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Selections 96 will be published soon. Here, I have selected three interesting titles from it:
- The Buddhist World Of Southeast Asia by Donald Swearer. This book offers a synthesis and empathetic interpretation of the many facets of Buddhism in Southeast Asia with a particular focus on Thailand. The author focuses his study of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia as a dynamic, complex system of thought and practice embedded in the respective cultures, societies, and histories of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. The book analyses three distinct but interrelated aspects of this system. The first is the popular tradition, in terms of life models personified in traditional myths and legends, rites of passage, festival celebrations, and ritual occasions. The second is Buddhism and the state, in terms of the paradigmatic influence of Asoka on conceptions of Buddhist kingship, the symbiotic relationship between Southeast Asian kingship and sacred cosmology, the Buddha as cosmocrator, and the rise of charismatic Buddhist political leaders in the postcolonial period. The third is modern transformations of Buddhism, in terms of the changing roles of the monk and laity, modern reform movements, the role of women, and Buddhism and the West. This second edition of The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia includes numerous additions and changes throughout, particularly developments that have occurred within the Buddhist world of Southeast Asia since 1995. The bibliography and notes have also been updated and expanded.
- The Golden Triangle: Inside Southeast Asia's Drug Trade by Chin Ko-lin. The Golden Triangle provides a lively portrait of a region in constant transition, a place where political development is intimately linked to the vagaries of the global market in illicit drugs. Ko-lin Chin explains the nature of opium growing, heroin and methamphetamine production, drug sales, and drug use. He also shows how government officials who live in these areas view themselves not as drug kingpins, but as people who are carrying the responsibility for local economic development on their shoulders.
- A Tour Of Qufu: The Hometown Of Confucius by Yang Zhaoming. Confucius, whose Chinese name is Kong Qiu, is a celebrated ancient Chinese thinker, political figure, educator and founder of Confucianism. His teachings and philosophy, preserved in the Analects of Confucius, have not only served as the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese speculation on an ideal man and government, but also deeply influenced Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese life and thought. Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, has become a major destination for cultural tourism. Kong Temple, the Kong residence and Kong forest in particular present a fine exhibition of China's temples and its ancient scholarly life, its gardens and its tombs. A beautifully illustrated guide, this book takes the reader on an evocative cultural tour through captivating temples, palaces and gardens.