Author: Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Michael Jerryson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
As an incredibly diverse religious system, Buddhism is constantly changing. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day. Taken together, the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism's past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The volume contains 41 essays, divided into two sections. The essays in the first section examine the historical development of Buddhist traditions throughout the world. These chapters cover familiar settings like India, Japan, and Tibet as well as the less well-known countries of Vietnam, Bhutan, and the regions of Latin America, Africa, and Oceania. Focusing on changes within countries and transnationally, this section also contains chapters that focus explicitly on globalization, such as Buddhist international organizations and diasporic communities. The second section tracks the relationship between Buddhist traditions and particular themes. These chapters review Buddhist interactions with contemporary topics such as violence and peacebuilding, and ecology, as well as Buddhist influences in areas such as medicine and science. Offering coverage that is both expansive and detailed, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism delves into some of the most debated and contested areas within Buddhist Studies today.
"This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art exploration of several key dynamics in current studies of the Buddhist tradition with a focus on practice. Embodiment, materiality, emotion, and gender shape the way most Buddhists engage with their traditions, in contrast to popular representations of Buddhism as spiritual, disembodied, and largely devoid of ritual. This volume highlights how practice often represents a fluid, dynamic, and strategic means of defining identity and negotiating the challenges of everyday life. Essays explore the transformational aims of practices that require practitioners to move, gesture, and emote in prescribed ways, including the ways that scholars' own embodied practices are integral to their research methodology. The chapters are written by acknowledged experts in their respective subject areas and taken together offer an overview of current thinking in the field. The volume is of particular value to scholars who seek an orientation to current perspectives on important conceptual, theoretical, and methodological concerns that are shaping the field in areas outside their primary expertise. The inclusion of substantial, up-to-date bibliographies also makes the volume an important guide to current scholarship"--
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History brings together a number of established scholars, as well as younger scholars on the rise, to provide a scholarly overview for those interested in the role of religion and race in American history. Thirty-four scholars from the fields of History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and more investigate the complex interdependencies of religion and race from pre-Columbian origins to the present. The volume addresses the religious experience, social realities, theologies, and sociologies of racialized groups in American religious history, as well as the ways that religious myths, institutions, and practices contributed to their racialization. Part One begins with a broad introductory survey outlining some of the major terms and explaining the intersections of race and religions in various traditions and cultures across time. Part Two provides chronologically arranged accounts of specific historical periods that follow a narrative of religion and race through four-plus centuries. Taken together, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History provides a reliable scholarly text and resource to summarize and guide work in this subject, and to help make sense of contemporary issues and dilemmas.
More than two hundred years after the publication of his seminal The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer's influence is still felt in philosophy and beyond. As one of the most readable and central philosophers of the 19th century, his work inspired the most influential thinkers and artists of his time, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Wagner. Though known primarily as a herald of philosophical pessimism, the full range of his contributions is displayed here in a collection of thirty-one essays on the forefront of Schopenhauer scholarship. Essays written by contemporary Schopenhauer scholars explore his central notions, including the will, empirical knowledge, and the sublime, and widens to the interplay of ethics and religion with Schopenhauer's philosophy. Authors confront difficult aspects of Schopenhauer's work and legacy--for example, the extent to which Schopenhauer adopted ideas from his predecessors compared to how much was original and visionary in his central claim that reality is a blind, senseless "will," the effectiveness of his philosophy in the field of scientific explanation and extrasensory phenomena, and the role of beauty and sublimity in his outlook. Essays also challenge prevailing assumptions about Schopenhauer by exploring the fundamental role of compassion in his moral theory, the Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist aspects of his philosophy, and the importance of asceticism in his views on the meaning of life. The collection is an internationally constituted work that reflects upon Schopenhauer's philosophy with authors presently working across the globe. It demonstrates fully the richness of Schopenhauer's work and his lasting impact on philosophy and psychoanalysis, as well as upon music, the visual arts, and literature.
Nearly every form of religion or spirituality has a vital connection with art. Religions across the world, from Hinduism and Buddhism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, have been involved over the centuries with a rich array of artistic traditions, both sacred and secular. In its uniquelymulti-dimensional consideration of the topic, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts provides expert guidance to artistry and aesthetic theory in religion.The Handbook offers nearly forty original essays by an international team of leading scholars on the main topics, issues, methods, and resources for the study of religious and theological aesthetics. The volume ranges from antiquity to the present day to examine religious and artistic imagination,fears of idolatry, aesthetics in worship, and the role of art in social transformation and in popular religion - covering a full array of forms of media, from music and poetry to architecture and film. An authoritative text for scholars and students, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts will remain an invaluable resource for years to come.
This textbook introduces and explores the ideas, practices and philosophy of engaged Buddhism. The movement holds that suffering is not just caused by the cravings of the mind, but also by political and social factors; therefore, engaged Buddhists 'engage' with social issues to achieve liberation. Paul Fuller outlines the movement's origins and principles. He then offers a comprehensive analysis of the central themes and issues of engaged Buddhism, offering new insights into the formation of modern Buddhism. The range of issues covered includes politics, gender, environmentalism, identity, blasphemy and violence. These are illustrated by case studies and examples from a range of locations where Buddhism is practised. Discussion points and suggested further reading are provided at the end of each chapter, which will further enrich undergraduates' grasp of the topic.
Language in the Buddhist Tantra of Japan dismantles the preconception that Buddhism is a religion of mystical silence, arguing that language is in fact central to the Buddhist tradition. By examining the use of 'extraordinary language'-evocations calling on the power of the Buddha-in Japanese Buddhist Tantra, Richard K. Payne shows that such language was not simply cultural baggage carried by Buddhist practitioners from South to East Asia. Rather, such language was a key element in the propagation of new forms of belief and practice. In contrast to Western approaches to the philosophy of language, which are grounded in viewing language as a form of communication, this book argues that it is the Indian and East Asian philosophies of language that shed light on the use of language in meditative and ritual practices in Japan. It also illuminates why language was conceived as an effective means of progress on the path from delusion to awakening.
An expert team of international scholars provide fifty-one essays as entry points into the sociological study and understanding of religion and in-depth surveys into its changing forms and content in the contemporary world. Issues discussed range from ecology to law, art to cognitive science, crime to health care.
The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion provides a comprehensive overview of the academic study of religion. Written by an international team of leading scholars, its fifty-one chapters are divided thematically into seven sections. The first section addresses five major conceptual aspects of research on religion. Part two surveys eleven main frameworks of analysis, interpretation, and explanation of religion. Reflecting recent turns in the humanities and social sciences, part three considers eight forms of the expression of religion. Part four provides a discussion of the ways societies and religions, or religious organizations, are shaped by different forms of allocation of resources. Other chapters in this section consider law, the media, nature, medicine, politics, science, sports, and tourism. Part five reviews important developments, distinctions, and arguments for each of the selected topics. The study of religion addresses religion as a historical phenomenon and part six looks at seven historical processes. Religion is studied in various ways by many disciplines, and this Handbook shows that the study of religion is an academic discipline in its own right. The disciplinary profile of this volume is reflected in part seven, which considers the history of the discipline and its relevance. Each chapter in the Handbook references at least two different religions to provide fresh and innovative perspectives on key issues in the field. This authoritative collection will advance the state of the discipline and is an invaluable reference for students and scholars.
Japanese philosophy is now a flourishing field with thriving societies, journals, and conferences dedicated to it around the world, made possible by an ever-increasing library of translations, books, and articles. The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Philosophy is a foundation-laying reference work that covers, in detail and depth, the entire span of this philosophical tradition, from ancient times to the present. It introduces and examines the most important topics, figures, schools, and texts from the history of philosophical thinking in premodern and modern Japan. Each chapter, written by a leading scholar in the field, clearly elucidates and critically engages with its topic in a manner that demonstrates its contemporary philosophical relevance. The Handbook opens with an extensive introductory chapter that addresses the multifaceted question, "What is Japanese Philosophy?" The first fourteen chapters cover the premodern history of Japanese philosophy, with sections dedicated to Shinto and the Synthetic Nature of Japanese Philosophical Thought, Philosophies of Japanese Buddhism, and Philosophies of Japanese Confucianism and Bushido. Next, seventeen chapters are devoted to Modern Japanese Philosophies. After a chapter on the initial encounter with and appropriation of Western philosophy in the late nineteenth-century, this large section is divided into one subsection on the most well-known group of twentieth-century Japanese philosophers, The Kyoto School, and a second subsection on the no less significant array of Other Modern Japanese Philosophies. Rounding out the volume is a section on Pervasive Topics in Japanese Philosophical Thought, which covers areas such as philosophy of language, philosophy of nature, ethics, and aesthetics, spanning a range of schools and time periods. This volume will be an invaluable resource specifically to students and scholars of Japanese philosophy, as well as more generally to those interested in Asian and comparative philosophy and East Asian studies.