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  1. Religious Pluralisms: From Homogenization to Radicality.Mikel Burley - 2020 - Sophia 59 (2):311-331.
    Among the philosophical and theological responses to the phenomenon of religious diversity, religious pluralism has been both prominent and influential. Of its various proponents, John Hick and John Cobb represent two important figures whose respective positions, especially that of Hick, have done much to shape the debate over religious pluralism. This article critically analyses their positions, arguing that, by unhelpfully homogenizing religious perspectives, each of them fails to do justice to the radical diversity that exists. As an alternative to these (...)
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  • Western Buddhist Perceptions of Monasticism.Brooke Schedneck - 2009 - Buddhist Studies Review 26 (2):229-246.
    This paper explores the contemporary encounter between Western cultures and the Buddhist tradition of monasticism. I have investigated attitudes towards this institution in the forms of contemporary Buddhist memoirs, blog websites, interviews, and dharma talks. This article argues that the institution in general is not ideal for some Western Buddhists— it is seen by some as too restricting or anti-modern. Others find value in monasticism; they are aware of those who critique the institution, and offer instead a model that removes (...)
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  • Rebirth, Community and Communal Karma in Shan Communities in Northwestern Thailand.Nicola Tannenbaum - 2015 - Contemporary Buddhism 16 (1):109-124.
    In the Shan community of Thongmakhsan, northwestern Thailand, where I have done most of my ethnographic research, children are often identified as so-and-so who was reborn. These identifications are based on appearance, personal proclivities, and dreams around the time the child was born. I begin with the account of Ay Phit and his rebirth since it is this story which piqued my interest in rebirth. I then provide some background information on Shan in Maehongson Province. With this background, I begin (...)
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  • Religious Pluralisms: From Homogenization to Radicality.Mikel Burley - 2018 - Sophia:1-21.
    Among the philosophical and theological responses to the phenomenon of religious diversity, religious pluralism has been both prominent and influential. Of its various proponents, John Hick and John Cobb represent two important figures whose respective positions, especially that of Hick, have done much to shape the debate over religious pluralism. This article critically analyses their positions, arguing that, by unhelpfully homogenizing religious perspectives, each of them fails to do justice to the radical diversity that exists. As an alternative to these (...)
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  • Buddhist Meditation and the British Colonial Gaze in Nineteenth-Century Sri Lanka.Elizabeth J. Harris - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):200-222.
    ABSTRACTThis paper argues that the multiple orientalist expressions that flowed from British pens in nineteenth century Sri Lanka are of use to the scholar of Buddhism, in that they can not only shed light on the growth of Buddhist modernism and the use of the term ‘meditation’ within it, but also on Sri Lankan Buddhist practice on the ground. It first surveys the preconceptions of the British about the concept of ‘meditation’. It then examines the writings of a representative selection (...)
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  • Fame and Philology: R.C. Childers and the Beginnings of Pāli and Buddhist Studies in Britain.Alastair Gornall - 2015 - Contemporary Buddhism 16 (2):462-489.
    This article investigates some of the methods and motivations that underpinned the earliest scholarship in Pāli and Buddhist Studies in Britain, focusing in particular on the works of R.C. Childers and his correspondence with T.W. Rhys Davids. I explore the variety of actors that helped inform, shape and publish R.C. Childers' scholarship, while also taking into account the reception of his work, its political significance, and its role as a commodity.
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  • How Did the Nineteenth-Century Notion of Buddhism Arise? Two Perspectives in Parallel.Kathleen Gregory - 2012 - Contemporary Buddhism 13 (1):113-124.
    Within the field, the ?innovative? study of Buddhism as a socio-historical phenomenon and the ?traditional? study of Buddhist texts and doctrine exist in an uneasy tension. In this paper this tension is ?resolved? by taking the story of the development of the nineteenth-century European view of and subsequent reactions to Buddhism configured particularly around the notion of ?nirvana? and showing in parallel, how through an Abhidharmic perspective it is a story of how an object comes to consciousness.
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  • Paradigms and Styles of Advaita Mission: An Experiment in Interpretation.Reid B. Locklin - 2016 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 20 (1):1-49.
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  • Defending Paper Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Reception of Daoism in Early Twentieth Century Esotericism.Johan Nilsson - 2013 - Correspondences: Journal for the Study of Esotericism 1 (1):103-127.
    This article explores the representation of Daoism and Chinese religion in the writings of Aleister Crowley. The influence of Asian religions on the occult revival of the late nineteenth century has often been recognized. Even though much has been said about the perception of Indian religious traditions in European and American esotericism, the influence of Chinese religion on the same environment remains lesser known. At a time when the Theosophical Society started Buddhist schools in Ceylon, Crowley traveled through China arguing (...)
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  • Building Buddhism in England: The Flourishing of a Minority Faith Heritage.Caroline Starkey & Emma Tomalin - 2016 - Contemporary Buddhism 17 (2):326-356.
    From the earliest days of Buddhism in Britain, individuals and communities have sought out buildings to provide locations where they might practise and teach Buddhism. In this paper, we focus on this neglected area of the study of minority faith traditions in Britain. Our research, which was commissioned by Historic England, examines how Buddhist communities have used buildings and what this tells us about how a minority tradition is initially established and how it subsequently changes and develops. In this context, (...)
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  • Trailblazers of Global Buddhist Networks.John S. Harding - 2016 - Contemporary Buddhism 17 (2):393-404.
    This paper surveys the travels and networks of several Buddhist figures early in the modernization of this increasingly global tradition. Revisiting renowned Buddhist representatives, such as Shaku Sōen and Anagarika Dharmapala, reinforces the prominence of principal nodes in this expanding network—both in terms of seminal reformers and crucial arenas of encounter, such as Meiji Japan and Ceylon at the end of the nineteenth century. This study asserts the significant and compounding effect of early cross-cultural encounters at a formative period for (...)
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  • Rethinking Early Western Buddhists: Beachcombers, 'Going Native' and Dissident Orientalism.Laurence Cox - 2013 - Contemporary Buddhism 14 (1):116-133.
    Recent research on the life of U Dhammaloka and other early western Buddhists in Asia has interesting implications in relation to class, ethnicity and politics. ?Beachcomber Buddhists? highlight the wider situation of ?poor whites? in Asia?needed by empire but prone to defect from elite standards of behaviour designed to maintain imperial and racial power. ?Going native?, exemplified by the European bhikkhu, highlights the difficulties faced by empire in policing these racial boundaries and the role of Asian agency in early ?western? (...)
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  • Constructions of Buddhism: Autobiographical Moments of Western Monks' Experiences of Thai Monastic Life.Brooke Schedneck - 2011 - Contemporary Buddhism 12 (2):327-346.
    This article explores the autobiographical writings of Western monks living in Thailand in the light of scholarship on modern and Western Buddhism to understand their constructions of Buddhism. I explore Western monks' understanding of Buddhism before leaving for Thailand, their experiences of integrating into Thai Buddhism, and their lives after returning to their home countries. Their constructions consist of Buddhism as a scientific, rational tradition focused on the practice of meditation. These constructions are challenged during monastic life in Thailand and (...)
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  • Is Merit in the Milk Powder? Pursuing Punna in Contemporary Sri Lanka.Jeffrey Samuels - 2008 - Contemporary Buddhism 9 (1):123-147.
    This article examines merit making in contemporary Sri Lankan practice. Exploring the role of emotions, most generally defined as ?happiness in the heart/mind,? in this important Buddhist activity, this article seeks not only to move beyond a more mechanical view of merit making as generalized exchange, but also to introduce an affective quality to the notion of intention (cetan?). Finally, this article questions the tendency to judge Buddhist behavior and appearance solely against the norms set forth in the Buddhist monastic (...)
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  • Anthropology Of 'Sinhala Buddhism'.Premakumara De Silva - 2006 - Contemporary Buddhism 7 (2):165-170.
    Part of the general problem in the anthropology of Buddhism as I demonstrate in this article is that the theoretical significance of the fact that the category 'Buddhism' is a recent and Western invention has not been sufficiently appreciated. Therefore, the anthropology of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ continues to address the ahistorical and essentialist questions of who are Buddhists and who are not. In my view, such questions can only serve to further establish the essentialist assumptions about ‘authentic Buddhism’. Contrary to that, (...)
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  • Major Trends and Perspective in Studies in the Functional Dimensions of Indian Monastic Buddhism in the Last One Hundred Years: A Historiographical Survey.Birendra Nath Prasad - 2008 - Buddhist Studies Review 25 (1):54-89.
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  • A Scientific Buddhism?Peter Harrison - 2010 - Zygon 45 (4):861-869.
    This essay endorses the argument of Donald Lopez's Buddhism and Science and shows how the general thesis of the book is consonant with other historical work on the “discovery” of Buddhism and on the emergence of Western conceptions of religion. It asks whether one of the key claims of Buddhism and Science—that Buddhism pays a price for its flirtation with the modern sciences—might be applicable to science-and-religion discussions more generally.
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  • Agency and the Other: The Role of Agency for the Importance of Belief in Buddhist and Christian Traditions.Julia Cassaniti - 2012 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 40 (3):297-316.
  • Agency and the Other: The Role of Agency for the Importance of Belief in Buddhist and Christian Traditions.Julia Cassaniti - 2012 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 40 (3):297-316.