Defining Buddhism(s): A Reader

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-08
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Defining Buddhisms: A Reader explores the multiple ways in which Buddhisms have been defined and constructed by Buddhists and scholars. In recent decades, scholars have become increasingly aware of their own role in the process of constructing the Buddhist communities that they represent- a process in which multiple representations of "Buddhism" (hence "Buddhisms") compete with and complement one another. The essays in this reader, written by leaders in the field of Buddhist studies, consider a broad range of inquiries and concerns, methods and approaches that contribute to understanding and learning from constructions of Buddhisms, illuminating the challenges and dilemmas involved in defining historical, social, and political contexts. These different perspectives also demonstrate that definitions of "Buddhism" have always been contested.As an anthology, this volume also participates in the process of construction, developing a framework in which recent scholarship on Buddhisms can be productively related and interpreted. By creating a new context for these essays, this volume enables a new conversation to emerge, as the investigations and debates raised in each piece are considered in relation to one another.The volume and section introductions highlight the ways in which the essays included represent the contested aspects of constructed Buddhisms: historical contexts are never singular and there is never a solitary agent engaged in shaping them. These diverse reconstructions of "Buddhism" derive from the recognition that we have much to learn from, as well as about, Buddhists.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introduction: Defining Buddhism(s)p. 1
Defining Buddhist Histories
Defining Buddhist Histories: Introductionp. 16
Archaeology and Protestant Presuppositions in the Study of Indian Buddhismp. 24
Suttas as History: Four Approaches to the Sermon on the Noble Quest (Ariyapariyesanasutta)p. 44
Historical Understanding: The Chan Buddhist Transmission Narratives and Modern Historiographyp. 81
Roads Taken and Not Taken in the Study of Theravada Buddhismp. 92
Defining Buddhist Ideologies
Defining Buddhist Ideologies: Introductionp. 118
The Suppression of the Three Stages Sect: Apocrypha as a Political Issuep. 126
Budda no fukuin: The Deployment of Paul Carus's Gospel of Buddha in Meiji Japanp. 155
Re-membering the Dismembered Body of Tibet: Contemporary Tibetan Visionary Movements in the People's Republic of Chinap. 176
Defining Buddhist Identities
Defining Buddhist Identities: Introductionp. 216
The Image of an Orphan: Cambodian Narrative Sites for Buddhist Ethical Reflectionp. 225
Seeking Sakyamuni: Travel and the Reconstruction of Japanese Buddhismp. 252
One Plus One Makes Three: Buddhist Gender, Monasticism, and the Law of the Non-Excluded Middlep. 281
Bibliographyp. 306
Index of Namesp. 328
Index of Subjectsp. 333
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