title

New Books in Buddhist Studies

Marshall Poe

98
Followers
485
Plays
New Books in Buddhist Studies
New Books in Buddhist Studies

New Books in Buddhist Studies

Marshall Poe

98
Followers
485
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Details

About Us

Interviews with Scholars of Buddhism about their New Books

Latest Episodes

Jolyon Baraka Thomas, "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

Jolyon Baraka Thomas’s Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2019) challenges the commonsensical notion that the Japanese empire granted its subjects no religious freedom—that, despite the legal provision in the Meiji Constitution of 1890 affirming freedom of worship, “State Shinto” was the law of the land—and that it was the American-led occupation which finally granted freedom of conscience and worship to the benighted Japanese. Thomas shows first that this vision of history obscures internal debates about religious freedom in both Japanese and American circles, but also that while the narrative in which religious freedom was bestowed upon Japan by the US was in fact strategic and deeply embedded in a particular historical moment and geopolitical context, it has had a long tail of consequences for our understandings of religion after 1945. Faking Liberties is divided into two deliberately paralleled parts, the first treating what Thomas calls the Meiji Constitutional Period (1890-1945), the second examining the occupation (1945-1952) and the long-term consequences of the rhetorical moves made by the occupiers for the way that religion has been understood in the postwar period. The book argues that the particular political circumstance of the Japanese occupation was instrumental in defining the religious-secular and “good-bad” religion binaries, as well as the idea of religious freedom as a human right that has become hegemonic in much of the postwar West. Faking Liberties is a challenging intervention into not only the historiography of modern Japan, but religious studies more generally. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

84 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Jolyon Baraka Thomas, "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

Geoffrey Barstow, "Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

Tibetan Buddhism teaches compassion toward all beings, a category that explicitly includes animals. Slaughtering animals is morally problematic at best and, at worst, completely incompatible with a religious lifestyle. Yet historically most Tibetans—both monastic and lay—have made meat a regular part of their diet. In Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2018) of the place of vegetarianism within Tibetan religiosity, Geoffrey Barstow explores the tension between Buddhist ethics and Tibetan cultural norms to offer a novel perspective on the spiritual and social dimensions of meat eating. Sangseraima Ujeed, ACLS Robert H.N. Ho Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies at UCSB. She read for her graduate degree at the University of Oxford. Her main research focus is the trans-national aspect of Buddhism, lineage and identity in Tibet and Mongolia in the Early Modern period, with a particular emphasis on the contribut...

65 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Geoffrey Barstow, "Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

Ronald E. Purser, "McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality" (Repeater Books, 2019)

In his recent exposé, McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Repeater Books, 2019), Ronald Purser Ph.D. takes a hard look at the mindfulness movement that has taken society by storm. Purser opens the book by questioning elements of the movement that have lead to its success: its scientific credibility, its secular façade, the prevailing discourse in society around stress, and other topics. Purser’s main concern, however, is that mindfulness is being used to reinforce the capitalist system by absolving companies of any responsibility for its negative consequences, for example work-related mental health problems, and shifting full responsibility onto the shoulders of the individual. Purser also points out how mindfulness is being used in questionable ways in schools, the US military and national governments. Purser ends the book by discussing his vision of a revolutionary, socially-minded, collective-based form of mindfulness. Full of humor and eye-o...

91 MINSEP 18
Comments
Ronald E. Purser, "McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality" (Repeater Books, 2019)

Levi McLaughlin, "Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

Being Japan’s largest and most influential new religious organization, Soka Gakkai (Society for the Creation of Value) and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) claims to have 12 million members in 192 countries around the world. Founded in the 1930s by a group of teachers focused on educational reform, Soka Gakkai has since evolved from its grassroot origins as a movement inspired by Nichiren Buddhism to a highly significant source of influence in contemporary Japanese education and politics. In Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2018), Levi McLaughlin argues that Soka Gakkai comprises a great deal more than Buddhism and is instead best conceived as the product of “twin legacies” – lay Nichiren Buddhism and modern Euro-American humanist imports. Drawing on nearly two decades of archival and non-member fieldwork in the Soka Gakkai communities in Japan, McLaughlin offers a comprehensive study of the new religious m...

48 MINAUG 26
Comments
Levi McLaughlin, "Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

William M. Gorvine, "Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint" (Oxford UP, 2018)

In his new book, Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint (Oxford University Press, 2018), William M. Gorvine provides a multifaceted analysis of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859-1934), one of the most prominent modern representatives of the Tibetan Bön tradition. Engaging two written versions of Shardza’s life story as well as oral histories gathered during fieldwork in eastern Tibet and Bön exile communities in India, Gorvine explores the ways in which Shardza has been represented and what such representations can tell us about the religious communities in which Shardza operated as well as the genre of religious biography more generally. In the process, Gorvine also provides an accessible introduction to Bön, a religious minority that remains understudied by scholars of Tibet. This book will be of interest to those who are interested in religious biographies and how they related to the religious, literary, and historical contexts in which they were produced...

66 MINAUG 26
Comments
William M. Gorvine, "Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint" (Oxford UP, 2018)

Berthe Jansen, "The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet" (U California Press, 2018)

The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet (University of California Press, 2018) discusses the position of the monasteries in pre-1950s Tibetan Buddhist societies and how that position was informed by the far-reaching relationship of monastic Buddhism with Tibetan society, economy, law, and culture. Berthe Jansen's study of monastic guidelines is the first study of its kind to examine the genre in detail. The book contains an exploration of its parallels in other Buddhist cultures, its connection to the Vinaya, and its value as socio-historical source-material. The guidelines are witness to certain socio-economic changes, while also containing rules that aim to change the monastery in order to preserve it. Jansen argues that the monastic institutions’ influence on society was maintained not merely due to prevailing power-relations, but also because of certain deep-rooted Buddhist beliefs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

61 MINAUG 21
Comments
Berthe Jansen, "The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet" (U California Press, 2018)

Max Oidtmann, "Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

In 1995, the People’s Republic of China resurrected the technology of the “Golden Urn,” a Qing-era tool which involves the identification of the reincarnations of prominent Tibetan Buddhist monks by drawing lots from a golden vessel. Why would the Chinese Communist Party revive this former ritual? What powers lie in the symbolism of the “Golden Urn”? Why was this tradition invented? Using both archival sources in the Manchu language and chronicles of Tibetan elites, Max Oidtmann answers these burning questions and reveals in Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet(Columbia University Press, 2018) the origins of the Golden Urn tradition, as well as its implication in modern and contemporary geopolitics of Asia. In the book, Oidtmann highlights the original polyglot conversations that existed in the Qing era and suggests to see the Qing as colonial: that there was a deliberative process that lay behind the invention of the Golden Urn in ...

75 MINAUG 19
Comments
Max Oidtmann, "Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

Daniel Veidlinger, "From Indra’s Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddhist Ideas" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

In this episode of New Books in Buddhist Studies, I am joined by Daniel Veidlinger to discuss his exciting new book From Indra’s Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddhist Ideas (University of Hawaii Press, 2018), which offers a theoretically compelling exploration of the types communicative “ecosystems” in which Buddhist ideas have flourished throughout history. Drawing inspiration from evolutionary biology and media theory, Veidlinger’s book begins by isolating some particular traits that were unique to (or at least most well-developed in) early Buddhism, and then tracing how these traits were particular well-suited for transmission in two specific historical, cultural, and communicative contexts: namely, communities in early India and along the Silk Road in the first centuries of the Common Era. His book concludes with a lengthy exploration of the ways that the Internet Age represents a third such epoch, and propounds the provocative theory that...

57 MINAUG 15
Comments
Daniel Veidlinger, "From Indra’s Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddhist Ideas" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

Julia Cassaniti, "Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia" (Cornell UP, 2018)

How do you understand mindfulness? Is your understanding limited by your own culture’s definition of what mindfulness is? These are some of the questions you will ask yourself while reading Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia (Cornell University Press). In today’s podcast, Prof. Julia Cassaniti takes us on a tour of three Theravada Buddhist countries (Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) to show us how mindfulness is understood in this region and what this, in turn, can teach the West about its own understanding of the concept. This is an insightful read not only for academics interested in contemporary Buddhist studies in the countries surveyed, but also for anyone interested in broadening their perspective on what the term ‘mindfulness’ means. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

101 MINAUG 12
Comments
Julia Cassaniti, "Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia" (Cornell UP, 2018)

Jessica Starling, "Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

In her recent ethnography, Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū (University of Hawaii Press, 2019), Prof. Jessica Starling invites us into the daily lives of the bōmori, the spouses of priests in the Japanese Jōdo Shinshū, or True Pure Land, tradition. Focusing on domestic religion, Prof. Starling shows us how the bōmori create community by cleaning the temple altar, how they express gratitude for their salvation by carefully managing temple donations, and how they inspire faith by serving a cup of tea. This is truly a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of one of Buddhism’s most overlooked figures, the temple wives. You can reach Starling via Facebook. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

59 MINAUG 5
Comments
Jessica Starling, "Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

Latest Episodes

Jolyon Baraka Thomas, "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

Jolyon Baraka Thomas’s Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2019) challenges the commonsensical notion that the Japanese empire granted its subjects no religious freedom—that, despite the legal provision in the Meiji Constitution of 1890 affirming freedom of worship, “State Shinto” was the law of the land—and that it was the American-led occupation which finally granted freedom of conscience and worship to the benighted Japanese. Thomas shows first that this vision of history obscures internal debates about religious freedom in both Japanese and American circles, but also that while the narrative in which religious freedom was bestowed upon Japan by the US was in fact strategic and deeply embedded in a particular historical moment and geopolitical context, it has had a long tail of consequences for our understandings of religion after 1945. Faking Liberties is divided into two deliberately paralleled parts, the first treating what Thomas calls the Meiji Constitutional Period (1890-1945), the second examining the occupation (1945-1952) and the long-term consequences of the rhetorical moves made by the occupiers for the way that religion has been understood in the postwar period. The book argues that the particular political circumstance of the Japanese occupation was instrumental in defining the religious-secular and “good-bad” religion binaries, as well as the idea of religious freedom as a human right that has become hegemonic in much of the postwar West. Faking Liberties is a challenging intervention into not only the historiography of modern Japan, but religious studies more generally. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

84 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Jolyon Baraka Thomas, "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

Geoffrey Barstow, "Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

Tibetan Buddhism teaches compassion toward all beings, a category that explicitly includes animals. Slaughtering animals is morally problematic at best and, at worst, completely incompatible with a religious lifestyle. Yet historically most Tibetans—both monastic and lay—have made meat a regular part of their diet. In Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2018) of the place of vegetarianism within Tibetan religiosity, Geoffrey Barstow explores the tension between Buddhist ethics and Tibetan cultural norms to offer a novel perspective on the spiritual and social dimensions of meat eating. Sangseraima Ujeed, ACLS Robert H.N. Ho Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies at UCSB. She read for her graduate degree at the University of Oxford. Her main research focus is the trans-national aspect of Buddhism, lineage and identity in Tibet and Mongolia in the Early Modern period, with a particular emphasis on the contribut...

65 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Geoffrey Barstow, "Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

Ronald E. Purser, "McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality" (Repeater Books, 2019)

In his recent exposé, McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Repeater Books, 2019), Ronald Purser Ph.D. takes a hard look at the mindfulness movement that has taken society by storm. Purser opens the book by questioning elements of the movement that have lead to its success: its scientific credibility, its secular façade, the prevailing discourse in society around stress, and other topics. Purser’s main concern, however, is that mindfulness is being used to reinforce the capitalist system by absolving companies of any responsibility for its negative consequences, for example work-related mental health problems, and shifting full responsibility onto the shoulders of the individual. Purser also points out how mindfulness is being used in questionable ways in schools, the US military and national governments. Purser ends the book by discussing his vision of a revolutionary, socially-minded, collective-based form of mindfulness. Full of humor and eye-o...

91 MINSEP 18
Comments
Ronald E. Purser, "McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality" (Repeater Books, 2019)

Levi McLaughlin, "Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

Being Japan’s largest and most influential new religious organization, Soka Gakkai (Society for the Creation of Value) and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) claims to have 12 million members in 192 countries around the world. Founded in the 1930s by a group of teachers focused on educational reform, Soka Gakkai has since evolved from its grassroot origins as a movement inspired by Nichiren Buddhism to a highly significant source of influence in contemporary Japanese education and politics. In Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2018), Levi McLaughlin argues that Soka Gakkai comprises a great deal more than Buddhism and is instead best conceived as the product of “twin legacies” – lay Nichiren Buddhism and modern Euro-American humanist imports. Drawing on nearly two decades of archival and non-member fieldwork in the Soka Gakkai communities in Japan, McLaughlin offers a comprehensive study of the new religious m...

48 MINAUG 26
Comments
Levi McLaughlin, "Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

William M. Gorvine, "Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint" (Oxford UP, 2018)

In his new book, Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint (Oxford University Press, 2018), William M. Gorvine provides a multifaceted analysis of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859-1934), one of the most prominent modern representatives of the Tibetan Bön tradition. Engaging two written versions of Shardza’s life story as well as oral histories gathered during fieldwork in eastern Tibet and Bön exile communities in India, Gorvine explores the ways in which Shardza has been represented and what such representations can tell us about the religious communities in which Shardza operated as well as the genre of religious biography more generally. In the process, Gorvine also provides an accessible introduction to Bön, a religious minority that remains understudied by scholars of Tibet. This book will be of interest to those who are interested in religious biographies and how they related to the religious, literary, and historical contexts in which they were produced...

66 MINAUG 26
Comments
William M. Gorvine, "Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint" (Oxford UP, 2018)

Berthe Jansen, "The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet" (U California Press, 2018)

The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet (University of California Press, 2018) discusses the position of the monasteries in pre-1950s Tibetan Buddhist societies and how that position was informed by the far-reaching relationship of monastic Buddhism with Tibetan society, economy, law, and culture. Berthe Jansen's study of monastic guidelines is the first study of its kind to examine the genre in detail. The book contains an exploration of its parallels in other Buddhist cultures, its connection to the Vinaya, and its value as socio-historical source-material. The guidelines are witness to certain socio-economic changes, while also containing rules that aim to change the monastery in order to preserve it. Jansen argues that the monastic institutions’ influence on society was maintained not merely due to prevailing power-relations, but also because of certain deep-rooted Buddhist beliefs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

61 MINAUG 21
Comments
Berthe Jansen, "The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet" (U California Press, 2018)

Max Oidtmann, "Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

In 1995, the People’s Republic of China resurrected the technology of the “Golden Urn,” a Qing-era tool which involves the identification of the reincarnations of prominent Tibetan Buddhist monks by drawing lots from a golden vessel. Why would the Chinese Communist Party revive this former ritual? What powers lie in the symbolism of the “Golden Urn”? Why was this tradition invented? Using both archival sources in the Manchu language and chronicles of Tibetan elites, Max Oidtmann answers these burning questions and reveals in Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet(Columbia University Press, 2018) the origins of the Golden Urn tradition, as well as its implication in modern and contemporary geopolitics of Asia. In the book, Oidtmann highlights the original polyglot conversations that existed in the Qing era and suggests to see the Qing as colonial: that there was a deliberative process that lay behind the invention of the Golden Urn in ...

75 MINAUG 19
Comments
Max Oidtmann, "Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)

Daniel Veidlinger, "From Indra’s Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddhist Ideas" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

In this episode of New Books in Buddhist Studies, I am joined by Daniel Veidlinger to discuss his exciting new book From Indra’s Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddhist Ideas (University of Hawaii Press, 2018), which offers a theoretically compelling exploration of the types communicative “ecosystems” in which Buddhist ideas have flourished throughout history. Drawing inspiration from evolutionary biology and media theory, Veidlinger’s book begins by isolating some particular traits that were unique to (or at least most well-developed in) early Buddhism, and then tracing how these traits were particular well-suited for transmission in two specific historical, cultural, and communicative contexts: namely, communities in early India and along the Silk Road in the first centuries of the Common Era. His book concludes with a lengthy exploration of the ways that the Internet Age represents a third such epoch, and propounds the provocative theory that...

57 MINAUG 15
Comments
Daniel Veidlinger, "From Indra’s Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddhist Ideas" (U Hawaii Press, 2018)

Julia Cassaniti, "Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia" (Cornell UP, 2018)

How do you understand mindfulness? Is your understanding limited by your own culture’s definition of what mindfulness is? These are some of the questions you will ask yourself while reading Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia (Cornell University Press). In today’s podcast, Prof. Julia Cassaniti takes us on a tour of three Theravada Buddhist countries (Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) to show us how mindfulness is understood in this region and what this, in turn, can teach the West about its own understanding of the concept. This is an insightful read not only for academics interested in contemporary Buddhist studies in the countries surveyed, but also for anyone interested in broadening their perspective on what the term ‘mindfulness’ means. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

101 MINAUG 12
Comments
Julia Cassaniti, "Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia" (Cornell UP, 2018)

Jessica Starling, "Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

In her recent ethnography, Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū (University of Hawaii Press, 2019), Prof. Jessica Starling invites us into the daily lives of the bōmori, the spouses of priests in the Japanese Jōdo Shinshū, or True Pure Land, tradition. Focusing on domestic religion, Prof. Starling shows us how the bōmori create community by cleaning the temple altar, how they express gratitude for their salvation by carefully managing temple donations, and how they inspire faith by serving a cup of tea. This is truly a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of one of Buddhism’s most overlooked figures, the temple wives. You can reach Starling via Facebook. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

59 MINAUG 5
Comments
Jessica Starling, "Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)