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Buddhism in the Modern World - Steven Heine

9780195146981
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Title
Buddhism in the Modern World - Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition
Author
Steven Heine
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20030925

The history of Buddhism has been characterized by an ongoing tension between attempts to preserve traditional ideals and modes of practice and the need to adapt to changing cultural conditions. Many developments in Buddhist history, such as the infusion of esoteric rituals, the rise of devotionalism and lay movements, and the assimilation of warrior practices, reflect the impact of widespread social changes on traditional religious structures. At the same time, Buddhism has been able to maintain its doctrinal purity to a remarkable degree. This volume explores how the traditional Buddhist communities of Asia have responded to the challenges of modernity, such as science and technology, colonialism, and globalization. Editors Steven Heine and Charles S. Prebish offer a pan-Asian approach, giving proportional treatment to the three regional legacies under which Buddhism is classified today: the traditions of East Asia (represented here by China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea), India and Southeast Asia (Sri Lanka and Thailand), and the Himalayas (Tibet). Nine essays, all commissioned expressly for this volume, consider how the encounter with modernity has impacted the disciplinary, textual, ritual, devotional, practical, and socio-political traditions of Buddhist thought throughout Asia. The result is the most comprehensive available overview of Asian Buddhism today.

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Manages to give a flavor of adaptations made and being made within Buddhism, not merely as a result of its encounter with modernization, but also because of its historical diversity. In a book that probably has a chapter or two to fit everyone's interests-perusal of the index certainly gave me room for optimism-I found it rewarding also to find areas new to me addressed in accessible and engaging ways.

Journal of Global Buddhism

Type
BOOK
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages
288

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