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Brill's Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Volume 1

History, Literature, Society, Beyond Punjab

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Edited by Knut A. Jacobsen, Gurinder Mann, Kristina Myrvold and Eleanor Nesbitt

Sikhism is one of the most important religious traditions of South Asian origin. Sikhs are historically connected to the Punjab region in South Asia, but their religious traditions are transnational and have a worldwide presence. The study of their history and traditions has become a significant field of scholarship and research, but no academic, authoritative, and up-to-date reference work exists. Brill’s Encyclopedia of Sikhism aims to make available in-depth critical scholarship on all the main aspects of the Sikh traditions in a number of original essays written by the world's foremost scholars on Sikhs and Sikh traditions.
The encyclopedia is thematic and seeks to present a balanced and impartial view of the Sikh traditions in all their multiplicity and as both historical and contemporary institutions. The articles, published in two volumes, focus on history, literature, and the rich social landscape of the Sikh community; their practices, places, arts, and performances; specialists and leadership; migration both within South Asia and beyond; and contemporary issues and relations.



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Edited by Michael Dillon, Yijiu JIN and Wai Yip Ho

This important collection of articles by leading Chinese scholars of Islamic studies reflects current thinking about the past and present condition of Islam in China. It has a strong focus on China’s north-west, the most important region for the study of Islam in China. Most contributions relate to the Hui (Chinese-speaking) Muslims of Gansu and Qinghai provinces and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region but there are also chapters on the Uyghurs of Xinjiang. An important feature of this book is the attention paid to the Sufi orders: the role of these networks, which embody an inner-directed and mystical aspect of Islam, is crucial to the understanding of Muslim communities in both historical and contemporary China.

The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters

Situating Scriptural Practices

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Edited by Richard Fox and Annette Hornbacher

The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters examines traditional uses of writing on the Indonesian island of Bali, focusing on the power attributed to Balinese script.The approach is interdisciplinary and comparative, bringing together insights from anthropological and philological perspectives. Scholars have long recognized a gap between the practices of philological interpretation and those of the Javano-Balinese textual tradition. The question is what impact this gap should have on our conception of ‘the text’. Of what relevance, for example, are the uses to which Balinese script has been put in the context of ceremonial rites? What ideas of materiality, power and agency are at work in the production and preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts, inscribed amulets and other script-bearing instruments?
Contributors include: Andrea Acri, Helen Creese, Richard Fox, H.I.R. Hinzler, Annette Hornbacher, Thomas M. Hunter and Margaret Wiener.

The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel

Aspects of the Relationship between the Buddhist Saṃgha and the State in Chinese History

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Edited by Thomas Jülch

The matter of saṃgha-state relations is of central importance to both the political and the religious history of China. The volume The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel brings together, for the first time, articles relating to this field covering a time span from the early Tang until the Qing dynasty. In order to portray also the remarkable thematic diversity of the field, each of the articles not only refers to a different time but also discusses a different aspect of the subject.
Contributors include: Chris Atwood, Chen Jinhua, Max Deeg, Barend ter Haar, Thomas Jülch, Albert Welter and Zhang Dewei.

Lightning from the East

Heterodoxy and Christianity in Contemporary China

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Emily Dunn

The Church of Almighty God, also known as Eastern Lightning, teaches that Jesus Christ has returned to earth as a Chinese woman to judge humankind. The Chinese government has banned it and similar groups, and targeted them in its campaign against “cults” such as Falun Gong.

Based on the Church’s own texts and exogenous reports, Emily Dunn offers the first comprehensive account of what the Church of Almighty God teaches, how Chinese Christians and the government have responded to new religious movements related to Protestantism, and how it all fits with global Christianity and the history of Chinese religion.

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Timothy M. Davis

In Entombed Epigraphy and Commemorative Culture Timothy M. Davis presents a history of early muzhiming—the most versatile and persistent commemorative form employed in the elite burials of pre-modern China. While previous scholars have largely overlooked the contemporary religious, social, and cultural functions of these epigraphic objects, this study directly addresses these areas of concern, answering such basic questions as: Why were muzhiming buried in tombs? What distinguishes commemorative biography from dynastic history biography? And why did muzhiming develop into an essential commemorative genre esteemed by the upper classes? Furthermore, this study reveals how aspiring families used muzhiming to satisfy their obligations to deceased ancestors, establish a multi-generational sense of corporate identity, and strengthen their claims to elite status.

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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Akiko Walley

Featuring the renowned seventh-century gilt-bronze Śākyamuni (Shaka) triad at the Hōryūji, Constructing the Dharma King reveals how the impression of a Buddhist image evolved in Yamato, Japan, from the indistinct sense of divine otherness at the early stage of the transmission to more concrete ideals and values concerning families, authority, and kingship.

According to the accompanying inscription, the Kashiwade, a low-ranking bureaucratic clan, commissioned the triad to commemorate the deaths of its family members. Considering the triad as an endpoint of a dynamic political re-envisioning spearheaded by Soga no Umako (d. 626) and the members of the Yamato sovereignty, Akiko Walley argues that the Kashiwade constructed the Shaka triad not simply as a private act of devotion, but a pivotal political act that demonstrated their allegiance and loyalty. This publication contends that the appearance of the Shaka triad was chosen to echo the new vision of a “Dharma King” that was manifested in Prince Umayato as the political persona orchestrated by Umako, and in the preceding Shaka triad statue at Asukadera produced by Umako and his closest allies. In the course of discussion, this book also reexamines the key points of debate surrounding this statue, including the reliability of the accompanying inscription, identity of its makers, and the statue’s ties to the sculptural trends on the Asian continent.

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Edited by Lou Yulie

This volume contains the English translation of articles selected from Religious Studies in Contemporary China Collection: Buddhism (Dangdai Zhongguo zongjiao yanjiu jingxuan: Fojiao juan) edited by Lou Yulie. All the articles in this volume were originally published in Chinese during the last two decades and thus represent trends of recent scholarship on Buddhist studies in China. Although these articles represent a small portion of the scholarly output, we will notice some common interests shared by the Chinese scholars of Buddhist studies and their counterparts in the west. Buddhist scholars on both sides of the Pacific are paying attention to the relationship between Buddhism and Daoism, the question of indigenous scriptures, the social and ritualistic dimension of Buddhism revealed in artistic creations and the interaction and mutual influences between Chinese and the larger Buddhist world.

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Zeev Levin

Zeev Levin seeks to provide a comprehensive picture of government efforts to socialize the Jewish masses in Uzbekistan, a process in which the central Soviet government took part, together with the local, republican and regional administrations and Soviet Jewish activists. This research presents a chapter in the history of the Jews in Uzbekistan, as well as contributing to the study of the socialization process of the Jewish population in the USSR in general. It also contributes to the study of relations among political and government bodies and decision makers. The study is based on archival documents and provides a unique glance at the implementation of Soviet nationalities policy towards Bukharan Jews while comparing it to other national minority groups in Uzbekistan.