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Cover

Buddhism in the Modern World

Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition

Edited by Steven Heine and Charles S. Prebish

Publication Date - September 2003

ISBN: 9780195146981

304 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $47.95

The most comprehensive available overview of Asian Buddhism today

Description

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 traditional Buddhist communities have responded to the challenges of modernity, such as science and technology, colonialism, and globalization. Editors Steven Heine and Charles S. Prebish have commissioned ten essays by leading scholars, each examining a particular traditional Buddhist school in its cultural context. The essays consider how the encounter with modernity has impacted the disciplinary, textual, ritual, devotional, practical, and socio-political traditions of Buddhist thought throughout Asia. Taken together, these essays reveal the diversity and vitality of contemporary Buddhism and offer a wide-ranging look at the way Buddhism interacts with the modern world.

Features

  • Fascinating treatment of how the traditional Buddhist communities of Asia have responded to the challenges of modernity
  • The most comprehensive available overview of Asian Buddhism today

About the Author(s)

Steven Heine is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Asian Studies at Florida International University. Among his many publications are Dogen and the Koan Tradition (1994), Japan in Traditional and Postmodern Perspectives (1995), The Zen Poetry of Dogen (1997), Shifting Shape, Shaping Text (1999), The Koan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism (OUP, 2000), and Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters (OUP, 2002). Dr. Heine was recently awarded the Kauffman Professorship in Entrepreneurship Studies at the Florida International University Business School.
Charles S. Prebish is Professor of Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author or editor of many books, including Historical Dictionary of Buddhism (1993), A Survey of Vinaya Literature (1994), Luminous Passage: The Practice and Study of Buddhism in America (1999), and Westward Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Asia (2002). He is a founding co-editor of the online Journal of Buddhist Ethics.

Reviews

"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

"This volume should be of general interest to scholars of religion. For Buddhologists, in particular, it addresses a lacuna in the field and marks a step forward in considering the complex issues raised by Buddhist modernism."--The Journal of Asian Studies

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