Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient by Steven Heine, Charles S. Prebish

By Steven Heine, Charles S. Prebish

The heritage of Buddhism has been characterised through an ongoing pressure among makes an attempt to maintain conventional beliefs and modes of perform and the necessity to adapt to altering cultural stipulations. Many advancements in Buddhist heritage, corresponding to the infusion of esoteric rituals, the increase of devotionalism and lay routine, and the assimilation of warrior practices, replicate the effect of common social adjustments on conventional non secular buildings. whilst, Buddhism has been in a position to preserve its doctrinal purity to a notable measure. This quantity explores how conventional Buddhist groups have spoke back to the demanding situations of modernity, resembling technology and expertise, colonialism, and globalization. Editors Steven Heine and Charles S. Prebish have commissioned ten essays by way of best students, each one studying a specific conventional Buddhist university in its cultural context. The essays think about how the come across with modernity has impacted the disciplinary, textual, ritual, devotional, sensible, and socio-political traditions of Buddhist notion all through Asia. Taken jointly, those essays demonstrate the range and power of latest Buddhism and provide a wide-ranging examine the best way Buddhism interacts with the trendy global.

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10. The Buddha in parinibbana (dying) posture. Cave no. 3. Photo by Ellen S. Goldberg. century Kandyan art. Scholars commonly peg the work as folk art, rather than the highly evolved local art forms found in the early Anuradhapura or Polonnoruwa periods. “A great and beautiful peasant decoration . . 16 Most contemporary scholars tend to shy away from such labels when depicting indigenous art forms. Yet these terms are apt for Dambulla and are by no means derogatory. With their bold stories, vivid colors, and whimsical designs, the murals are more concerned with portraying the country’s rich religious and cultural history than with mimicking nature.

However, attempts to accurately date many of these images are frustrated by the subsequent repainting and plastering of them over centuries. During the eighteenth century, in particular, the caves underwent massive renovation as part of Kirti Sri’s revitalization of Sinhalese Buddhism. Although well intended, the result has been a distortion of the original forms. 6. Vishnu statue, cave no. 2. In Sinhalese Buddhism, Vishnu is the protector of the nation. Legend has it that Vishnu originally excavated the Dambulla caves.

It also has very important differences, especially regarding the role of the laity in religious leadership and in the practice of meditation and the pursuit of nirvana. But his overall tactic of responding to an external threat by reclaiming and refashioning the symbols, rituals, and polity of a classical period, is a typically modern religious response. To return to the Dambulla temples themselves, two types of sculptures adorn the cave temples: religious and secular. Of the religious motifs, the vast majority are Buddha figures of varying sizes and attitudes.

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