Browse results

In Physiognomy in Ming China: Fortune and the Body, Xing Wang investigates the intellectual and technical contexts in which the knowledge of physiognomy ( xiangshu) was produced and transformed in Ming China (1368-1644 C.E.). Known as a fortune-telling technique via examining the human body and material objects, Xing Wang shows how the construction of the physiognomic body in many Ming texts represent a unique, unprecedented ‘somatic cosmology’. Applying an anthropological reading to these texts and providing detailed analysis of this technique, the author proves that this physiognomic cosmology in Ming China emerged as a part of a new body discourse which differs from the modern scholarly discourse on the body.
The essays collected in Fate and Prognostication in the Chinese Literary Imagination deal with the philosophical, psychological, gender and cultural issues in the Chinese conception of fate as represented in literary texts and films, with a focus placed on human efforts to solve the riddles of fate prediction. Viewed in this light, the collected essays unfold a meandering landscape of the popular imaginary in Chinese beliefs and customs.
The chapters in this book represent concerted efforts in research originated from a project conducted at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Contributors are Michael Lackner, Kwok-kan Tam, Monika Gaenssbauer, Terry Siu-han Yip, Xie Qun, Roland Altenburger, Jessica Tsui-yan Li, Kaby Wing-Sze Kung, Nicoletta Pesaro, Yan Xu-Lackner, and Anna Wing Bo Tso.
Knowledge and Education in Classical Islam: Religious Learning between Continuity and Change is a pioneering collection of essays on the historical developments, ideals, and practices of Islamic learning and teaching in the formative and classical periods of Islam (i.e., from the seventh to fifteenth centuries CE). Based on innovative and philologically sound primary source research, and utilizing the most recent methodological tools, this two volume set sheds new light on the challenges and opportunities that arise from a deep engagement with classical Islamic concepts of knowledge, its production and acquisition, and, of course, learning. Learning is especially important because of its relevance to contemporary communities and societies in our increasingly multicultural, “global” civilizations, whether Eastern or Western. Contributors: Hosn Abboud, Sara Abdel-Latif, Asma Afsaruddin, Shatha Almutawa, Nuha Alshaar, Jessica Andruss, Mustafa Banister, Enrico Boccaccini, Sonja Brentjes, Michael Carter, Hans Daiber, Yoones Dehghani Farsani, Yassir El Jamouhi, Nadja Germann, Antonella Ghersetti, Sebastian Günther, Mohsen Haredy, Angelika Hartmann, Paul L. Heck, Asma Hilali, Agnes Imhof, Jamal Juda, Wadad Kadi, Mehmet Kalayci, Alexey Khismatulin, Todd Lawson, Mariana Malinova, Ulrika Mårtensson, Christian Mauder, Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Maryam Moazzen, Angelika Neuwirth, Jana Newiger, Luca Patrizi, Lutz Richter-Bernburg, Ali Rida Rizek, Mohammed Rustom, Jens Scheiner, Gregor Schoeler, Steffen Stelzer, Barbara Stowasser, Jacqueline Sublet, and Martin Tamcke.
Edited by Marine Carrin (Editor-in-Chief) and Michel Boivin, Paul Hockings, Raphaël Rousseleau, Tanka Subha, Harald Tambs-Lyche, Gérard Toffin (Associate editors)
Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Religions of the Indigenous People of South Asia Online strives to reflect the diversity of indigenous cultures of South Asia with its many language groups and religious traditions. Religion is taken in a broad sense and includes aspects of morality, symbolism, identity formation, environmental concerns, and art. The approach is contemporary and not a reconstruction of an anterior state, though this does not exclude talking about historical processes.
Tracing Their Paths, Reassessing Their Goals
This book collects fifteen essays and book sections about the Jesuits in India written over a period of more than thirty years. Many of these pieces, unavailable for years, now appear together for the first time. The essays open a window on the 450-year Jesuit history in India, from Roberto de Nobili in the seventeenth century to the leading Jesuit scholars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The volume looks back into this long missionary history, but Clooney’s eye is also on the question of relevance today: How ought interreligious learning take place in the twenty-first century?
The Zichu by Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672)
In Chinese Character Manipulation in Literature and Divination, Anne Schmiedl analyses the little-studied method of Chinese character manipulation as found in imperial sources. Focusing on one of the most famous and important works on this subject, the Zichu by Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672), Schmiedl traces and discusses the historical development and linguistic properties of this method. This book represents the first thorough study of the Zichu and the reader is invited to explore how, on the one hand, the educated elite leveraged character manipulation as a literary play form. On the other hand, as detailed exhaustively by Schmiedl, practitioners of divination also used and altered the visual, phonetic, and semantic structure of Chinese characters to gain insights into events and objects in the material world.
The fifteen studies presented in Confucian Academies in East Asia offer insight into the history and legacy of these unique institutions of knowledge and education. The contributions analyze origins, spread and development of Confucian academies across China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan from multiple perspectives. This edited volume is one of the first attempts to understand Confucian academies as a complex transnational, intellectual, and cultural phenomena that played an essential role in various areas of East Asian education, philosophy, religious practice, local economy, print industry, and even archery. The broad chronological range of essays allows it to demonstrate the role of Confucian academies as highly adaptable and active agents of cultural and intellectual change since the eighth century until today. An indispensable handbook for studies of Confucian culture and institutions since the eighth century until the present.

Contributors are: Chien Iching, Chung Soon-woo, Deng Hongbo, Martin Gehlmann, Vladimír Glomb, Lan Jun, Lee Byoung-Hoon, Eun-Jeung Lee, Thomas H.C. Lee, Margaret Dorothea Mehl, Steven B. Miles, Hoyt Cleveland Tillman, Nguyễn Tuấn-Cường, Linda Walton and Minamizawa Yoshihiko.
Volume 1
Editor: Galen Amstutz
Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.
Volume 2
Editor: Galen Amstutz
Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.
Volume 3
Editor: Galen Amstutz
Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.
In The European Encounter with Hinduism Jan Peter Schouten offers an account of European travellers coming into contact with the Hindu religion in India. From the thirteenth century on, both traders and missionaries visited India and encountered the exotic world of Hindus and Hinduism. Their travel reports reveal how Europeans gradually increased their knowledge of Hinduism and how they evaluated this foreign religion. Later on, although officials of the colonial administration also studied the languages and culture of India, it was – contrary to what is usually assumed – particularly the many missionaries who made the greatest contribution to the mapping of Hinduism.
Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts
Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts is an edited volume (Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan) offering eight essays on the modern history of redemptive societies in China and Vietnam by an international cast of scholars. The focus of the volume is on the texts produced by the various groups, examining questions of textual production (spirit-writing), textual traditions (how to “modernize” traditional discourse), textual authority (the role of texts in making a master a master), and the distribution of texts (via China’s experience of “print capitalism”). Throughout, the goal is to explore in depth what some scholars have called the most vital aspect of Chinese religion during the Republican period.
The history of Twelver Shīʿī Islam is a history of attempts to ‎deal with the ‎abrupt loss of the Imam. In Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-‎Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam, ‎Omid Ghaemmaghami demonstrates that in the early years of what came to be known as the Greater Occultation, Shīʿī authorities maintained that all contact with the Imam had been sundered, forcing him to remain incommunicado ‎until his (re)appearance‎. This position, however, proved ‎untenable to maintain. Almost a ‎century after the start of the Greater Occultation, prominent scholars ‎began to concede the ‎possibility that some Shīʿa can meet the Hidden Imam. Accounts of encounters with the Imam from the Greater Occultation soon began to appear, adumbrating their exponential growth in later centuries.
Historical and Comparative Perspectives
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.
Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet presents cutting-edge research by European and North American scholars on the Indian origins and Tibetan interpretations of one of the most popular and influential of all Tibetan meditation traditions, Mahāmudrā, or the great seal. The contributions shed fresh light on important areas of Mahāmudrā studies, exploring the Great Seal’s place in the Mahāyāna Samādhirājasūtra, the Indian tantric Seven Siddhi Texts, Dunhuang Yogatantra texts, Mar pa’s Rngog lineage, and the Dgongs gcig literature of the ’Bri gung, as well as in the works of Yu mo Mi bskyod rdo rje, the Fourth Zhwa dmar pa Chos grags ye shes, the Eighth Karma pa Mi-bskyod rdo rje, and various Dge lugs masters of the 17th–18th centuries.
Contributors are: Jacob Dalton, Martina Draszczyk, Cecile Ducher, David Higgins, Roger R. Jackson, Casey Kemp, Adam Krug, Klaus-Dieter Mathes, Jan-Ulrich Sobisch, and Paul Thomas.
With Contemporary Explication and Traditional Commentary
Editor: Paul D'Ambrosio

Chen Guying’s Laozi dissects different versions of the Laozi and provides close readings of traditional and contemporary commentaries, from Han Fei, Wang Bi, and Heshang Gong through to Shi Deqing, Xu Kangsheng and Ding Yuanzhi. This book completely changed Laozi studies in China, where no serious student or scholar can ignore Chen’s amazing work. It is the standard interpretation of the Laozi at nearly every Chinese university.

The English translation provided here seeks to accurately reflect the detail of Chen’s meticulous work by providing multiple English translations of key characters, allowing the reader to follow complex Sinological arguments. The close “word-for-character” translation of the Laozi text enables scholars to interact with the Laozi on a level previously unavailable in English.

In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet
In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet
In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet
In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet
In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet
In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet
In: Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet