Figures of Buddhist Modernity in Asia (Paperback)

Figures of Buddhist Modernity in Asia By Jeffrey Samuels (Editor), Justin Thomas McDaniel (Editor), Mark Michael Rowe (Editor) Cover Image

Figures of Buddhist Modernity in Asia (Paperback)


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This book introduces contemporary Buddhists from across Asia and from various walks of life. Eschewing traditional hagiographies, the editors have collected sixty-six profiles of individuals who would be excluded from most Buddhist histories and ethnographies. In addition to monks and nuns, readers will encounter artists, psychologists, social workers, part-time priests, healers, and librarians as well as charlatans, hucksters, profiteers, and rabble-rousers--all whose lives reflect changes in modern Buddhism even as they themselves shape the course of these changes.

The editors and contributors are fundamentally concerned with how individual Buddhists make meaning and display this understanding to others. Some practitioners profiled look to the past, lamenting the transformations Buddhism has undergone in recent times, while others embrace these. Some have adopted a "new asceticism," while others are eager to explore different religious traditions as they think about their own ways of being Buddhist. Arranging the profiles according to these themes--looking backward, forward, inward, and outward--reveals the value of studying individual Buddhists and their idiosyncratic religious backgrounds and attitudes, thus highlighting the diversity of approaches to the practice and study of Buddhism in Asia today. Students and teachers will welcome sections on further readings and additional tables of contents that organize the profiles thematically, as well as by tradition (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana), region, and country.
Jeffrey Samuels (Editor) Jeffrey Samuels is professor of religious studies at Western Kentucky University. Justin Thomas McDaniel (Editor) Justin Thomas McDaniel is professor and chair of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark Michael Rowe (Editor) Mark Michael Rowe is associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University.
Product Details ISBN: 9780824858551
ISBN-10: 0824858557
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Publication Date: November 30th, 2017
Pages: 240
Language: English