Buddhism in Asia: Revival and Reinvention

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About the Publication

The birth of Buddhism goes back to the sixth century BCE and, over the centuries, there has been considerable variety as well as considerable change in its doctrines, practices and propagation across the different parts of Asia. This volume showcases the expansion in the religion's contours and popularity in Asia in modern times. 

Focusing on India, Sri Lanka and China, the essays in the book highlight the cross-fertilization between Buddhism and contemporary discourses which makes the phenomenon of Buddhist revival in Asia unambiguously modern. They also show how this resurgence assumed a great variety of forms depending on the specificities of the historical and cultural context, including Buddhism's encounter with other religious traditions. Continuities with the past are not absent, and revivalist movements have been characterized and propelled by a strong sense of history and yet this, in effect, involved crafting new interpretations of a distant past, and the introduction of new ideas and practices. The term reinvention seems to capture this aspect of dynamic change better than revival. At the same time, as this volume reveals, the choice of terms is not as important as tracing the trajectories of the phenomenon and the awareness that its impact extended far beyond the religious domain into many spheres, including those of cultural practice, national identity and international relations. 

This is a historically rich and readable volume which will interest general readers as well as students and scholars of history and of Buddhism.

Co-publication: Manohar Publishers & Distributors / ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Available for distribution in Southeast Asia by ISEAS Publishing.

Contents

Buddhism in Asia: Revival and Reinvention [Whole Publication], by Nayanjot Lahiri, Upinder Singh, editors
Preliminary pages
PART I: BUDDHISM IN INDIA: THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE ANCIENT AND THE MODERN
1. The Buddhist Imprint on Twentieth-century Western India: The Contribution of Dharmanand Kosambi and B.R. Ambedkar, by Meera Kosambi, author
2. Buddhist Revival and the Restoration of Sanchi, by Nayanjot Lahiri, author
3. Buddhism, Archaeology and the Nation: Nagarjunakonda, 1926-2006, by Upinder Singh, author
4. Archaeology, Pilgrimage and Heritage: Modern Amaravati, 1900-2011, by Sonali Dhingra, author
5. Relics, Ruins and Temple-building: Archaeological Heritage and the Construction of the Dharmarajika Vihara, Calcutta, by Sraman Mukherjee, author
PART II: TEXTS, POLITICS AND THE SANGHA IN SRI LANKA
6. New Manuals for New Times: A Comparative History of Buddha Adahilla and A Buddhist Catechism, by Kitsiri Malalgoda, author
7. The Buddhist Utopia: An Aspect of the Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka, by H.L. Seneviratne, author
8. The Political Dimension of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, by Anuruddha Pradeep, author
PART III: THE REVIVAL OF BUDDHISM IN CHINA
9. Taixu's Goodwill Mission to India: Reviving the Buddhist Links between China and India, by Tansen Sen, author
10. Ensouling the Nation through Fiction: Liang Qichao's Applied Buddhism, by Dan Smyer Yu, author
11. Theravada Buddhism as Part of the Buddhist Revival in Mainland China and Hong Kong: Two Paradigms, by Bill M Mak, author
12. Sustainable Development and Karma Logistics: The Moral Discourse of Reformed Buddhism and Capital-linked Business Professionals in Shanghai, by Weishan Huang, author
PART IV: AFTERWORD
13. The Construction of World Buddhism, by Peter van der Veer, author
List of Contributors
Index

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