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Jain Approaches to Plurality

Identity as Dialogue

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Melanie Barbato

In Jain Approaches to Plurality Melanie Barbato offers a new perspective on the Jain teaching of plurality ( anekāntavāda) and how it allowed Jains to engage with other discourses from Indian inter-school philosophy to global interreligious dialogue. Jainism, one of the world’s oldest religions, has managed to both adapt and preserve its identity across time through its inherently dialogical outlook. Drawing on a wide range of textual sources and original research in India, Barbato analyses the encounters between Jains and non-Jains in the classical, colonial and global context. Jain Approaches to Plurality offers a comprehensive introduction to anekāntavāda as a non-Western resource for understanding plurality and engaging in dialogue.

“Building upon earlier work in this field without simply reduplicating it, Melanie Barbato’s work delves deeply into the question of the relevance of Jain approaches to religious and philosophical diversity to contemporary issues of inter-religious dialogue, and dialogues across worldviews more generally. (…) This work is a most welcome contribution to the conversation.”

— Jeffery D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Elizabethtown College. April 2017. Author of Jainism: An Introduction.

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Edited by Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger

Mindfulness, yoga, Tantra, Zen, martial arts, karma, feng shui, Ayurveda. Eastern ideas and practices associated with Asian religions and spirituality have been accommodated to a global setting as both a spiritual/religious and a broader cultural phenomenon. ‘Eastern spirituality’ is present in organized religions, the spiritual New Age market, arts, literature, media, therapy, and health care but also in public institutions such as schools and prisons.

Eastspirit: Transnational Spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West describes and analyses such concepts, practices and traditions in their new ‘Western’ and global contexts as well as in their transformed expressions and reappropriations in religious traditions and individualized spiritualities ‘back in the East’ within the framework of mutual interaction and circulation, regionally and globally.

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James Duncan Gentry

Power Objects in Tibetan Buddhism

The Life, Writings, and Legacy of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen

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James Duncan Gentry

In Power Objects in Tibetan Buddhism: The Life, Writings, and Legacy of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen, James Duncan Gentry explores how objects of power figure in Tibetan religion, society, and polity through a study of the life of the Tibetan Buddhist ritual specialist Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen (1552–1624) within the broader context of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Tibet. In presenting Sokdokpa’s career and legacy, Gentry traces the theme of power objects across a wide spectrum of genres to show how Tibetan Buddhists themselves have theorized about objects of power and implemented them in practice. This study therefore provides a lens into how power objects serve as points of convergence for elite doctrinal discourses, socio-political dynamics, and popular religious practices in Tibetan Buddhist societies.