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See below for a selection of the latest books from Oriental religions category. Presented with a red border are the Oriental religions books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Oriental religions books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
This book, first published in 1932, was written by a Western expert on Korea, and was the first to thoroughly investigate and document the old religious practices of Korea. No book like this could be written again from original sources, for all of the data has passed away, and archival records are not necessarily complete. It is a key text in the study of Korean religion.
Karma has become a household word in the modern world, where it is associated with the belief in rebirth determined by one's deeds in earlier lives. This belief was and is widespread in the Indian subcontinent as is the word karma itself. In lucid and accessible prose, this book presents karma in its historical, cultural, and religious context. Initially, karma manifested itself in a number of religious movements-most notably Jainism and Buddhism-and was subsequently absorbed into Brahmanism in spite of opposition until the end of the first millennium C.E. Philosophers of all three traditions were confronted with the challenge of explaining by what process rebirth and karmic retribution take place. Some took the drastic step of accepting the participation of a supreme god who acted as a cosmic accountant, others of opting for radical idealism. The doctrine of karma was confronted with alternative explanations of human destiny, among them the belief in the transfer of merit. It also had to accommodate itself to devotional movements that exerted a major influence on Indian religions. The book concludes with some general reflections on the significance of rebirth and karmic retribution, drawing attention to similarities between early Christian and Indian aescetical practices and philosophical notions that in India draw their inspiration from the doctrine of karma.
The cult of the dead, centered on Todos Santos, the All Saints Day-All Souls Day celebration, is one of the most important aspects of Mesoamerican Indian and mestizo religion. Focusing on rural Tlaxcala, in Mexico, Hugo Nutini presents a thorough description and analysis of the cult in its syncretic, structural, and expressive dimensions and describes its development from the original confrontation of pre-Hispanic polytheism and Spanish Catholicism, through colonial times, until the disintegration of the system of folk religions that is even now occurring. The discussion of the expressive component of the cult of the dead is a crucial contribution of the study. Professor Nutini shows that symbolism can be an adjunct to expressive studies, but not an end in itself. In addition, he postulates a theory that may serve as a model for studies of the combination and reconciliation of religious beliefs in other contexts. Emphasizing folk theology, teleology, and eschatology, rather than the mechanical and administrative components more frequently studied in works on Mesoamerican Indian and mestizo religions, he concludes that the local system is monolatrous, rather than monotheistic. Originally published in 1988. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
This book draws attention to a striking aspect of contemporary Japanese culture: the prevalence of discussions and representations of spirits (tama or tamashii). Ancestor cults have played a central role in Japanese culture and religion for many centuries; in recent decades, however, other phenomena have expanded and diversified the realm of Japanese animism. For example, many manga, anime, TV shows, literature, and art works deal with spirits, ghosts, or with an invisible dimension of reality. International contributors ask to what extent these are cultural forms created by the media for consumption, rather than manifestations of traditional ancestral spirituality in their adaptations to contemporary society. Spirits and Animism in Contemporary Japan considers the modes of representations and the possible cultural meanings of spirits, as well as the metaphysical implications of contemporary Japanese ideas about spirits. The chapters offer analyses of specific cases of animistic attitudes in which the presence of spirits and spiritual forces is alleged, and attempt to trace cultural genealogies of those attitudes. In particular, they present various modes of representation of spirits (in contemporary art, architecture, visual culture, cinema, literature, diffuse spirituality) while at the same time addressing their underlying intellectual and religious assumptions.
New Religious Movements, Global Religions, Asian Religions, Religion and Marketing, Management of Religious Organizations
This book examines the trajectory and development of the Japanese religious movement Agonshu and its charismatic founder Kiriyama Seiyu. Based on field research spanning 30 years, it examines Agonshu from when it first captured attention in the 1980s with its spectacular rituals and use of media technologies, through its period of stagnation to its response to the death of its founder in 2016. The authors discuss the significance of charismatic leadership, the 'democratisation' of practice and the demands made by movements such as Agonshu on members, while examining how the movement became increasingly focused on revisionist nationalism and issues of Japanese identity. In examining the dilemma that religions commonly face on the deaths of charismatic founders, Erica Baffelli and Ian Reader look at Agonshu's response to Kiriyama's death, looking at how and why it has transformed a human founder into a figure of worship. By examining Agonshu in the wider context, the authors critically examine the concept of `new religions'. They draw attention to the importance of understanding the trajectories of 'new' religions and how they can become `old' even within their first generation.
This book provides an overview of religion in Japan, from ancient times to the present. It also emphasizes the cultural and attitudinal manifestations of religion in Japan, withough neglecting dates and places.
This book is based on anthropological fieldwork among the Bai, an ethnic minority with a population of two million in Dali, southwest China. It explores the religious and ethnic revival in the last two decades against a historical background. It explains why and how religions and ethnic identity are revived in contemporary China, with the revived analytical concept of alterity , which suggests a world beyond here and now. The book focuses on the particular institutions and ritual technologies that seek for access to the invisible, transcendental other-both spatial and temporal. It covers a variety of topics, including pre-modern kingship, modern utopia, religious alterity, ethnic identity, religious associations, the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and temple restorations.
Falun Gong, founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992, attracted international attention in 1999 after staging a demonstration outside government offices in Beijing. It was subsequently banned. Followers then created a number of media outlets outside China focused on protesting the PRC's attack on the 'human rights' of practitioners. This volume focuses on Falun Gong and violence. Though the author notes accusations of how Chinese authorities have abused and tortured practitioners, the volume will focus on Li Hongzhi's teachings about 'spiritual warfare', and how these teachings have motivated practitioners to deliberately seek brutalization and martyrdom.
During the Tang dynasty (618-907), changes in political policies, the religious landscape, and gender relations opened the possibility for Daoist women to play an unprecedented role in religious and public life. Women, from imperial princesses to the daughters of commoner families, could be ordained as Daoist priestesses and become religious leaders, teachers, and practitioners in their own right. Some achieved remarkable accomplishments: one wrote and transmitted texts on meditation and inner cultivation; another, a physician, authored a treatise on therapeutic methods, medical theory, and longevity techniques. Priestess-poets composed major works, and talented priestess-artists produced stunning calligraphy. In Gender, Power, and Talent, Jinhua Jia draws on a wealth of previously untapped sources to explain how Daoist priestesses distinguished themselves as a distinct gendered religious and social group. She describes the life journey of priestesses from palace women to abbesses and ordinary practitioners, touching on their varied reasons for entering the Daoist orders, the role of social and religious institutions, forms of spiritual experience, and the relationships between gendered identities and cultural representations. Jia takes the reader inside convents and cloisters, demonstrating how they functioned both as a female space for self-determination and as a public platform for both religious and social spheres. The first comprehensive study of the lives and roles of Daoist priestesses in Tang China, Gender, Power, and Talent restores women to the landscape of Chinese religion and literature and proposes new methodologies for the growing field of gender and religion.
The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781135117849, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative 4.0 license. Japanese new religions (shinshukyo) have used various media forms for training, communicating with members, presenting their messages, reinforcing or protecting the image of the leader, and, potentially, attracting converts. In this book the complex and dual relationship between media and new religions is investigated by looking at the tensions groups face between the need for visibility and the risks of facing attacks and criticism through media. Indeed media and new technologies have been extensively used by religious groups not only to spread their messages and to try to reach a wider audience, but also to promote themselves as a highly modern and up-to-date form of religion appropriate for a modern technological age. In 1980s and early 1990s some movements, such as Agonshu , Kofuku no Kagaku, and Aum Shinrikyo came into prominence especially via the use of media (initially publications, but also ritual broadcasts, advertising campaigns, and public media events). This created new modes of ritual engagement and new ways of interactions between leaders and members. The aim of this book is to develop and illustrate particular key issues in the wider new religions and media nexus by using specific movements as examples. In particular, the analysis of the interaction between media and new religions will focus primarily on three case studies predominantly during the first period of development of the groups.
With over four million copies in print, Parmahansa Yogananda's autobiography has been translated into thirty-three languages, and it still serves as a gateway into yoga and alternative spirituality for countless North American practitioners. This book examines Yogananda's life and work to clarify linkages between the seemingly disparate aspects of modern yoga, and illuminates the intimate connections between yoga and metaphysically-leaning American traditions such as Unitarianism, New Thought, and Theosophy. Instead of treating yoga as a stable practice, Anya P. Foxen proposes that it is the figure of the Yogi that give the practice of his followers both form and meaning. Focusing on Yogis rather than yoga during the period of transnational popularization highlights the continuities in the concept of the Yogi as superhuman even as it illuminates the transformation of the practice itself. Skillfully balancing traditional yogic ritual, metaphysical spirituality, physical culture, and a flair for the stage, Foxen shows, Yogananda taught a proto-modern yoga to his American audiences. His Yogoda program has remained under the radar of yoga scholarship due to its lack of reliance on recognizable postures. However, as a regimen of training for the modern Yogi, Yogananda's method synthesizes the spiritual and superhuman aspirations of Indian traditions with the metaphysical and health-oriented sensibilities of Euro-American progressivism in a way that exactly prefigures present-day transnational yoga culture. Yet, at the heart of it all, Yogananda retains a sense of what it means to be a Yogi: his message is that the natural destiny of the human is the superhuman.