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Series:

Monica Lindberg Falk

1 Introduction Leaving Buddhism is a theme seldom addressed in Buddhist studies. Buddhism is generally perceived as a tolerant religion and followers are encouraged to scrutinise the Buddhist teachings and are free to leave the Buddhist faith. Buddhism does not sanction violence against apostates

Jørn Borup

Since Weber’s categorization of Buddhism as a “world rejecting” religion based on ascetic renunciation, there has been an underlying “Buddhacentric view of Buddhism” (Penner 2009) and a general bias against seeing the material and economic aspects of Buddhism, which in popular literature is most

Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism

Myōshinji, a living religion

Series:

Jørn Borup

Zen Buddhist ideas and practices in many ways are unique within the study of religion, and artists, poets and Buddhists practitioners worldwide have found inspiration from this tradition. Until recent years, representations of Zen Buddhism have focussed almost entirely on philosophical, historical or “spiritual” aspects. This book investigates the contemporary living reality of the largest Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhist group, Myōshinji. Drawing on textual studies and ethnographic fieldwork, Jørn Borup analyses how its practitioners use and understand their religion, how they practice their religiosity and how different kinds of Zen Buddhists (monks, nuns, priest, lay people) interact and define themselves within the religious organization. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism portrays a living Zen Buddhism being both uniquely interesting and interestingly typical for common Buddhist and Japanese religiosity.

Buddhism and Empire

The Political and Religious Culture of Early Tibet

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Michael Walter

This book convincingly reassesses the role of political institutions in the introduction of Buddhism under the Tibetan Empire (c. 620-842), showing how relationships formed in the Imperial period underlie many of the unique characteristics of traditional Tibetan Buddhism. Taking original sources as a point of departure, the author persuasively argues that later sources hitherto used for the history of early Tibetan Buddhism in fact project later ideas backward, thus distorting our view of its enculturation.
Following the pattern of Buddhism’s spread elsewhere in Asia, the early Tibetan imperial court realized how useful normative Buddhist concepts were.
This work clearly shows that, while some beliefs and practices per se changed after the Tibetan Empire, the model of socio-political-religious leadership developed in that earlier period survived its demise and still constitutes a significant element in contemporary Tibetan Buddhist religious culture.

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Edited by Ann Heirman and Stephan Peter Bumbacher

In no region of the world Buddhism can be seen as a unified doctrinal system. It rather consists of a multitude of different ideas, practices and behaviours. Geographical, social, political, economic, philosophical, religious, and also linguistic factors all played their role in its development and spread, but this role was different from region to region. Based on up-to-date research, this book aims at unraveling the complex factors that shaped the presence of particular forms of Buddhism in the regions to the north and the east of India. The result is a fascinating view on the mechanisms that allowed or hampered the presence of (certain aspects of) Buddhism in regions such as Central Asia, China, Tibet, Mongolia, or Korea.

Buddhism and Tales of the Supernatural in Early Medieval China

A Study of Liu Yiqing's (403–444) Youming lu

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Zhenjun Zhang

This book demonstrates the historical changes in early medieval China as seen in the tales of the supernatural—thematic transformation from traditional demonic retribution to Karmic retribution, from indigenous Chinese netherworld to Buddhist concepts of hell, and from the traditional Chinese savior to a new savior, Buddha. It also examines Buddhist imagery and the flourish of new motifs in the fantastic dreamworld and their relationship with Buddhism. This study relates the Youming lu to the development of popular Chinese Buddhist beliefs, attempting to single out ideas that differ from the beliefs found in Buddhist scriptures as well as miraculous tales written especially to promote Buddhism.

Mergen S. Ulanov, Valeriy N. Badmaev and Edward C. Holland

canon, the behaviour of individuals is deemed either virtuous or sinful. Under Buddhist canonical law, rules of behaviour were set forth in key texts associated with the Vinaya; this ethical code applied to the Buddhist community of monks, termed the Sangha. With the development and spread of Buddhism

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Niklas Foxeus

1 Introduction This chapter examines narratives of Burmese Buddhists who have left the “traditional” Theravāda Buddhism in Burma, into which they were born, for the teachings – stamped “heretical” and illegal by the state – of a dissident Buddhist monk, Ashin Nyāna. Since 1980, the State and

Niklas Foxeus

nineteenth century, the more optimistic view gradually developed and spread (Pranke 2011 ; Braun 2008 ). In many Asian countries, varieties of so-called modern Buddhism emerged in the nineteenth century onward in response to, in negotiation with, and in opposition to projects of modernization and

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Edited by Charles Orzech, Henrik Sørensen and Richard Payne

In all likelihood, it was the form of Buddhism labeled “Esoteric Buddhism” that had the greatest geographical spread of any form of Buddhism. It left its imprint not only on its native India, but far beyond, on Southeast Asia, Central Asia, including Tibet and Mongolia, as well as the East Asian countries China, Korea and Japan. Not only has Esoteric Buddhism contributed substantially to the development of Buddhism in many cultures, but it also facilitated the transmission of religious art and material culture, science and technology. This volume, the result of an international collaboration of forty scholars, provides a comprehensive resource on Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in their Chinese, Korean, and Japanese contexts from the first few centuries of the common era right up to the present.

Contributors include: Barbara Ambrose, Anna Andreeva, Sarah Aptilon, Ian Astley, Clemente Beghi, Heather Blair, William Bodiford, Chen Jinhua, Paul Copp, Ronald M. Davidson, Lucia Dolce, Athanasios Drakakis, Donald Drummond, Ruth Dunnell, Jay Ford, David Gardiner, Rolf Giebel, Robert M. Gimello, David Gray, Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis, Nobumi Iyanaga, George Keyworth, Martin Lehnert, Hun Y. Lye, Shinya Mano, Richard M. McBride, Laura Meeks, Regan Murphy, Charles D. Orzech, Richard K. Payne, Klaus Pinte, Fabio Rambelli, Thierry Robouam, James Robson, Brian Ruppert, Neil Schmid, Gaynor Sekimori, Shen Weirong, Henrik H. Sørensen, Mark Unno, Pamela Winfield