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The Search for Powers of Blessing from the Other World of the Gods
In Personal Religion and Magic in Mamasa, West Sulawesi, Kees Buijs describes the traditional culture of the Toraja’s, which is rapidly vanishing. The focus is on personal religion as it has its centre in the kitchen of each house. In the kitchen and also by the use of magical words and stones the gods are sought for their powers of blessing.

This book adds important information to Buijs’ earlier Powers of Blessing from the Wilderness and from Heaven (Brill, 2006).
Gender Relations in an Indonesian Society offers a comprehensive ethnography of Bugis marriage through an exploration of gender identity and sexuality in this bilateral, highly competitive, hierarchical society.

Nurul Ilmi Idrus considers the fundamental concept of siriq (honour; shame) in relation to gender socialization, courtship, sex within marriage, the regulation of sexuality between genders, the importance of kinship and status in marriage, and the dynamics of marriage, divorce, and reconciliation. This analysis considers the practical combination of Islamic tenets with local adat (custom; customary law) and the effect of contemporary Indonesia’s national ideology on cultural practices specific to Bugis society.
Culture and Disaster in Japan
Editor: Roy Starrs
Edited by Roy Starrs, this collection of essays by an international group of leading experts on Japanese religion, anthropology, history, literature and music presents new research and thinking on the long and complex relationship between culture and disaster in Japan, one of the most “disaster-prone” countries in the world. Focusing first on responses to the triple disasters of March 2011, the book then puts the topic in a wider historical context by looking at responses to earlier disasters, both natural and man-made, including the great quakes of 1995 and 1923 and the atomic bombings of 1945. This wide-ranging “double structure” enables an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the issues involved that goes well beyond the clichés and the headlines.
Editors: Daji Lü and Xuezeng Gong
In Marxism and Religion leading Chinese scholars unfold before our eyes theoretical explorations of religion in present-day China. In addition, they along with senior cadres superintending religious affairs strenuously explain why the Marxist view of religion still has relevance to living religions in a country undergoing deep changes unleashed by the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening-up policies.
Mistakenly perceived by so many westerners as outdated and dogmatic quasi-scholarly work in the service of communist regime’s propaganda, studies selected here are brainchildren of a group of creative and reform-minded scholars and cadres who endeavor to uphold Marxist traditions while innovatively sinicizing them, hoping that their efforts will contribute to the ruling party’s ideological reconstruction.

Contributors include: Fang Litian, Gao Shining, Gong Xuezeng, He Qimin, Jin Ze, Li Xiangping, Lü Daji, Wang Xiaochao, Wang Zuo’an, Ye Xiaowen, Zhu Xiaoming, and Zhuo Xinping.
In recent years, the Sino-Tibetan frontier regions have attracted increasing scholarly interest. The region of Rebkong in Qinghai province is of particular significance because of its unique location on the Sino-Tibetan borderland, its multi-ethnic population and its complex religious history, which incorporates both large Geluk monasteries and significant Nyingma and Bonpo lay tantric communities. Covering the nineteenth century to the present, this volume brings together ten papers that explore the relationship between religion and culture in Rebkong. Using insights from anthropology, history and religious studies, the contributors offer new research and fresh interpretations of this important region on China’s periphery, discussing issues of ethnicity and identity, the role of public institutions, and the role of religion and rituals.
Building A Community of Female Faithful
Myanmar-Burma has one of the largest concentrations of Buddhist nuns and monks in the world today. In Renunciation and Empowerment of Buddhist Nuns in Myanmar-Burma, Kawanami traces the nun's scholarly lineage in modern Myanmar history and examines their contemporary religious position in Myanmar’s social and political contexts. Although their religious status may appear ambiguous from a textual viewpoint, it is argued that their large presence is a clear indication as to the important functions Buddhist nuns perform in the monastic community. Sagaing Hill where the main research was conducted, occupies an important educational centre for Myanmar nuns in consolidating their scholarly lineage and spreading the network of dhamma teachers. The book examines transactions that take place in their everyday lives and reveals the essence of their religious lives that make Buddhist nuns an essential bridge between sangha and society.
Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia
Revitalization of religious and cultural traditions is taking place in nearly all contemporary Asian societies, as is shown in Faith in the Future: Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia. Revitalization is not unique to Asia, it is one of the most significant new global trends in religion and society. While they are a response to globalization and rapid change, revitalization movements are not backward looking but represent a struggle by local people for their right to determine their own future in a changing world, while also reflecting their desire to find an appropriate place and status for themselves within a global context which they take for granted. The volume provides a comparative analysis of the key features and aspirations of revitalization movements and assesses their scope for shaping the future trajectories of societies in all parts of the world.