Archives for posts with tag: Buddhism

9780199362387Jerryson, Michael (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism. Oxford University Press, 2017.  760 p. ISBN 9780199362387

Publisher | Google Books

“As an incredibly diverse religious system, Buddhism is constantly changing. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day. Taken together, the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism’s past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Read the rest of this entry »

9780190495800David McMahan; Erik Braun (eds.) Meditation, Buddhism, and Science. Oxford University Press 2017 (248  pages, ISBN 9780190495800)

Google Books | Publisher

“The scientific study of Buddhist forms of meditation has surged in recent years. Such study has captured the popular imagination, reshaping conceptions of what meditation is and what it can do. Within the lab and now beyond it, people have come to see meditation as a practical matter, a rewiring of the brain or an optimization of consciousness as a means to better health, more fulfilling relationships, and increasing productivity. Often suppressed if not dropped from this pragmatic approach are the beliefs, values, and cosmologies that underpin such practice from the Buddhist point of view.

Propelled by the imperatives of empirical practicality, for perhaps the first time in history meditation has shifted from Buddhist monasteries and practice centers to some of the most prominent and powerful modern institutions in the world-hospitals, universities, corporations, and the military-as well as many non-institutional settings. As the contributions to this volume show, as their contexts change, so do the practices, sometimes drastically. New ways of thinking about meditation, ways that profoundly affect millions of lives all over the world, are emerging from its move to these more strictly secular settings.

To understand these changes and their effects, the essays in this volume explore the unaddressed complexities in the interrelations between Buddhist history and thought and the scientific study of meditation. The contributors bring philosophical, cultural, historical, and ethnographic perspectives to bear, considering such issues as the philosophical presumptions of practice, the secularization of meditation, the values and goods assumed in clinical approaches, and the sorts of subjects that take shape under the influence of these transformed and transformative practices-all the more powerful for being so often formulated with the authority of scientific discourse.”

Holdings: Worldcat, UBW

 

 

9780190469306Pamela D. Winfield, Steven Heine (eds.). Zen and Material Culture. Oxford University Press, 2017. (352 pages, ISBN 9780190469290)

Google Books | Publisher

“The stereotype of Zen Buddhism as a primarily minimalistic or even immaterial meditative tradition persists in the Euro-American cultural imagination. By contrast, this volume calls attention to the vast range of “stuff” in Zen by highlighting the material abundance and iconic range of the Sōtō, Rinzai, and Ōbaku sects in Japan. Chapters on beads, bowls, buildings, staffs, statues, rags, robes, and even retail commodities in America all shed new light on overlooked items of lay and monastic practice in both historical and contemporary perspectives.

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