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Editors: Michael Lackner and Zhao Lu
This is the first comprehensive book that presents the manifold aspects of divination and prognostication in traditional and modern China, from the early period of oracle bones to present-day fortune-tellers. It introduces what is out there in the field of Chinese divination and prognostication, and how we can further explore it especially through different disciplines. Eminent specialists outline the classifications of divination, recently excavated texts, the relationship between practitioners and clients, the place of the “occult” arts in cosmology, literature and religion, and the bureaucratic system.
Contributors are: Constance Cook, Richard J. Smith, Marc Kalinowski, Stephen R. Bokenkamp, Lü Lingfeng, Liao Hsien-huei, Philip Clart, Fabrizio Pregadio, Esther-Maria Guggenmos, Andrew Schonebaum, and Stéphanie Homola.
Buddhist Statecraft in East Asia explores the long relationship between Buddhism and the state in premodern times and seeks to counter the modern, secularist notion that Buddhism, as a religion, is inherently apolitical. By revealing the methods by which members of Buddhist communities across premodern East Asia related to imperial rule, this volume offers case studies of how Buddhists, their texts, material culture, ideas, and institutions legitimated rulers and defended regimes across the region.
The volume also reveals a history of Buddhist writing, protest, and rebellion against the state.
Contributors are Stephanie Balkwill, James A. Benn, Megan Bryson, Gregory N. Evon, Geoffrey C. Goble, Richard D. McBride II, and Jacqueline I. Stone.
Editor: Richard Madsen
Since its announcement by Xi Jinping in 2015, “Sinicization” has become the slogan that guides Chinese official policy towards religion. What does it mean? What effects is it having on Chinese religions? Where will it lead? This book, with contributions from experts in the major religious traditions in China, is one of the first in English that answers these questions.
From the top down, Sinicization is a project to control all forms of religion in China, even ancient indigenous forms, to make them conform to the demands of its Party-State. From the bottom up, however, religious believers are using the slogan either to sincerely attempt to adapt traditional practices to their modern cultural context or to protect their faith by offering lip service to government demands – or some combination of the two.
Complexity, Continuity, and Creativity in Japanese Festivals
Bringing together the innovative work of scholars from a variety of disciplines, Matsuri and Religion explores festivals in Japan through their interconnectedness to religious life in both urban and rural communities. Each chapter, informed by extensive ethnographic engagement, focuses on a specific festival to unpack the role of religion in collective ritualized activities. With attention to contemporary performance and historical transformation, the study sheds light on understandings of change, identity and community, as well as questions regarding intangible cultural heritage, tourism, and the intersection of religion with politics. Read as a whole, the volume provides a uniquely multi-sited ethnographic, historical, and theoretical study, contributing to discourses on religion and festival/ritual/performance in Japan and elsewhere around the globe.
Textual Production and Lay Religiosity in Medieval China
Author: Chiew Hui Ho
Contextualizing the sutra within a milieu of intense religious and cultural experimentation, this volume unravels the sudden rise of Diamond Sutra devotion in the Tang dynasty against the backdrop of a range of social, political, and literary activities. Through the translation and exploration of a substantial body of narratives extolling the efficacy of the sutra, it explores the complex social history of lay Buddhism by focusing on how the laity might have conceived of the sutra and devoted themselves to it. Corroborated by various sources, it reveals the cult’s effect on medieval Chinese religiosity in the activities of an empowered laity, who modified and produced parasutraic texts, prompting the monastic establishment to accommodate to the changes they brought about.
Author: Vince Le
This book offers an analysis of the historical, theological, and social conditions that give rise to the growth of pentecostalism among contemporary Vietnamese evangelicals. Emerging from the analysis is an understanding of how underprivileged evangelicals have utilized the pentecostal emphasis on divine intervention in their pursuit of the betterment of life amid religious and ethnic marginalization.
Within the context of the global growth of pentecostalism, Vietnamese Evangelicals and Pentecostalism shows how people at the grassroots marry the deeply local-based meaning dictated by the particularity of living context and the profoundly universal truth claims made by a religion aspiring to reach all four corners of the earth to enhance life.
Author: Sean Durbin
In Righteous Gentiles: Religion, Identity, and Myth in John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, Sean Durbin offers a critical analysis of America’s largest Pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel, along with its critics and collaborators. Although many observers focus Christian Zionism’s influence on American foreign policy, or whether or not Christian Zionism is ‘truly’ religious, Righteous Gentiles takes a different approach.

Through his creative and critical analysis of Christian Zionists’ rhetoric and mythmaking strategies, Durbin demonstrates how they represent their identities and political activities as authentically religious. At the same time, Durbin examines the role that Jews and the state of Israel have as vehicles or empty signifiers through which Christian Zionist truth claims are represented as manifestly real.
Documenting a Grassroots Revival of Tradition
Although the development of a “popular” brand of Confucianism in China is today a massive phenomenon, research on the topic remains scarce. Based on fieldwork carried out by a team of scholars in different parts of the country, the ambition of The Varieties of Confucian Experience is to contribute to the limited body of ethnographic accounts that aim to document and understand the diversity of phenomena encapsulated under the label “Confucian revival” in the first two decades of the 21st century.
Theories and Practices of Divination in East Asia
Volume Editor: Michael Lackner
Coping with the Future: Theories and Practices of Divination in East Asia offers insights into various techniques of divination, their evolution, and their assessment. The contributions cover the period from the earliest documents on East Asian mantic arts to their appearance in the present time.
The volume reflects the pervasive manifestations of divination in literature, religious and political life, and their relevance for society and individuals. Special emphasis is placed on cross-cultural influences and attempts to find theoretical foundations for divinatory practices. This edited volume is an initiative to study the phenomena of divination across East Asian cultures and beyond. It is also one of the first attempts to theorize divinatory practices through East Asian traditions.
Life in Shinjang Documented from Public Spaces
The current volume presents a selection of 126 texts in Uyghur posted in public spaces, translated, and annotated for this book. The author started photographing Uyghur texts in 2008 at the time of the Beijing olympics and continued to do so during 2009, the year of the so-called “Urumqi uprising” of July 5. This event generated a stream of texts posted in public spaces that reflected the efforts made by the authorities to re-establish control. In the course of his travels in the years thereafter the author continued to add to the corpus of photographed Uyghur texts. At the same time he started collecting, as comprehensively as possible, various types of folders, brochures, handouts, and product wrappings with texts illustrating aspects of Uyghur culture and society. The texts, published here for the first time, are primary source materials documenting a wide variety of aspects of daily life of the Uyghurs in Shinjang. The implicit messages or explicit references contained in many of these texts give them significance as clues towards an understanding of the existential realities they reflect or illustrate.