Buddhist Philosophy of Consciousness brings Buddhist voices to the study of consciousness. This book explores a variety of different Buddhist approaches to consciousness that developed out of the Buddhist theory of non-self. Topics taken up in these investigations include: how we are able to cognize our own cognitions; whether all conscious states involve conceptualization; whether distinct forms of cognition can operate simultaneously in a single mental stream; whether non-existent entities can serve as intentional objects; and does consciousness have an intrinsic nature, or can it only be characterized functionally? These questions have all featured in recent debates in consciousness studies. The answers that Buddhist philosophers developed to such questions are worth examining just because they may represent novel approaches to questions about consciousness.
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Ritual Prognostication in the Tibetan Bon Tradition
In Divination in Exile, Alexander K. Smith offers the first comprehensive scholarly introduction to the performance of divination in Tibetan speaking communities, both past and present. While Smith surveys a variety of ritual practices, the volume focuses on divination and its associated rites in the contemporary Tibetan Bon tradition. Drawing from multi-site ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Himachal Pradesh and the translation of previously unpublished Tibetan language materials, Divination in Exile, offers a valuable, social scientific contribution to our understanding of the perception and usage of ritual manuscripts in contemporary Tibetan cultural milieus.
In an era of environmental crisis, narratives of ‘hidden lands’ are resonant. Understood as sanctuaries in times of calamity, Himalayan hidden lands or sbas yul have shaped the lives of many peoples of the region. Sbas yul are described by visionary lamas called ‘treasure finders’ who located hidden lands and wrote guidebooks to them. Scholarly understandings of sbas yul as places for spiritual cultivation and refuge from war have been complicated recently. Research now explores such themes as the political and economic role of ‘treasure finders’, the impact of sbas yul on indigenous populations, and the use of sbas yul for environmental protection and tourism. This book showcases recent scholarship on sbas yul from historical and contemporary perspectives.
New Perspectives on the History of Modern Chinese Scientific and Technical Lexicon
Author: Gabriele Tola
In John Fryer and The Translator’s Vade-mecum, Tola offers for the first time a comprehensive study of the collection of scientific and technical glossaries, with English-Chinese parallel translation, compiled by the English scholar John Fryer (1839–1928). Other than contributing to the history of modern Chinese lexicon and translation in late Qing China, Tola analyses the role of the Translator’s Vade-mecum in the diffusion of ideas and terms between China and the West, at the same time providing new insights on the connection between religious efforts by missionaries in late Qing China and their secular attitude towards translation. The great number of resources presented also show a new perspective on the transcultural flows of knowledge, China’s modernization process in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the history of nineteenth-century Protestant missions in China.
Codicological and Historical Studies of an Archaeological Find in Mustang, Nepal
In 2008, an international team of climbers discovered a large collection of Tibetan manuscripts in a cave complex called Mardzong, in Nepal’s remote Mustang district. The following year, the entire cache—over five thousand folios from some sixty different works of the Buddhist and Bön religions, some more than seven centuries old—were removed to the safe keeping of a monastery, where they were later examined by experts from different disciplines. This book is the result of their findings. The authors present what they have been able to discover about the content of these manuscripts, their age, the materials with which they were made, the patrons who commissioned them and the scribes and artists who created them.
Contributors include: Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, Charles Ramble, Nyima Drandul Gurung, Naljor Tshering, Sarah Skumanov, Emilie Arnaud-Nguyen and Bazhen Zeren
Editor: Alexandre Papas
This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari
Author: Matthew Martin
In previous studies of South Asian Tantric ritual, scholars tend to focus on one region or context. For the first time, Tantra, Ritual Performance and Politics in Nepal and Kerala: Embodying the Goddess-clan offers a comparative approach to Tantric mediumship as observed in two locales: Navadurgā rituals in Bhaktapur, Nepal, and Teyyāṭṭam in North Kerala. In this book, Matthew Martin advances a new theory of ritual, which spotlights the way dancer-mediums embody medieval goddess-clans and ancestor deities, through offerings of food and sacrifice, that synchronize their denizens with the land in spiralling web-like ritual networks. Uniquely interdisciplinary in style, this study synthesizes cultural history, ethnography, and theory to explore the continuities – historical, societal, and political – that characterize these ritual traditions across the subcontinent.
The Transnational Cult of Mount Wutai explores the pan-East Asian significance of sacred Mount Wutai from the Northern Dynasties to the present day. Offering novel readings of comparatively familiar visual and textual sources and, in many cases, examining unstudied or understudied noncanonical materials, the papers collected here illuminate the roles that both local actors and individuals dwelling far beyond Mount Wutai’s borders have played in its making and remaking as a holy place for more than fifteen hundred years. The work aims to contribute to our understanding of the ways that sacred geography is made and remade in new places and times.
‘Ecumenism’ and ‘independency’ suggest two distinct impulses in the history of Christianity: the desire for unity, co-operation, connectivity, and shared belief and practice, and the impulse for distinction, plurality, and contextual translation. Yet ecumenism and independency are better understood as existing in critical tension with one another. They provide a way of examining changes in World Christianity. Taking their lead from the internationally acclaimed research of Brian Stanley, in whose honour this book is published, contributors examine the entangled nature of ecumenism and independency in the modern global history of Christianity. They show how the scrutiny afforded by the attention to local, contextual approaches to Christianity outside the western world, may inform and enrich the attention to transnational connectivity.