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Author: Bernard Faure

Abstract

While embryological symbolism pervades Buddhist discourse, it has only recently come to the attention of Buddhist scholarship. The present paper, after briefly discussing the notion of the “five stages of gestation” (tainai goi), focuses on its symbolic expression in medieval Japan—not only in esoteric Buddhism, with the embryological encoding of the “wisdom kings” Aizen and Fudō, but also in medieval Shintō, with the figure of the sun goddess and in Shugendō, a mountain cult aimed at spiritual rebirth.


In: Transforming the Void
Author: Bernard Faure

Abstract

While embryological symbolism pervades Buddhist discourse, it has only recently come to the attention of Buddhist scholarship. The present paper, after briefly discussing the notion of the “five stages of gestation” (tainai goi), focuses on its symbolic expression in medieval Japan—not only in esoteric Buddhism, with the embryological encoding of the “wisdom kings” Aizen and Fudō, but also in medieval Shintō, with the figure of the sun goddess and in Shugendō, a mountain cult aimed at spiritual rebirth.


In: Transforming the Void
Author: Bernard Faure

Le Wutaishan 五臺山, dans l’actuelle province du Shanxi, est depuis le ve siècle environ le haut-lieu du bouddhisme chinois. Il doit cette réputation au fait qu’il est perçu comme la demeure de Mañjuśrī, l’un des grands bodhisattvas du bouddhisme Mahāyāna. Depuis les travaux pionniers d’Étienne Lamotte et de Raoul Birnbaum sur Mañjuśrī le Wutaishan a fait l’objet d’un intérêt croissant en Occident, encore illustré par une floraison récente de thèses de doctorat et d’articles sur le sujet. Tous ces travaux recouvrent en partie le même terrain ― au sens propre comme au sens figuré ―, mais l’ouvrage de Wei-ch’eng Lin

In: T'oung Pao
Author: Bernard Faure

Abstract

This paper examines the complex institutional and symbolic network that developed during the medieval period, bringing together people, places, institutions, myths, legends, rituals, and deities. It focuses on the relationships between the goddess of musical arts and eloquence Benzaiten, the Hie Shrine deity Jūzenji, and itinerant performers such as the blind monks (mōsō) and the biwa hōshi, who were instrumental in bringing together traditional Buddhist teachings and the performing arts (geinō). The paper argues that these relationships formed part of a broader semantic and symbolic field, at the center of which was the Protean figure of the shukujin (whose name can mean “astral god” and “god of destiny,” but also “god of the shuku”—outcasts groups and settlements). It shows how the latter was eventually identified by the Nō playwright Konparu Zenchiku (1405-1468), in his seminal work Meishukushū, with the figure of Okina, the divine old man that is widely regarded as the symbol of Nō theater. With the slow decline of the blind monks and the growing aestheticism of Nō, however, the vital connection between esoteric Buddhism, local religious traditions, and the performing arts eventually unraveled.

In: Journal of Religion in Japan
Author: Bernard Faure

Japanese and Western scholars have long pointed out the influence of Buddhism—and in particular of Zen and Amidism—on the formation of Nō drama. Yet, in spite of the many important works published on the origins and evolution of the performing arts (geinō 芸能), the influence of these arts on the formation and dissemination of Buddhist ideals, theories, practices, and mythologies has received surprisingly little attention. This lacuna, in turn, is reflective of broader scholarly trends in which the ritual or performative aspects of Buddhism have been neglected in favor of its doctrinal or philosophical dimension, while the religious

In: Journal of Religion in Japan
Religionshermeneutische Studien zur Konstruktion von Norm und Abweichung
Series:  Kulte / Kulturen
Die Problemlagen, die das Aufkommen der Unterscheidung von Orthodoxie und Häresie bedingen, die Konstruktion der Unterscheidung und ihre paradoxen Folgewirkungen bilden den Gegenstand der im vorliegenden Band versammelten Studien renommierter Wissenschaftler aus unterschiedlichsten Fachgebieten. Mit ihrer Hilfe wurde bewußt versucht, die eingeschränkte Perspektive auf das frühe Christentum um Untersuchungen aus anderen Kulturen und Zeiten zu erweitern. Kulturell, um zu erfahren, ob und in welcher Form sich die Vorstellungen von Häresie auch in Religionskulturen Vorderasiens und Ostasiens finden. Zeitlich, um bessere Kenntnis darüber zu erlangen, ob sich der Gegensatz von Häresie und Orthodoxie in der Neuzeit und in der Moderne aufzulösen begonnen hat, oder ob er eher in andere Sphären Einzug hielt.