.
On January 24 at a ceremony at the Honolulu Consulate General of Japan, University of Hawai‘i professor emeritus George J. Tanabe, Jr. was conferred with the Government of Japan’s Imperial Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in honor of his contributions toward the strengthening of academic and cultural exchanges between the United States and Japan. The award recognizes his work in promoting Japanese culture and values through research and studies in Japanese religions.
Dr. Tanabe joined the faculty of the Department of Religion at UH Mānoa in 1977 and served as department chair from 1991 to 2001. Among his titles published by UH Press are Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Guide, which he wrote and researched with his wife Dr. Willa Tanabe, and Practically Religious: Worldly Benefits and the Common Religion of Japan, co-authored with Ian Reader. He is also general editor for the Topics in Contemporary Buddhism series.
For more information on Dr. Tanabe’s accomplishments, read the announcement on the award issued by the Consulate General.
Although architecture continually responds to ascetic compulsions, as in its frequent encounter with the question of excess and less, it is typically considered separate from asceticism. In contrast, The Hermit’s Hut offers original insight and explores the rich and mutual ways in which asceticism and architecture are played out in each other’s practices. Relying primarily on Buddhist materials, author Kazi K. Ashraf provides a complex narrative that stems from the simple structure of the hermit’s hut, showing how the significance of the hut resonates widely and how the question of dwelling is central to ascetic imagination. In exploring the conjunctions of architecture and asceticism, he breaks new ground by presenting ascetic practice as fundamentally an architectural project, namely the fabrication of a “last” hut.
This innovative book weaves together the fields of architecture, anthropology, religion, and philosophy to offer multidisciplinary and historical insights. It will appeal to readers with diverse interests and in a variety of disciplines—whether one is interested in the history of ascetic architecture in India, the concept of “home” in ancient India, or the theme of the body as building.
November 2013 | 240 pages | 105 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3583-5 | $50.00 | Cloth
Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture
Experimental Buddhism highlights the complex and often wrenching interactions between long-established religious traditions and rapid social, cultural, and economic change. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, it is one of the first studies to give readers a sense of what is happening on the front lines as progressive Buddhist priests try to reboot their roles and traditions to gain greater significance in Japanese society. The book profiles innovative as well as controversial responses to the challenges facing Buddhist priests.
The work’s central theme of experimental Buddhism provides a fresh perspective to understand how priests and other individuals employ Buddhist traditions in selective and pragmatic ways, frequently risking criticism from their peers, constituents, and high-ranking religious authorities. Using these inventive approaches during a time of crisis and transition for Japanese temple Buddhism, priests and practitioners from all denominations seek solutions that not only can transform their religious traditions but also influence society and their fellow citizens in positive ways.
November 2013, 11 illustrations
$60.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3833-1, Cloth
$32.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3898-0, Paper
Topics in Contemporary Buddhism
André Bareau (1921–1993) was one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation. Dissatisfied with piecemeal and contradictory information on early Buddhist schools, he set out to construct a coherent and authoritative overview, which has remained the standard treatment in the field since its appearance in 1955. This book offers a close description and analysis of Bareau’s findings on the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism. The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle will be used by students and scholars as a primary resource and starting point for any discussion on the history and doctrines of early Buddhism and Buddhist schools. This seminal work is translated by Sara Boin-Webb, who across a career of four decades translated into English some of the most important French-language works of Buddhist scholarship.
“Bareau’s Les sectes bouddhiques was—and remains—a highly influential contribution to the study of Indian Buddhism in general, and of the doctrinal debates of the various schools or sects of Indian Buddhism in particular. More than half a century after its original publication, Les sectes remains a standard reference work. . . . This book will stimulate research for years to come. . . . A reliable English translation of this work, then, is a welcome and timely contribution. It will be of interest to upper-level undergraduate students in Asian religions, Asian history, and philosophy. It will be required reading for graduate students in Asian religions.” —Shayne Clarke, McMaster University
Published in association with The Buddhist Society Trust
July 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3566-8 / $65.00 (Cloth)
The six lectures that make up this book were delivered in March 2011 at London University’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies as the Jordan Lectures on Comparative Religion. They revolve around the intersection of two ideas, nothingness and desire, as they apply to a re-examination of the questions of self, God, morality, property, and the East-West philosophical divide.
“Many readers already know Jim Heisig through his ground-breaking critical studies and translations of Japanese philosophy. Others admire him for his efforts at interreligious dialogue and his personal activities related to global justice, education for the disenfranchised, and ecological sustainability. In this book, Heisig engages his extraordinary grasp of philosophical resources, eastern and western, Buddhist and Christian, to address the global crises we face today.” —Thomas P. Kasulis, The Ohio State University
Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture
ISBN 978-0-8248-3885-0 / $49.00 (CLOTH)
ISBN 978-0-8248-3886-7 / $25.00 (PAPER)
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