On January 24 at a ceremony at the Honolulu Consulate General of Japan, University of Hawai‘i professor emeritus George J. Tanabe, Jr. was conferred with the Government of Japan’s Imperial Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in honor of his contributions toward the strengthening of academic and cultural exchanges between the United States and Japan. The award recognizes his work in promoting Japanese culture and values through research and studies in Japanese religions.
Although architecture continually responds to ascetic compulsions, as in its frequent encounter with the question of excess and less, it is typically considered separate from asceticism. In contrast, The Hermit’s Hutoffers original insight and explores the rich and mutual ways in which asceticism and architecture are played out in each other’s practices. Relying primarily on Buddhist materials, author Kazi K. Ashraf provides a complex narrative that stems from the simple structure of the hermit’s hut, showing how the significance of the hut resonates widely and how the question of dwelling is central to ascetic imagination. In exploring the conjunctions of architecture and asceticism, he breaks new ground by presenting ascetic practice as fundamentally an architectural project, namely the fabrication of a “last” hut.
This innovative book weaves together the fields of architecture, anthropology, religion, and philosophy to offer multidisciplinary and historical insights. It will appeal to readers with diverse interests and in a variety of disciplines—whether one is interested in the history of ascetic architecture in India, the concept of “home” in ancient India, or the theme of the body as building.
Experimental Buddhism highlights the complex and often wrenching interactions between long-established religious traditions and rapid social, cultural, and economic change. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, it is one of the first studies to give readers a sense of what is happening on the front lines as progressive Buddhist priests try to reboot their roles and traditions to gain greater significance in Japanese society. The book profiles innovative as well as controversial responses to the challenges facing Buddhist priests.
The work’s central theme of experimental Buddhism provides a fresh perspective to understand how priests and other individuals employ Buddhist traditions in selective and pragmatic ways, frequently risking criticism from their peers, constituents, and high-ranking religious authorities. Using these inventive approaches during a time of crisis and transition for Japanese temple Buddhism, priests and practitioners from all denominations seek solutions that not only can transform their religious traditions but also influence society and their fellow citizens in positive ways.
André Bareau (1921–1993) was one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation. Dissatisfied with piecemeal and contradictory information on early Buddhist schools, he set out to construct a coherent and authoritative overview, which has remained the standard treatment in the field since its appearance in 1955. This book offers a close description and analysis of Bareau’s findings on the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism. The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle will be used by students and scholars as a primary resource and starting point for any discussion on the history and doctrines of early Buddhism and Buddhist schools. This seminal work is translated by Sara Boin-Webb, who across a career of four decades translated into English some of the most important French-language works of Buddhist scholarship.
“Bareau’s Les sectes bouddhiques was—and remains—a highly influential contribution to the study of Indian Buddhism in general, and of the doctrinal debates of the various schools or sects of Indian Buddhism in particular. More than half a century after its original publication, Les sectes remains a standard reference work. . . . This book will stimulate research for years to come. . . . A reliable English translation of this work, then, is a welcome and timely contribution. It will be of interest to upper-level undergraduate students in Asian religions, Asian history, and philosophy. It will be required reading for graduate students in Asian religions.” —Shayne Clarke, McMaster University
Published in association with The Buddhist Society Trust
July 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3566-8 / $65.00 (Cloth)
The six lectures that make up this book were delivered in March 2011 at London University’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies as the Jordan Lectures on Comparative Religion. They revolve around the intersection of two ideas, nothingness and desire, as they apply to a re-examination of the questions of self, God, morality, property, and the East-West philosophical divide.
“Many readers already know Jim Heisig through his ground-breaking critical studies and translations of Japanese philosophy. Others admire him for his efforts at interreligious dialogue and his personal activities related to global justice, education for the disenfranchised, and ecological sustainability. In this book, Heisig engages his extraordinary grasp of philosophical resources, eastern and western, Buddhist and Christian, to address the global crises we face today.” —Thomas P. Kasulis, The Ohio State University
Schopenhauer is widely recognized as the Western philosopher who has shown the greatest openness to Indian thought and whose own ideas approach most closely to it. This book examines his encounter with important schools of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and subjects the principal apparent affinities to a careful analysis. Initial chapters describe Schopenhauer’s encounter with Indian thought in the context of the intellectual climate of early nineteenth-century Europe.
Principal sections of the book consider the two main pillars of Schopenhauer’s system in relation to broadly comparable ideas found, in the case of Hindu thought, in Advaita Vedānta, and within Buddhism in the Mādhyamika and Yogācāra schools. Schopenhauer’s doctrine of the world as representation, or a flow of impressions appearing in the consciousness of living beings, is first considered. The second main pillar of Schopenhauer’s system, the doctrine of the world as will, is then examined and its relationship to Indian thought explored. This section of the work breaks new ground in the study of Schopenhauer, for although the similarity of his ethical and soteriological teaching to that of Indian religions (particularly Buddhism) has long been noted the underlying reasons for this have not been grasped. It is demonstrated that they are to be found in hitherto unrecognized affinities, of which Schopenhauer himself was largely unaware, between the metaphysics of the will and Indian ideas relating to karmic impressions (vāsanās), the store-consciousness, the causal body, and śakti as the “force” or “energy” that maintains the existence of the world.
Final chapters discuss the controversial and difficult question of the relation of the will to final reality in Schopenhauer’s thought in the light of Indian conceptions, and suggest that the two central pillars of his philosophy may be seen, to a greater extent than previously supposed, as a bridge by which the Eastern and Western traditions of philosophical thought may be brought into a closer and more creative relationship.
The term “revival” has been used to describe the resurgent vitality of Buddhism in Taiwan. Particularly impressive is the quality and size of the nun’s order: Taiwanese nuns today are highly educated and greatly outnumber monks. Both characteristics are unprecedented in the history of Chinese Buddhism and are evident in the Incense Light community (Xiangguang). Passing the Light: The Incense Light Community and Buddhist Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan, by Chün-Fang Yü, is the first in-depth case study of the community, which was founded in 1974 and remains a small but influential order of highly educated nuns who dedicate themselves to teaching Buddhism to lay adults.
The UH Press Asian Studies 2013 catalog is now available! The catalog has been redesigned to showcase our new and forthcoming Asian studies titles. (All books published prior to late 2012 and currently in print can be found at our website.) To view the PDF, click on the catalog cover image to the left.
* Short fiction from Japan’s foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji, including a new translation of an anticapitalist classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its publication — The Crab Cannery Ship and Other Novels of Struggle
* Close description and analysis of the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism by André Bareau, one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation — The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle
Each year Choice Magazine, the official publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, compiles a distinguished list of Outstanding Academic Titles. The following UH Press books were recognized for 2012. A complete list of titles will be available in Choice’s January 2013 issue.
“This massive tome will stand for the forseeable future as the gold standard for comprehensive treatment of all matters of Japanese philosophy. The three editors, all significant names within this small but growing subfield, have assembled an impressive group of established and up-and-coming scholars to translate and provide introductions to each entry, resulting in a readable sourcebook remarkable in both scope and acuity of analysis. . . . Essential.” —Choice (April 2012)
Buddhism in a Dark Age: Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot, by Ian Harris, a pioneering study of the fate of Buddhism during the communist period in Cambodia, puts a human face on a dark period in Cambodia’s history. It is the first sustained analysis of the widely held assumption that the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot had a centralized plan to liquidate the entire monastic order. Based on a thorough analysis of interview transcripts and a large body of contemporary manuscript material, it offers a nuanced view that attempts to move beyond the horrific monastic death toll and fully evaluate the damage to the Buddhist sangha under Democratic Kampuchea.
December 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3561-3 / $22.00 (PAPER)
An exhibition of Japanese Buddhist temple objects and furnishings will be on display at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i community gallery from December 1, 2012 through February 22, 2013. The show is curated by professors emeriti George and Willa Tanabe, based on their new book, Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Guide.The book serves a dual role as the exhibition catalog as well as a colorful visitors’ guidebook to the 90 extant temples in the islands.
The Tanabes will also be leading a series of Saturday tours to selected temples on December 8, January 19, January 26, and February 9. For more information, see the JCCH website for details, or call (808) 945-7633 ext. 28 or email email@example.com to make reservations. UPDATE: After each tour, the Tanabes will discuss their book and sign copies.
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