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.

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.

Text, History, and Philosophy

Abhidharma across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions

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Edited by Bart Dessein and Weijen Teng

Text, History, and Philosophy. Abhidharma Across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions discusses Abhidhamma / Abhidharma as a specific exegetical method. In the first part of the volume, the development of the Buddhist argumentative technique is discussed. The second part investigates the importance of the Buddhist rational tradition for the development of Buddhist philosophy. The third part focuses on some peculiar doctrinal issues that resulted from rational Abhidharmic reflections. In this way, an outline of the development of the Abhidharma genre and of Abhidharmic notions and concepts in India, Central Asia, China, and Tibet from the life time of the historical Buddha to the tenth century CE is given.
Contributors are: Johannes Bronkhorst, Lance S. Cousins, Bart Dessein, Tamara Ditrich, Bhikkhu Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti, Dylan Esler, Eric Greene, Goran Kardaš, Jowita Kramer, Chen-kuo Lin, Andrea Schlosser, Ingo Strauch, Weijen Teng and Yao-ming Tsai.

Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought

A Confucian Appropriation of Buddhist Ideas in Response to Scientism in Twentieth-Century China

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King Pong Chiu

In Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought, King Pong Chiu discusses Thomé H. Fang and Tang Junyi, two of the most important Confucian thinkers in twentieth-century China, who appropriated aspects of the medieval Chinese Buddhist school of Huayan to develop a response to the challenges of ‘scientism’, the belief that quantitative natural science is the only valuable part of human learning and the only source of truth.

As Chiu argues, Fang’s and Tang’s selective appropriations of Huayan thought paid heed to the hermeneutical importance of studying ancient texts in order to be more responsive to modern issues, and helped confirm the values of Confucianism under the challenge of ‘scientism’, a topic widely ignored in academia.

The Philosophy of Life

A New Reading of the Zhuangzi

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Guying Chen

Chen Guying, one of the leading scholars on Daoism in contemporary China, provides in his book The Philosophy of Life, A New Reading of the Zhuangzi a detailed analysis and a unique interpretation of Zhuangzi’s Inner, Outer and Miscellaneous chapters.
Unlike many other Chinese scholars Chen does not focus on a philological, but on a philosophical reading of the Zhuangzi highlighting the main topics of self-cultivation, aesthetics, and epistemology. Chen’s perspectives on the Zhuangzi range from the historical background of the Warring States Period to his own personal (political) experience. Since Chen is also a specialist on Nietzsche, he elaborates Zhuangzi’s philosophy of life and the idea of regulating one’s heart by drawing a parallel to Nietzsche’s perspectivism.

Dharmakīrti on the Cessation of Suffering

A Critical Edition with Translation and Comments of Manorathanandinʼs Vṛtti and Vibhūticandraʼs Glosses on Pramāṇavārttika II.190-216

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Edited by Cristina Pecchia and Philip Pierce

Liberation is a fundamental subject in South Asian doctrinal and philosophical reflection. This book is a study of the discussion of liberation from suffering presented by Dharmakīrti, one of the most influential Indian philosophers. It includes an edition and translation of the section on the cessation of suffering according to Manorathanandin, the last commentator on Dharmakīrti’s Pramāṇavārttika in the Sanskrit cosmopolis. The edition is based on the manuscript used by Sāṅkṛtyāyana and other sources. Methodological issues related to editing ancient Sanskrit texts are examined, while expanding on the activity of ancient pandits and modern editors.

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Kenneth M. Wells

This outline of Korea’s civilisation is a cultural history that examines the ways the Korean people over the past two millennia understood the world and viewed their place in society. In the traditional era, the interaction between several broad religious and philosophical traditions and social institutions, state interests and, at times, external pressures, provides the framework of the story. In the modern era, the chief concern is with the rapid and momentous cultural changes that have occurred over the past one and a half centuries in the idea and spread of education, the rise in influence of students, the development of mass culture, the redefinition of gender, and the continuing importance of religion.

Dialectics of Spontaneity

The Aesthetics and Ethics of Su Shi (1037-1101) in Poetry

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Zhiyi Yang

In Dialectics of Spontaneity, Zhiyi Yang examines Su Shi’s poetry on art and connoisseurship, his emulation of Tao Qian in exile poetry, and his inner alchemical practice. She argues that the concept of absolute spontaneity is defined negatively, and artistic and ethical spontaneity which can be actualized must be provisional and conditioned.

This book argues that Su Shi’s lyrical persona of a 'spontaneous genius' is a construction that serves various rhetorical and existential purposes. Making use of Su’s prolific works and referring to a broad scope of Western philosophy, this book not only enriches the literature on Su Shi, but further attempts to engages Chinese literature in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue.

Modern Chinese Religion I (2 vols.)

Song-Liao-Jin-Yuan (960-1368 AD)

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Edited by Pierre Marsone and John Lagerwey

A follow-up to Early Chinese Religion (Brill, 2009-10), Modern Chinese Religion focuses on the third period of paradigm shift in Chinese cultural and religious history, from the Song to the Yuan (960-1368 AD). As in the earlier periods, political division gave urgency to the invention of new models that would then remain dominant for six centuries. Defining religion as “value systems in practice”, this multi-disciplinary work shows the processes of rationalization and interiorization at work in the rituals, self-cultivation practices, thought, and iconography of elite forms of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, as well as in medicine. At the same time, lay Buddhism, Daoist exorcism, and medium-based local religion contributed each in its own way to the creation of modern popular religion.
With contributions by Juhn Ahn, Bai Bin, Chen Shuguo, Patricia Ebrey, Michael Fuller, Mark Halperin, Susan Huang, Dieter Kuhn, Nap-yin Lau, Fu-shih Lin, Pierre Marsone, Matsumoto Kôichi, Joseph McDermott, Tracy Miller, Julia Murray, Ong Chang Woei, Fabien Simonis, Dan Stevenson, Curie Virag, Michael Walsh, Linda Walton, Yokote Yutaka, Zhang Zong