Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Books on Buddhism

These are recent additions to our titles on Buddhism:
  • State, Society and Religious Engineering: Towards a Reformist Buddhism in Singapore by Kuah-Pearce Khun Eng. The book looks at how religion in Singapore is being subjected to the processes of modernisation and change. The Singapore State has consciously brought religion under its guidance. It has exercised strong bureaucratic and legal control over the functioning of all religions in Singapore. The Chinese community and the Buddhist Sangha have responded to this by restructuring their temple institutions into large multi-functional temple complexes. There has been quite a few books written on the role of the Singapore State but, so far, none has been written on the topic - the relationship between state, society and religion. It will help to fill the missing gap in the scholarly literature on this area. This is also a topic of great significance in many Asian, particularly Southeast Asian, countries and it will serve as an important book for future reference in this area of research and comparative studies.
  • Teachings of the Buddha: The Wisdom of the Dharma from the Pali Canon to the Sutras by Desmond Biddulph and Darcy Flynn. After an introduction to the life of the Buddha, his basic teachings and insights are presented in a compact and clear format, complemented by black-and-white landscape photographs. Extracts from the Pali canon and later Mahayana sayings are accompanied by traditional Buddhist tales and commentaries by Zen masters.
  • The Wisdom of Sustainability: Buddhist Economics for the 21st Century by Sulak Sivaraksa. Thailand's well-known Buddhist thinker and activist Sulak Sivaraksa (b. 1933) adds to his published works this small book of practical wisdom. Sulak applies the Buddha's Four Noble Truths in the context of today's economic patterns and shows how the work of the 'Centre for Sustainable Communities' is promoting and signposting alternatives to the Consumer Society.
  • Fathering Your Father: The Zen of Fabrication in Tang Buddhism by Alan Cole. This book offers a provocative rereading of the early history of Chan Buddhism (Zen). Working from a history-of-religion point of view that asks how and why literary troupes were chosen to depict the essence of the Buddhist tradition to Chinese readers, this analysis focuses on the narrative logic of the early Chan genealogies. It argues that early Chan's image of the perfect-master-who-owns-tradition was in fact constructed for reasons that had little to do with Buddhist practice, and much more to do with politics, property, geography, and new forms of writing. With references and index.
  • Readings of the Lotus Sutra edited by Stephen Teiser and Jacqueline Stone. The Lotus Sutra proclaims that a unitary intent underlies the diversity of Buddhist teachings and promises that people without exception can achieve supreme awakening. Establishing the definitive guide to this profound text, specialists in Buddhist philosophy, art, and history of religion address the major ideas and controversies surrounding the Lotus Sutra and its manifestations in ritual performance, ascetic practice, visual representations, and social action across history. With bibliography and index.

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