The Buddhist Saints of the Forest and the Cult of Amulets

Author: Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521277877

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

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The central actors in this book are some reclusive forest-dwelling ascetic meditation masters who have been acclaimed as 'saints' in contemporary Thailand. These saints originally pursued their salvation quest among the isolated villages of the country's periphery, but once recognized as holy men endowed with charisma, they became the radiating centres of a country-wide cult of amulets. The amulets, blessed by the saints, are avidly sought by royalty, ruling generals, intelligentsia and common folk alike for their alleged powers to influence the success of worldly transactions, whether political, economic, martial or romantic.
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Militant Buddhism

The Rise of Religious Violence in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand

Author: Peter Lehr

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3030035174

Category: Religion

Page: 306

View: 2018

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Against the backdrop of the ongoing Rohingya crisis, this book takes a close and detailed look at the rise of militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, and especially at the issues of ‘why’ and ‘how’ around it. We are well aware of Christian fundamentalism, militant Judaism and Islamist Salafism-Jihadism. Extremist and violent Buddhism however features only rarely in book-length studies on religion and political violence. Somehow, the very idea of Buddhist monks as the archetypical ‘world renouncers’ exhorting frenzied mobs to commit acts of violence against perceived ‘enemies of the religion’ seems to be outright ludicrous. Recent events in Myanmar/Burma, but also in Thailand and Sri Lanka, however indicate that a militant strand of Theravada Buddhism is on the rise. How can this rise be explained, and what role do monks play in that regard? These are the two broad questions that this book explores.
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Contemporary Buddhist Ethics

Author: Damien Keown

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136118020

Category: Social Science

Page: 217

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This innovative volume brings together the views of leading scholars on a range of controversial subjects including human rights, animal rights, ecology, abortion, euthanasia, and contemporary business practice.
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Encyclopedia of Monasticism

Author: William M. Johnston

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113678716X

Category: Reference

Page: 2000

View: 2419

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First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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Making Merit, Making Art

A Thai Temple in Wimbledon

Author: Sandra Cate

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN: 9780824823573

Category: Art

Page: 218

View: 391

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Their work, both celebrated and controversial, depicts stories from the Buddha's lives in otherworldly landscapes punctuated with sly references to this-worldly politics and popular culture. Schooled in international art trends, the artists reverse an Orientalist narrative of the Asian Other, telling their own stories to diverse audiences and subsuming Western spaces into a Buddhist worldview."--BOOK JACKET.
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Religious Commodifications in Asia

Marketing Gods

Author: Pattana Kitiarsa

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134074441

Category: Religion

Page: 274

View: 2781

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This book addresses the growing academic concerns of the market-religion convergences in Asia. Bringing together a group of leading scholars from Asia, Europe, Australia and North America, it discusses multiple issues regarding religious commodifications and their consequences across Asia’s diverse religious traditions. Covering key issues in the anthropology and sociology of contemporary Asian religion, it draws theoretical implications for the study of religions in the light of the shift of religious institutions from traditional religious beliefs to material prosperity. The fact that religions compete with each other in a ‘market of faiths’ is also at the core of the analysis. The contributions show how ordinary people and religious institutions in Asia adjusted to, and negotiated with, the penetrative forces of a global market economy into the region’s changing religio-cultural landscapes. An excellent contribution to the growing demands of ethnographically and theoretically updated interpretations of Asian religions, Religious Commodifications in Asia will be of interest to scholars of Asian religion and new religious movements.
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The Way that Lives in the Heart

Chinese Popular Religion and Spirit Mediums in Penang, Malaysia

Author: Jean Elizabeth DeBernardi

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804752923

Category: Religion

Page: 372

View: 2476

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The Way That Lives in the Heart is a richly detailed ethnographic analysis of the practice of Chinese religion in the modern, multicultural Southeast Asian city of Penang, Malaysia. The book conveys both an understanding of shared religious practices and orientations and a sense of how individual men and women imagine, represent, and transform popular religious practices within the time and space of their own lives. This work is original in three ways. First, the author investigates Penang Chinese religious practice as a total field of religious practice, suggesting ways in which the religious culture, including spirit-mediumship, has been transformed in the conjuncture with modernity. Second, the book emphasizes the way in which socially marginal spirit mediums use a religious anti-language and unique religious rituals to set themselves apart from mainstream society. Third, the study investigates Penang Chinese religion as the product of a specific history, rather than presenting an overgeneralized overview that claims to represent a single "Chinese religion."
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Living Karma

The Religious Practices of Ouyi Zhixu

Author: Beverley Foulks McGuire

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231537778

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 9564

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Ouyi Zhixu (1599–1655) was an eminent Chinese Buddhist monk who, contrary to his contemporaries, believed karma could be changed. Through vows, divination, repentance rituals, and ascetic acts such as burning and blood writing, he sought to alter what others understood as inevitable and inescapable. Drawing attention to Ouyi's unique reshaping of religious practice, Living Karma reasserts the significance of an overlooked individual in the modern development of Chinese Buddhism. While Buddhist studies scholarship tends to privilege textual analysis, Living Karma promotes a balanced study of ritual practice and writing, treating Ouyi's texts as ritual objects and his reading and writing as religious acts. Each chapter addresses a specific religious practice—writing, divination, repentance, vows, and bodily rituals—offering first a diachronic overview of each practice within the history of Chinese Buddhism and then a synchronic analysis of each phenomenon through close readings of Ouyi's work. This book sheds much-needed light on a little-known figure and his representation of karma, which proved to be a seminal innovation in the religious thought of late imperial China.
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The Ascetic Self

Subjectivity, Memory and Tradition

Author: Gavin Flood

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521604017

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 3877

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This 2004 book is about the ascetic self in the scriptural religions of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. The author claims that asceticism can be understood as the internalisation of tradition, the shaping of the narrative of a life in accordance with the narrative of tradition that might be seen as the performance of the memory of tradition. Such a performance contains an ambiguity or distance between the general intention to eradicate the will, or in some sense to erase the self, and the affirmation of will in ascetic performance such as weakening the body through fasting. Asceticism must therefore be seen in the context of ritual. The book also offers a paradigm for comparative religion more generally, one that avoids the inadequate choices of either examining religions through overarching categories on the one hand and the abandoning of any comparative endeavour that focuses purely on area-specific study on the other.
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