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The Way of the Bodhisattva

A Buddhist Understanding of King Lear

Marguerite A. Tassi

revered classic of Mahāyāna Buddhism, The Way of the Bodhisattva ( Bodhicharyāvatāra ), written by the eighth-century Indian monk Shāntideva. Shāntideva's poetic meditation and spiritual guide shows how ‘the object of compassion is simply suffering

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Legacies, Trajectories, and Comparison in the Anthropology of Buddhism

Nicolas Sihlé and Patrice Ladwig


The anthropology of Buddhism may give the impression of already having a well-established lineage. However, understood as a collective endeavor bringing together specialists from different parts of the Buddhist world in a comparative spirit, it remains very much an emerging project. We outline in this introduction some of the striking features of the beginnings of this subfield, such as how it has undergone a process of emancipation from textualist interpretations of Buddhism, and survey some of its main thematic and analytic orientations, pointing in particular to its most substantial ‘long conversation’, on the structure and dynamics of Buddhist religious fields. Throughout, we focus primarily on the period following an assessment of the subfield made by David Gellner in 1990. Finally, we stress the importance and highlight the promise of a comparative anthropology of Buddhism that builds on a critical, reflexive examination of its central concepts.

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So What Is the Anthropology of Buddhism About?

David N. Gellner

. In the early days there was some anthropology of Mahāyāna Buddhism, but there is far more today. The danger is that East Asian Buddhism—located as it is in nation-states where modernity and nationalism have been defined largely in opposition to

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Challenging Binaries in Posthuman Worlds

An Analysis of Lu Yang's The Great Adventure of Material World

Jori Snels

school of Mahayana Buddhism have influenced Lu Yang's work: the heart sutra and diamond sutra ( Pollack et al. 2021 ). These sutras explain that samsara is the endless cycle of reincarnation that humans go through, which involves an infinite suffering

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Lu Yang

An Artist in Transformation

Ari Heinrich, Livia Monnet, and Gabriel Remy-Handfield

reincarnation, another significant influence on the artist's work is religious iconography and cosmology derived from Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, and Hinduism. Lu Yang first encountered Buddhism through his grandmother: Religion

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Talal Asad

Talal Asad, Jonathan Boyarin, Nadia Fadil, Hussein Ali Agrama, Donovan O. Schaefer, and Ananda Abeysekara

Asian country. The study of Sri Lankan Buddhism, like the studies of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism in general, is largely dominated by white scholars and remains mired within the empiricist protocols of area studies. 2 But Scott's work, unprecedented

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Road to the Periphery

An Account of Border-Making through Infrastructure

Sherin Ajin

and China. It is in its modest hamlet of Ogyenling that the Sixth Dalai Lama was born, making it one of the revered routes of pilgrimage in Mahayana Buddhism. Nestled in the scenic lap of the Eastern Himalayas, it is also one of the popular tourist

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“Like a Dream, an Illusion, a Drop of Dew, a Flash of Lightning”

Buddhist (Un)reality, Thought Experiments, and the “Ecological Dharma Eye” in Lu Yang's Material World Knight Game Film

Livia Monnet

Pure Land schools, and the Nichiren sects. Vajrayana is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that arose in India in the fifth century CE, established itself in Tibet in the seventh and eighth centuries, and subsequently spread to the Himalaya region. It bases

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On Rewriting Buddhism

Or, How Not to Write a History

Ananda Abeysekara

‘Influence’: The Temporality of a Concept .” Qui Parle 28 ( 1 ): 1 – 75 . Abeysekara , Ananda . 2019 b. “ Review: ‘Genealogies of Mahayana Buddhism.’ ” Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory , e

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Solitude in Pixels

Lu Yang's Digital Figuration of Corporeality

Pao-chen Tang

,” but it also travels on screen through the six realms of rebirth in the traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism—gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hells—across works shown in “Doku: Digital Alaya.” Alaya, which refers to the concept of ālaya