The discourse of Buddhist studies has traditionally been structured around texts and nations (the transmission of Buddhism from India to China to Japan). And yet, it is doubtful that these categories reflect in any significant way the organizing themes familiar to most Buddhists. It could be argued that cultic practices associated with particular buddhas and bodhisattvas are more representative of the way Buddhists conceive of their relation to tradition. This volume aims to explore this aspect of Buddhism by focusing on one of its most important cults, that of the Buddha Amitabha. Approaching the Land of Bliss is a rich collection of studies of texts and ritual practices devoted to Amitabha, ranging from Tibet to Japan and from early medieval times to the present.
The most comprehensive collection of Tibetan works in a Western language, this volume illuminates the complex historical, intellectual, and social development of Tibetan civilization from its earliest beginnings to the modern period. Including more than 180 representative writings, Sources of Tibetan Tradition spans Tibet's vast geography and long history, presenting for the first time a diversity of works by religious and political leaders; scholastic philosophers and contemplative hermits; monks and nuns; poets and artists; and aristocrats and commoners. The selected readings reflect the profound role of Buddhist sources in shaping Tibetan culture while illustrating other major areas of knowledge. Thematically varied, they address history and historiography; political and social theory; law; medicine; divination; rhetoric; aesthetic theory; narrative; travel and geography; folksong; and philosophical and religious learning, all in relation to the unique trajectories of Tibetan civil and scholarly discourse. The editors begin each chapter with a survey of broader social and cultural contexts and introduce each translated text with a concise explanation. Concluding with writings that extend into the early twentieth century, this volume offers an expansive encounter with Tibet's exceptional intellectual heritage.
The medieval period of Japanese religious history is commonly known as one in which there was a radical transformation of the religious culture. This book suggests an alternate approach to understanding the dynamics of that transformation. One main topic of analysis focuses on what Buddhism - its practices and doctrines, its traditions and institutions - meant for medieval Japanese peoples themselves. This is achieved by using the notions of discourse and ideology and juxtaposing various topics on shared linguistic practices and discursive worlds of medieval Japanese Buddhism. Collating contributions from outstanding scholars in the field of Buddhist Studies, the editors have created an important work that builds on preliminary work on rethinking the importance and meaning of Kamakura Buddhism published recently in English, and adds greatly to the debate.
This book presents the latest scientific and management information on multiaged silviculture, an emerging strategy for managing forestry systems worldwide. Over recent decades, forest science and management have tended to emphasize plantation silviculture. Whilst this clearly meets our wood production needs, many of the world's forests need to be managed far less intensively and more flexibly in order to maintain their natural ecosystem functions together with the values inherent in those processes. Developing multiaged management strategies for these complex forest ecosystems represents a global challenge to successfully integrate available science with sustainable management practices. Multiaged Silviculture covers the ecology and dynamics of multiaged stands, the management operations associated with regeneration, tending, and stocking control, and the implications of this strategy on production, genetic diversity, and stand health. It is primarily aimed at graduate level students and researchers in the fields of forestry and silviculture, but will also be of relevance and use to all professional foresters and silviculturists.
Peter B. Clarke’s in-depth account explores the innovative character of new religious movements and new forms of spirituality from a global vantage point. Ranging from North America and Europe to Japan, Latin America, South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, it is the perfect introduction to NRMs such as Falun Gong, Aum Shirikyo, the Brahma Kumaris, the Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood, Sufism, the Engaged Buddhist and Engaged Hindi movements, Messianic Judaism and Rastafarianism. Charting the cultural significance and global impact of NRMs, he discusses the ways in which various religious traditions are shaping, rather than displacing, each other’s understanding of notions such as transcendence and faith, good and evil, of the meaning, purpose and function of religion, and of religious belonging. He then examines the responses of governments, churches, the media and general public to new religious movements, as well as the reaction to older, increasingly influential religions, such as Buddhism and Islam, in new geographical and cultural contexts. Taking into account the degree of continuity between old and new religions, each chapter contains not only an account of the rise of the NRMs and new forms of spirituality in a particular region, but also an overview of change in the regions’ mainstream religions.
The Platform Sutra comprises a wide range of important Chan/Zen Buddhist teachings. Purported to contain the autobiography and sermons of Huineng (638–713), the legendary Sixth Patriarch of Chan, the sutra has been popular among monastics and the educated elite for centuries. The first study of its kind in English, this volume offers essays that introduce the history and ideas of the sutra to a general audience and interpret its practices. Leading specialists on Buddhism discuss the text's historical background and its vaunted legacy in Chinese culture. Incorporating recent scholarship and theory, chapters include an overview of Chinese Buddhism, the crucial role of the Platform Sutra in the Chan tradition, and the dynamics of Huineng's biography. They probe the sutra's key philosophical arguments, its paradoxical teachings about transmission, and its position on ordination and other institutions. The book includes a character glossary and extensive bibliography, with helpful references for students, general readers, and specialists throughout. The editors and contributors are among the most respected scholars in the study of Buddhism, and they assess the place of the Platform Sutra in the broader context of Chinese thought, opening the text to all readers interested in Asian culture, literature, spirituality, and religion.
In The Fish Kisser, a megalomaniac becomes determined to exact revenge on the Western world through a devious plot of global cyber-warfare. He enlists his own agents to track down and kidnap the experts and educated elite that can help him accomplish the unthinkable. With a series of staged deaths and disappearances, he sets his plan in motion. When the hired henchmen target Roger LeClarc, an English computer expert with a dark secret of his own, the hunters become the hunted. English detective David Bliss, who chased and was chased around the English countryside in Missing: Presumed Dead, teams up with Dutch detective Yolanda Pieters to solve this improbable affair. Fighting internal politics, stumbling upon government cover-ups, and even battling Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard, together they chase a trail of blood, intrigue, and romance across Europe to Iraq in a desperate search for the kidnapped specialists. Fans of the David Bliss character will not be disappointed as James Hawkins turns the action up several notches.