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The Myōtei Dialogues

A Japanese Christian Critique of Native Traditions

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James Baskind and Richard Bowring

The Myōtei Dialogues is the first complete English translation one of the most important works of early Japanese Christianity. Fukansai Habian’s Myōtei mondō (1605) presents a sharp critique of the three main Japanese traditions, Buddhism, Shintō, and Confucianism, followed by an explanation of the main tenets of Christianity specifically aimed at a Japanese audience. Written by a convert, it is of importance not merely because it shows us how the Christian message was presented by a Japanese to other Japanese, but also for what it reveals about the state of the three native traditions at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

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Edited by Carmen Meinert

The interdisciplinary volume Transfer of Buddhism across Central Asian Networks (7th to 13th Centuries), edited by Carmen Meinert, offers a new transregional and transcultural vision for religious transfer processes in Central Asian history. It looks at the region as an integrated (religious) whole rather than from the perspective of fragmented sub-disciplines and analyses the spread of Buddhism as a driving force in a societal and cultural change of pan-Asian importance. One particular dimension of this ‘Buddhist globalisation’ was the rise of local forms of Buddhism. This volume explores Buddhist localisations through manuscripts and material culture in the multiethnic oases of the Tarim basin, the Transhimalyan region of Zangskar, Ladakh and Kashmir and the Western Tibetan Kingdom of Purang-Guge.

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David Quinter

In From Outcasts to Emperors, David Quinter illuminates the Shingon Ritsu movement founded by the charismatic monk Eison (1201–90) at Saidaiji in Nara, Japan. The book’s focus on Eison and his disciples’ involvement in the cult of Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva reveals their innovative synthesis of Shingon esotericism, Buddhist discipline (Ritsu; Sk. vinaya), icon and temple construction, and social welfare activities as the cult embraced a spectrum of supporters, from outcasts to warrior and imperial rulers. In so doing, the book redresses typical portrayals of “Kamakura Buddhism” that cast Eison and other Nara Buddhist leaders merely as conservative reformers, rather than creative innovators, amid the dynamic religious and social changes of medieval Japan.

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Edited by Matthias Bley, Nikolas Jaspert and Stefan Köck

While comparative studies on purity and impurity presented in the last decades have mostly concentrated on the ancient world or on modern developments, this volume focusses the hitherto comparatively neglected period between ca. 300 and 1600 c. E. The collection is innovative because it not only combines papers on both European and Asian cultures but also considers a wide variety of religions and confessions. The articles are written by leading experts in the field and are presented in six systematic sections. This analytical categorization facilitates understanding the functional spectrum that the binomial purity and impurity could cover in past societies. The volume thus presents an in-depth comparative analysis of a category of paramount importance for interfaith relations and processes of transfer.

Religious Transformation in Modern Asia

A Transnational Movement

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Edited by David Kim

This volume explores the religious transformation of each nation in modern Asia. When the Asian people, who were not only diverse in culture and history, but also active in performing local traditions and religions, experienced a socio-political change under the wave of Western colonialism, the religious climate was also altered from a transnational perspective. Part One explores the nationals of China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, focusing on the manifestations of Japanese religion, Chinese foreign policy, the British educational system in Hong Kong in relation to Tibetan Buddhism, the Korean women of Catholicism, and the Scottish impact in late nineteenth century Korea. Part Two approaches South Asia through the topics of astrology, the works of a Gujarātī saint, and Himalayan Buddhism. The third part is focused on the conflicts between ‘indigenous religions and colonialism,’ ‘Buddhism and Christianity,’ ‘Islam and imperialism,’ and ‘Hinduism and Christianity’ in Southeast Asia.

Religions and Trade

Religious Formation, Transformation and Cross-Cultural Exchange between East and West

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Edited by Peter Wick and Volker Rabens

In Religions and Trade a number of international scholars investigate the ways in which eastern and western religions were formed and transformed from the perspective of “trade.” Trade changes religions. Religions expand through the help of trade infrastructures, and religions extend and enrich the trade relations with cultural and religious “commodities” which they contribute to the “market place” of human culture and religion. This leads to the inclusion, demarcation and densification as well as the amalgamation of religious traditions.

In an attempt to find new pathways into the world of religious dynamics, this collection of essays focuses on four elements or “commodities” of religious interchange: topologies of religious space, religious symbol systems, religious knowledge, and religious-ethical ways of life.

Buddhism in China

Collected Papers of Erik Zürcher

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Erik Zürcher

Edited by Jonathan A. Silk

Buddhism in China gathers together for the first time the most central and influential papers of the great scholar of Chinese Buddhism, Erik Zürcher, presenting the results of his career-long profound studies following on the 1959 publication of his landmark The Buddhist Conquest of China. The translation and language of Buddhist scriptures in China, Buddhist interactions with Daoist traditions, the activities of Buddhists below elite social levels, continued interactions with Central Asia and lands to the west, and typological comparisons with Christianity are only some of the themes explored here. Presenting some of the most important studies on Buddhism in China, especially in the earlier periods, ever published, it will thus be of interest to a wide variety of readers.

The Skandapurāṇa III

Adhyayas 34.1-61, 53-69: The Vindhyavāsinī Cycle

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Yuko Yokochi

Skandapurāṇa III presents a critical edition of the Vindhyavāsinī Cycle (Adhyāyas 34.1-61, 53-69) from the Skandapurāṇa , with an introduction and annotated English synopsis. The text edited in this volume provides the oldest full account of the myth of the goddess of the Vindhya mountains; it is one of the main sources of the Devīmāhātmya, the most famous scripture of the goddess worship in India, and as such indispensable for the study of the history of goddess worship. The introduction contains an examination into the relationship of the manuscripts and the date of the Skandapurāṇa .
The work is currently only available in print as an exact reprint done in a smaller book size (15.5 x 23.5 cm) than the first printrun.

Sikh Diaspora

Theory, Agency, and Experience

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Edited by Michael Hawley

Sikh Diaspora: Theory, Agency, and Experience is a collection of essays offering new insights into the diverse experiences of Sikhs beyond the Punjab. Moving beyond migration history and global in their scope, the essays in this volume draw from a range of methodological approaches to engage with diaspora theory, agency, space, social relations, and aesthetics. Rich in substantive content, these essays offer critical reflections on the concept of diaspora, and insight into key features of Sikh experience including memory, citizenship, political engagement, architecture, multiculturalism, gender, literature, oral history, kirtan, economics, and marriage.

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Edited by ZHUO Xinping

Chinese Christianity is fascinating and perplexing. Yet, although its existence can be dated back to the Tang Dynasty, when Christianity, in the form of Nestorianism, first arrived in China, it has not been extensively researched by Chinese academics. This volume is devoted to this topic and consists of twelve chapters, written mostly by leading mainland Chinese scholars. These writings shed light on five themes: epistemological reflection on Chinese Christian theology; interactions between Christianity and Chinese culture; the empirical and historical examination of Christian ethics and social development in China; the Chinese understanding of the Bible as literature; and the remarkable contribution that Christianity has made to Chinese higher education and cultural exchange with the external world.