New Books Network

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... Read More
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... Read More
William Elison, “The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
William Elison‘s The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai (University of Chicago Press, 2018) explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces in Mumbai. Interestingly, not all of Elison’s interview subjects identify... Read More
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... Read More
M. David Litwa, “How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths” (Yale UP, 2019)
Did the early Christians believe their myths? Like most ancient—and modern—people, early Christians made efforts to present their myths in the most believable ways. In How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths (Yale University Press, 2019), M. David Litwa explores how and why what later became the four... Read More
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... Read More
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”... Read More