Justin R. Ritzinger, “Anarchy in the Pure Land: Reinventing the Cult of Maitreya in Modern Chinese Buddhism” (Oxford UP, 2017)
In his recent monograph, Anarchy in the Pure Land: Reinventing the Cult of Maitreya in Modern Chinese Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 2017), Justin R. Ritzinger examines the cult of Maitreya as developed during the Republican period by the Chinese monk Taixu (1890-1947) and his circle. Drawing on previously unexamined sources,... Read More
Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement” (U. Cal Press, 2016)
Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent. These public understandings of new religious movements are part of the reason why the Indian Guru, Bhagwan... Read More
Robert Wright, “Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment” (Simon and Schuster, 2017)
All “true believers” believe their beliefs are true. This is particularly true of true religious believers: for Christians, Christianity is the true religion, for Jews, Judaism is the true religion, for for Muslims, Islam is the true religion. Few true believer, however, would make the claim that their religion is... Read More
Matthew J. Walton, “Buddhism, Politics and Political Thought in Myanmar” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
Burmese Buddhist monks have featured in the news quite a lot in recent times, not as peaceful practitioners of self-abnegation, but at activists at the forefront of political movements characterized as comprising of a new kind of religious nationalism. For anyone confused by this phenomenon, and wondering how the religious... Read More
Scott A. Mitchell, “Buddhism in America: Global Religion, Local Contexts” (Bloomsbury, 2016)
Scott A. Mitchell‘s recent monograph, Buddhism in America: Global Religion, Local Contexts (Bloomsbury, 2016), provides a much-needed up-to-date overview of Buddhism in the United States. To tackle such a large topic, Mitchell draws on Thomas Tweeds work and approaches American Buddhism as comprising worldviews and sets of practices that are... Read More
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