Michael Pye - Author

About the Author

Michael Pye is the author of The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are.

Featured books by Michael Pye

The Edge of the World How the North Sea Made Us Who We are

The Edge of the World How the North Sea Made Us Who We are

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Michael Pye's The Edge of the World is an epic adventure: from the Vikings to the Enlightenment, from barbaric outpost to global centre, it tells the amazing story of northern Europe's transformation by sea. An utterly beguiling journey into the dark ages of the north sea. A complete revelation...Pye writes like a dream. Magnificent. (Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps). This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money. We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. The water was dangerous, but it was far easier than struggling over land; so it was the sea that brought people together. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information. The seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled. With them they brought new tastes and technologies - books, clothes, manners, paintings and machines. In this dazzling historical adventure, we return to a time that is largely forgotten and watch as the modern world is born. We see the spread of money and how it paved the way for science. We see how plague terrorised even the rich and transformed daily life for the poor. We watch as the climate changed and coastlines shifted, people adapted and towns flourished. We see the arrival of the first politicians, artists, lawyers: citizens. From Viking raiders to Mongol hordes, Frisian fishermen to Hanseatic hustlers, travelling as far west as America and as far east as Byzantium, we see how the life and traffic of the seas changed everything. Drawing on an astonishing breadth of learning and packed with human stories and revelations, this is the epic drama of how we came to be who we are. A closely-researched and fascinating characterisation of the richness of life and the underestimated interconnections of the peoples all around the medieval and early modern North Sea. A real page-turner. (Chris Wickham, author of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000). Elegant writing and extraordinary scholarship...Miraculous. (Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of Periodic Tales and Anatomies). Splendid. A heady mix of social, economic, and intellectual history, written in an engaging style. It offers a counterpoint to the many studies of the Mediterranean, arguing for the importance of the North Sea. Exciting, fun, and informative. (Michael Prestwich, Professor of History, Durham University). Michael Pye has written eleven previous books, translated into eleven languages, including two British bestsellers and two New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He took a First and various prizes in Modern History at Oxford, and was then for many years a highly successful journalist, columnist and broadcaster in London and New York. He now lives between London and rural Portugal.

The Edge of the World How the North Sea Made Us Who We are

The Edge of the World How the North Sea Made Us Who We are

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/11/2014

This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money. We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. The water was dangerous, but it was far easier than struggling over land; so it was the sea that brought people together. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information. The seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled. With them they brought new tastes and technologies - books, clothes, manners, paintings and machines. In this dazzling historical adventure, we return to a time that is largely forgotten and watch as the modern world is born. We see the spread of money and how it paved the way for science. We see how plague terrorised even the rich and transformed daily life for the poor. We watch as the climate changed and coastlines shifted, people adapted and towns flourished. We see the arrival of the first politicians, artists, lawyers: citizens. From Viking raiders to Mongol hordes, Frisian fishermen to Hanseatic hustlers, travelling as far west as America and as far east as Byzantium, we see how the life and traffic of the seas changed everything. Drawing on an astonishing breadth of learning and packed with human stories and revelations, this is the epic drama of how we came to be who we are.

Other books by Michael Pye

Skilful Means A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism

Skilful Means A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/01/2017

'Skilful Means' is the key principle of Mahayana, one of the great Buddhist traditions. First described in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in myths of the Buddha's compassionate plans for raising life from the ceaseless round of birth and death. His strategies or interventions are 'skilful means' - morally wholesome tricks devised for the purpose of enabling nirvana or enlightenment. Michael Pye's clear and engaging introductory guide investigates the meaning and context of skilful means in Mayahana Buddhist teachings, whilst tracing its early origins in ancient Japanese and Theravada thought. First published in 1978, and still the best explanation of the concept, it illuminates a core working philosophy essential for any complete understanding of Buddhism.

The Edge of the World How the North Sea Made Us Who We are

The Edge of the World How the North Sea Made Us Who We are

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Michael Pye's The Edge of the World is an epic adventure: from the Vikings to the Enlightenment, from barbaric outpost to global centre, it tells the amazing story of northern Europe's transformation by sea. An utterly beguiling journey into the dark ages of the north sea. A complete revelation...Pye writes like a dream. Magnificent. (Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps). This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money. We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. The water was dangerous, but it was far easier than struggling over land; so it was the sea that brought people together. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information. The seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled. With them they brought new tastes and technologies - books, clothes, manners, paintings and machines. In this dazzling historical adventure, we return to a time that is largely forgotten and watch as the modern world is born. We see the spread of money and how it paved the way for science. We see how plague terrorised even the rich and transformed daily life for the poor. We watch as the climate changed and coastlines shifted, people adapted and towns flourished. We see the arrival of the first politicians, artists, lawyers: citizens. From Viking raiders to Mongol hordes, Frisian fishermen to Hanseatic hustlers, travelling as far west as America and as far east as Byzantium, we see how the life and traffic of the seas changed everything. Drawing on an astonishing breadth of learning and packed with human stories and revelations, this is the epic drama of how we came to be who we are. A closely-researched and fascinating characterisation of the richness of life and the underestimated interconnections of the peoples all around the medieval and early modern North Sea. A real page-turner. (Chris Wickham, author of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000). Elegant writing and extraordinary scholarship...Miraculous. (Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of Periodic Tales and Anatomies). Splendid. A heady mix of social, economic, and intellectual history, written in an engaging style. It offers a counterpoint to the many studies of the Mediterranean, arguing for the importance of the North Sea. Exciting, fun, and informative. (Michael Prestwich, Professor of History, Durham University). Michael Pye has written eleven previous books, translated into eleven languages, including two British bestsellers and two New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He took a First and various prizes in Modern History at Oxford, and was then for many years a highly successful journalist, columnist and broadcaster in London and New York. He now lives between London and rural Portugal.

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/12/2014

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage explores the ritual practice of circulatory pilgrimages - the visiting of many temples in a numbered sequence. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims travel such temple routes, seeking peace of mind, health and wellbeing for themselves and others as the benefits of such meritorious endeavour. This form of pilgrimage appears to be unique to Japan. The practice began centuries ago and involved visiting 33 temples devoted to the Bodhisattva Kannon, spread widely over western Japan. Soon afterwards the equally famous pilgrimage to 88 temples on Japan's fourth island of Shikoku came into prominence. This is the first comprehensive study of all the major and many of the minor routes, The book also examines how the practice of circulatory pilgrimage developed among the shrines and temples for the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, and beyond them to the rather different world of Shinto. The varying significance of the different pilgrimages is also explored. In addition to all the information about the routes, the book includes numerous illustrations and examples of the short Buddhist texts chanted by the pilgrims on their rounds.

Lay Buddhism and Spirituality From Vimalakirti to the Nenbutsu Masters

Lay Buddhism and Spirituality From Vimalakirti to the Nenbutsu Masters

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/07/2014

Early issues of The Eastern Buddhist contain short translations from various Buddhist texts, some of them quite important and all of considerable interest. Since they are set unobtrusively between modern statements and arguments about the nature of Buddhism, and in any case are difficult to locate, they have often gone unnoticed by students. Assembled here is a selection of those texts which have stood the test of time. Derived from Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese originals, they illustrate the importance of lay spirituality for Japanese Buddhists, both in the nenbutsu tradition and in the wider context of Mahayana Buddhism. Drawing them together into one volume brings out the fact that these varied Buddhist traditions are intricately related to each other. The result is an unusual and fascinating reader which would grace many a course in Buddhist studies.

Lay Buddhism and Spirituality From Vimalakirti to the Nenbutsu Maasters

Lay Buddhism and Spirituality From Vimalakirti to the Nenbutsu Maasters

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/07/2014

Early issues of The Eastern Buddhist contain short translations from various Buddhist texts, some of them quite important and all of considerable interest. Since they are set unobtrusively between modern statements and arguments about the nature of Buddhism, and in any case are difficult to locate, they have often gone unnoticed by students. Assembled here is a selection of those texts which have stood the test of time. Derived from Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese originals, they illustrate the importance of lay spirituality for Japanese Buddhists, both in the nenbutsu tradition and in the wider context of Mahayana Buddhism. Drawing them together into one volume brings out the fact that these varied Buddhist traditions are intricately related to each other. The result is an unusual and fascinating reader which would grace many a course in Buddhist studies.

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/03/2014

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage explores the ritual practice of circulatory pilgrimages - the visiting of many temples in a numbered sequence. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims travel such temple routes, seeking peace of mind, health and wellbeing for themselves and others as the benefits of such meritorious endeavour. This form of pilgrimage appears to be unique to Japan. The practice began centuries ago and involved visiting 33 temples devoted to the Bodhisattva Kannon, spread widely over western Japan. Soon afterwards the equally famous pilgrimage to 88 temples on Japan's fourth island of Shikoku came into prominence. This is the first comprehensive study of all the major and many of the minor routes, The book also examines how the practice of circulatory pilgrimage developed among the shrines and temples for the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, and beyond them to the rather different world of Shinto. The varying significance of the different pilgrimages is also explored. In addition to all the information about the routes, the book includes numerous illustrations and examples of the short Buddhist texts chanted by the pilgrims on their rounds.

Interactions with Japanese Buddhism Explorations and Viewpoints in Twentieth Century Kyoto

Interactions with Japanese Buddhism Explorations and Viewpoints in Twentieth Century Kyoto

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2013

In the early twentieth-century, The Eastern Buddhist journal pioneered the presentation of Buddhism to the west and encouraged the west's engagement in interpretation. This interactive process increased dramatically in the post-war period, when dialogue between Buddhist and Christian thought began to take off in earnest. These debates and dialogues brought in voices with a Zen orientation, influenced in part by the philosophical Buddhism of the Kyoto School. Also to be heard, however, were contributions from the Pure Land and the Shin Buddhist traditions, which have a strong tradition in the city. This book brings together a range of authors who have significantly influenced subsequent Buddhist-Christian dialogue and the interaction between east and west. It is a companion volume to Listening to Shin Buddhism: Starting Points of Modern Dialogue.

Exploring Methods and Positions

Exploring Methods and Positions

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/03/2013

These previously scattered texts by Michael Pye are landmarks in the development of the study of religions, presented here as an international enterprise with roots in both European and East Asian culture. This first volume comprises fundamental papers on method and theory, while the second volume uses case studies to explore a number of themes such as tradition, innovation, and syncretism. Wider themes such as civil identity, dialogue, and religious education illustrate the general relevance of the study of religions. The seven sections spanning both volumes are well designed for use in seminar assignments.

Interactions with Japanese Buddhism Explorations and Viewpoints in Twentieth Century Kyoto

Interactions with Japanese Buddhism Explorations and Viewpoints in Twentieth Century Kyoto

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/2013

In the early twentieth century, The Eastern Buddhist journal pioneered the presentation of Buddhism to the west and encouraged the west's engagement in interpretation. This interactive process increased dramatically in the post-war period, when dialogue between Buddhist and Christian thought began to take off in earnest. These debates and dialogues brought in voices with a Zen orientation, influenced in part by the philosophical Buddhism of the Kyoto School. Also to be heard however were contributions from the Pure Land and the Shin Buddhist traditions, which also have a strong tradition in the city. The book brings together a wide range of authors who have significantly influenced subsequent Buddhist-Christian dialogue and the interaction between east and west.

Exploring Religions in Motion

Exploring Religions in Motion

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2013

These two volumes present Pye's methodological, theoretical, and field-based interests in the study of religions. Pye understands the study of religions to be an international enterprise with roots in both European and East Asian culture. This relates to his active role in the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), as a former General Secretary and President. The work is presented in seven sections, which could be used in teaching assignments. The first volume begins with a lively introduction on Methodological Strategies, followed by East Asian Starting Points, a radical attempt to overcome Eurocentrism, and Structures and Strategies, which tackles globally significant institutional and ideological questions. The second volume presents selected strands in the study of religions. Comparing and Contrasting is followed by Tradition and Innovation, including reference to specific new religions. Transplantation and Syncretism is a definitive package on syncretism and includes new materials from South-East Asia. Finally, Contextual Questions explores wider themes of identity, plurality, dialogue of religions, religious education, and peace. These show how relevant the study of religions can be -when it is distinctly and responsibly defined.

Exploring Religions in Motion

Exploring Religions in Motion

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2012

These previously scattered texts by Michael Pye are landmarks in the development of the study of religions, presented here as an international enterprise with roots in both European and East Asian culture. Following fundamental papers on method and theory in the first volume, this second volume uses case studies to explore a number of themes such as tradition, innovation, and syncretism. Wider themes such as civil identity, dialogue, and religious education illustrate the general relevance of the study of religions. The seven sections spanning both volumes are well designed for use in seminar assignments.

Listening to Shin Buddhism Starting Points of Modern Dialogue

Listening to Shin Buddhism Starting Points of Modern Dialogue

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/02/2012

In the early twentieth century The Eastern Buddhist not only shared in pioneering presentations of Buddhism to the west but invited interaction with non-Japanese authors. This interactive process increased dramatically in the post-war period, when dialogue between Buddhist and Christian thought began to take off in earnest. Significant here was the philosophical Buddhism of the frequently cited Kyoto School, a tradition of thought and teaching named after Kyoto University where it was largely based. At the same time these debates and dialogues brought in not only Zen voices but also thinkers from the Shin Buddhist tradition. Both of these orientations are reflected here. While the contributions stem mainly from the fifties, sixties and seventies, they have significantly influenced subsequent Buddhist-Christian dialogue. It was still a time of exciting mutual discovery. Anybody wishing to enter into this process of dialogue and exchange will therefore find it of great interest and value to approach it by considering the ideas and insights presented here. Because of the wealth of materials the selection has been spread across two volumes in the series Eastern Buddhist Voices and the present volume includes contributions from the earlier part of the period (Interactions with Japanese Buddhism includes contributions from the later part).

Listening to Shin Buddhism Starting Points of Modern Dialogue

Listening to Shin Buddhism Starting Points of Modern Dialogue

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/02/2012

In the early twentieth century The Eastern Buddhist not only shared in pioneering presentations of Buddhism to the west but invited interaction with non-Japanese authors. This interactive process increased dramatically in the post-war period, when dialogue between Buddhist and Christian thought began to take off in earnest. Significant here was the philosophical Buddhism of the frequently cited Kyoto School, a tradition of thought and teaching named after Kyoto University where it was largely based. At the same time these debates and dialogues brought in not only Zen voices but also thinkers from the Shin Buddhist tradition. Both of these orientations are reflected here. While the contributions stem mainly from the fifties, sixties and seventies, they have significantly influenced subsequent Buddhist-Christian dialogue. It was still a time of exciting mutual discovery. Anybody wishing to enter into this process of dialogue and exchange will therefore find it of great interest and value to approach it by considering the ideas and insights presented here. Because of the wealth of materials the selection has been spread across two volumes in the series Eastern Buddhist Voices and the present volume includes contributions from the earlier part of the period (Interactions with Japanese Buddhism includes contributions from the later part).

Beyond Meditation Expressions of Japanese Shin Buddhist Spirituality

Beyond Meditation Expressions of Japanese Shin Buddhist Spirituality

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/04/2011

In the wide range of Buddhist meditation and spirituality a very special place is held by the practice of calling on the name of Amitabha, or in Japanese Amida Buddha, using the simplest of formulas, the nenbutsu. Japanese masters such as Honen, Shinran and others made this the core of a profound spiritual experience which has fascinated numberless followers ever since. The deeper meaning of the nenbutsu has therefore become a major topic in Buddhist thought which has been reflected on by various thinkers and teachers to this day, especially in the context of Shin Buddhism. In this book, which draws on classic articles first published in The Eastern Buddhist, major historic proponents and masters of the nenbutsu are introduced, in particular Shinran, Shoku, Ippen and Rennyo. Further contributions, which set the work of these masters into the wider context of Buddhist tradition, are in fact some of the earliest Buddhist voicesA to emerge from modern Japan into global view. Yet the presentations of writers such as Sasaki Gessho, Yamabe Shugaku and Sugihira Shizutoshi have a freshness and an immediacy which speaks to us today.

Beyond Meditation Expressions of Japanese Shin Buddhist Spirituality

Beyond Meditation Expressions of Japanese Shin Buddhist Spirituality

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/04/2011

In the wide range of Buddhist meditation and spirituality a very special place is held by the practice of calling on the name of Amitabha, or in Japanese Amida Buddha, using the simplest of formulas, the nenbutsu. Japanese masters such as Honen, Shinran and others made this the core of a profound spiritual experience which has fascinated numberless followers ever since. The deeper meaning of the nenbutsu has therefore become a major topic in Buddhist thought which has been reflected on by various thinkers and teachers to this day, especially in the context of Shin Buddhism. In this book, which draws on classic articles first published in The Eastern Buddhist, major historic proponents and masters of the nenbutsu are introduced, in particular Shinran, Shoku, Ippen and Rennyo. Further contributions, which set the work of these masters into the wider context of Buddhist tradition, are in fact some of the earliest Buddhist voicesA to emerge from modern Japan into global view. Yet the presentations of writers such as Sasaki Gessho, Yamabe Shugaku and Sugihira Shizutoshi have a freshness and an immediacy which speaks to us today.

Religious Harmony Problems, Practice, and Education. Proceedings of the Regional Conference of the International Association for the History of Religions. Yogyakarta and Semarang, Indonesia. September

Religious Harmony Problems, Practice, and Education. Proceedings of the Regional Conference of the International Association for the History of Religions. Yogyakarta and Semarang, Indonesia. September

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/07/2006

It is crucial today to understand how religions can exist harmoniously in a shared environment, whether local or global. A reasoned approach to this question was sought by participants at a stimulating conference of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) in a predominantly Muslim country, Indonesia. Themes treated include the relation between theoretical approaches and religious viewpoints, practical problems and conflict resolution at the local level, and religious education with special reference to the role of Muslim schools (pesantren) in Indonesia.

Skilful Means A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism

Skilful Means A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/12/2003

'Skilful Means' is the key principle of Mahayana, one of the great Buddhist traditions. First described in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in myths of the Buddha's compassionate plans for raising life from the ceaseless round of birth and death. His strategies or interventions are 'skilful means' - morally wholesome tricks devised for the purpose of enabling nirvana or enlightenment. Michael Pye's clear and engaging introductory guide investigates the meaning and context of skilful means in Mayahana Buddhist teachings, whilst tracing its early origins in ancient Japanese and Theravada thought. First published in 1978, and still the best explanation of the concept, it illuminates a core working philosophy essential for any complete understanding of Buddhism.

Skilful Means

Skilful Means

Author: Michael Pye Format: eBook Release Date: 18/12/2003

'Skilful Means' is the key principle of Mahayana, one of the great Buddhist traditions. First described in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in myths of the Buddha's compassionate plans for raising life from the ceaseless round of birth and death. His strategies or interventions are 'skilful means' - morally wholesome tricks devised for the purpose of enabling nirvana or enlightenment. Michael Pye's clear and engaging introductory guide investigates the meaning and context of skilful means in Mayahana Buddhist teachings, whilst tracing its early origins in ancient Japanese and Theravada thought. First published in 1978, and still the best explanation of the concept, it illuminates a core working philosophy essential for any complete understanding of Buddhism.

The Sayings of Buddha

The Sayings of Buddha

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/1997

This series collects together the best-known aphorisms, epigrams and reflections of a wide variety of figures from antiquity to our own age: humorists and novelists, poets and philosophers, politicians and playwrights.

Macmillan Dictionary of Religion

Macmillan Dictionary of Religion

Author: Michael Pye Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/1993

A one-volume dictionary of religion based on concepts drawn partly from the various religious traditions and partly from the historical and reflective study of religion as a modern academic discipline. As a dictionary rather than an encyclopedia, there will be concise explanations on a very large number of special terms rather than lengthy essays on selected subjects. Entries will include definitions of terms from various religious traditions which have now entered into current English usage, as well as a wide variety of semi-technical terms from related fields such as philosophy, sociology and social anthropology.

The Cardinal Meaning Essays in Comparative Hermeneutics: Buddhism and Christianity

The Cardinal Meaning Essays in Comparative Hermeneutics: Buddhism and Christianity

Author: Michael Pye Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/1973

Sinceits founding by Jacques Waardenburg in 1971, Religion and Reason has been a leading forum for contributions on theories, theoretical issues and agendas related to the phenomenon and the study of religion. Topics include (among others) category formation, comparison, ethnophilosophy, hermeneutics, methodology, myth, phenomenology, philosophy of science, scientific atheism, structuralism, and theories of religion. From time to time the series publishes volumes that map the state of the art and the history of the discipline.

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