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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!
How can people living in one of the poorest countries in the world be among the most charitable? In this book, Hiroko Kawanami examines the culture of giving in Myanmar, and explores the pivotal role that Buddhist monastic members occupy in creating a platform for civil society. Despite having at one time been listed as one of the poorest countries in the world in GNP terms, Myanmar has topped a global generosity list for the past four years with more than 90 percent of the population engaged in 'giving' activities. This book explores the close relationship that Buddhists share with the monastic community in Myanmar, extending observations of this relationship into an understanding of wider Buddhist cultures. It then examines how deeply the reciprocal transactions of giving and receiving in society - or interdependent living - are implicated in the Buddhist faith. The Culture of Giving in Myanmar fills a gap in research on Buddhist offerings in Myanmar, and is an important contribution to the growing field of Myanmar studies and anthropology of Buddhism.
How can Daoism, China's indigenous religion, give us the aesthetic, ethical, political, and spiritual tools to address the root causes of our ecological crisis and construct a sustainable future? In China's Green Religion, James Miller shows how Daoism orients individuals toward a holistic understanding of religion and nature. Explicitly connecting human flourishing to the thriving of nature, Daoism fosters a green subjectivity and agency that transforms what it means to live a flourishing life on earth. Through a groundbreaking reconstruction of Daoist philosophy and religion, Miller argues for four key, green insights: a vision of nature as a subjective power that informs human life; an anthropological idea of the porous body based on a sense of qi flowing through landscapes and human beings; a tradition of knowing founded on the experience of transformative power in specific landscapes and topographies; and an aesthetic and moral sensibility based on an affective sensitivity to how the world pervades the body and the body pervades the world. Environmentalists struggle to raise consciousness for their cause, Miller argues, because their activism relies on a quasi-Christian concept of saving the earth. Instead, environmentalists should integrate nature and culture more seamlessly, cultivating through a contemporary intellectual vocabulary a compelling vision of how the earth materially and spiritually supports human flourishing.
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.
This volume examines a category of Japanese divinities that centered on the concept of world renewal (yonaoshi). In the latter half of the Tokugawa period (1603-1867), a number of entities, both natural and supernatural, came to be worshipped as gods of world renewal. These included disgruntled peasants who demanded their local governments repeal unfair taxation, government bureaucrats who implemented special fiscal measures to help the poor, and a giant subterranean catfish believed to cause earthquakes to punish the hoarding rich. In the modern period, yonaoshi gods took on more explicitly anti-authoritarian characteristics. During a major uprising in Saitama Prefecture in 1884, a yonaoshi god was invoked to deny the legitimacy of the Meiji regime, and in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the new religion Omoto predicted an apocalyptic end of the world presided over by a messianic yonaoshi god. Using a variety of local documents to analyze the veneration of yonaoshi gods, Takashi Miura looks beyond the traditional modality of research focused on religious professionals, their institutions, and their texts to illuminate the complexity of a lived religion as practiced in communities. He also problematizes the association frequently drawn between the concept of yonaoshi and millenarianism, demonstrating that yonaoshi gods served as divine rectifiers of specific economic injustices and only later, in the modern period and within the context of new religions such as Omoto, were fully millenarian interpretations developed. The scope of world renewal, in other words, changed over time. Agents of World Renewal approaches Japanese religion through the new analytical lens of yonaoshi gods and highlights the necessity of looking beyond the boundary often posited between the early modern and modern periods when researching religious discourses and concepts.
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.