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Adab and Modernity

A “civilising process” ? (sixteenth-twenty-first century)

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Edited by Cathérine Mayeur-Jaouen

Adab is a concept situated at the heart of Arabic and Islamic civilization. Adab is etiquette, ethics, and literature. It is also a creative synthesis, a relationship within a configuration. What became of it, towards modernity ? The question of the "civilising process" (Norbert Elias) helps us reflect on this story. During the modern period, maintaining one's identity while entering into what was termed "civilisation" ( al-tamaddun) soon became a leitmotiv. A debate on what was or what should be culture, ethics, and norms in Middle Eastern societies accompanied this evolution. The resilient notion of adab has been in competition with the Salafist focus on mores ( akhlāq). Still, humanism, poetry, and transgression are constants in the history of adab. Contributors: Francesca Bellino, Elisabetta Benigni, Michel Boivin, Olivier Bouquet, Francesco Chiabotti, Stéphane Dudoignon, Anne-Laure Dupont, Stephan Guth, Albrecht Hofheinz, Katharina Ivanyi, Felix Konrad, Corinne Lefevre, Cathérine Mayeur-Jaouen, Astrid Meier, Nabil Mouline, Samuela Pagani, Luca Patrizi, Stefan Reichmuth, Iris Seri-Hersch, Chantal Verdeil, Anne-Sophie Vivier-Muresan.

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Omid Ghaemmaghami

The history of what has come to be known as Twelver Shīʿī Islam is a history of attempts to ‎deal with the ‎abrupt loss of the Imam. In Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-‎Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam, ‎Omid Ghaemmaghami demonstrates that in the early years of the so-called Greater Occultation, Shīʿī ‎authorities maintained that all contact with the Imam had been sundered, forcing him to remain incommunicado ‎until his (re)appearance‎. This position, however, proved ‎untenable to maintain. Almost a ‎century after the start of the Greater Occultation, prominent scholars ‎began to concede the ‎possibility that some Shīʿa can meet the Hidden Imam. Accounts of alleged ‎encounters with the ‎Imam soon began to appear, grow in number and become increasingly embellished.‎

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Edited by Roger R. Jackson and Klaus-Dieter Mathes

Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet presents cutting-edge research by European and North American scholars on the Indian origins and Tibetan interpretations of one of the most popular and influential of all Tibetan meditation traditions, Mahāmudrā, or the great seal. The contributions shed fresh light on important areas of Mahāmudrā studies, exploring the Great Seal’s place in the Mahāyāna Samādhirājasūtra, the Indian tantric Seven Siddhi Texts, Dunhuang Yogatantra texts, Mar pa’s Rngog lineage, and the Dgongs gcig literature of the ’Bri gung, as well as in the works of Yu mo Mi bskyod rdo rje, the Fourth Zhwa dmar pa Chos grags ye shes, the Eighth Karma pa Mi-bskyod rdo rje, and various Dge lugs masters of the 17th–18th centuries.
Contributors are: Jacob Dalton, Martina Draszczyk, Cecile Ducher, David Higgins, Roger R. Jackson, Casey Kemp, Adam Krug, Klaus-Dieter Mathes, Jan-Ulrich Sobisch, and Paul Thomas.

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Edited by Jørn Borup, Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger and Lene Kühle

Edited by Galen Amstutz

Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.

Edited by Galen Amstutz

Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.

Edited by Galen Amstutz

Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.

Masters of Psalmody (bimo)

Scriptural Shamanism in Southwestern China

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Aurélie Névot

In Masters of Psalmody (bimo ) Aurélie Névot analyses the religious, political and theoretical issues of a scriptural shamanism observed in southwestern China among the Yi-Sani. Her focus is on blood sacrifices and chants based on a secret and labile writing handled only by ritualists called bimo.

Through ethnographic data, the author presents the still little known bimo metaphysics and unravels the complexity of the local text-based ritual system in which the continuity of each bimo lineage relies on the transmission of manuscripts whose writing relates to lineage blood. While illuminating the usages of this shamanistic tradition that is characterized by scriptural variability between patrilineages, Aurélie Névot highlights the radical changes it is undergoing by becoming a Chinese state tradition.

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Jake Poller

Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality offers an incisive analysis of the full range of Huxley’s spiritual interests, spanning both mysticism (neo-Vedanta, Taoism, Mahayana and Zen Buddhism) and Western esotericism (mesmerism, spiritualism, the paranormal). Jake Poller examines how Huxley’s shifting spiritual convictions influenced his fiction, such as his depiction of the body and sex, and reveals how Huxley’s use of psychedelic substances affected his spiritual convictions, resulting in a Tantric turn in his work. Poller demonstrates how Huxley’s vision of a new alternative spirituality in Island, in which the Palanese select their beliefs from different religious traditions, anticipates the New Age spiritual supermarket and traces the profound influence of Huxley’s ideas on the spiritual seekers of the twentieth century and beyond.

Fusion of East and West

Children, Education and a New China, 1902-1915

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Limin Bai

In Fusion of East and West, Limin Bai presents a major work in the English language that focuses on Chinese textbooks and the education of children for a new China in a critical transitional period, 1902–1915. This study examines the life and work of Wang Hengtong (1868–1928), a Chinese Christian educator, and other Christian and secular writings through a historical and comparative lens and against the backdrop of the socio-political, ideological, and intellectual frameworks of the time. By doing so, it offers a fresh perspective on the significant connection between Christian education, Chinese Christian educators and the birth of a modern educational system. It unravels a cross-cultural process whereby missionary education and the Chinese education system were mutually re-shaped.