Table of Contents
- NEW BOOK> Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination
- NEW BOOK> The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions
by Reiko OhnumaDear Colleagues:
I'd like to announce the publication of my book, Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2017), which is available from the publisher at 30% off. Order online at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/unfortunate-destiny-9780190637545 with promotion code AAFLYG6. Here is the blurb from the publisher:
Unfortunate Destiny focuses on the roles played by nonhuman animals within the imaginative thought-world of Indian Buddhism, as reflected in pre-modern South Asian Buddhist literature. These roles are multifaceted, diverse, and often contradictory: In Buddhist doctrine and cosmology, the animal rebirth is a most "unfortunate destiny" (durgati), won through negative karma and characterized by a lack of intelligence, moral agency, and spiritual potential. In stories about the Buddha's previous lives, on the other hand, we find highly anthropomorphized animals who are wise, virtuous, endowed with human speech, and often critical of the moral shortcomings of humankind. In the life-story of the Buddha, certain animal characters serve as "doubles" of the Buddha, illuminating his nature through identification, contrast or parallelism with an animal "other." Relations between human beings and animals likewise range all the way from support, friendship, and near-equality to rampant exploitation, cruelty, and abuse. Perhaps the only commonality among these various strands of thought is a persistent impulse to use animals to clarify the nature of humanity itself--whether through similarity, contrast, or counterpoint. Buddhism is a profoundly human-centered religious tradition, yet it relies upon a dexterous use of the animal other to help clarify the human self. This book seeks to make sense of this process through a wide-ranging-exploration of animal imagery, animal discourse, and specific animal characters in South Asian Buddhist texts.
Reiko Ohnuma, Dartmouth College
by Ugo DessiDear Colleagues,
I am pleased to announce the publication of my book The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach (Routledge 2017).
This book explores how traditional Japanese Buddhism, Buddhism-based new religions, and Shinto respond to the relativizing effects of globalization, thereby repositioning themselves as global players. Organized around concrete case studies focusing on areas such as pluralism, ecology, meditation, politics and science, this book shows that the globalization of Japanese religions cannot be explained simply in terms of worldwide institutional expansion. Rather, it is a complex phenomenon conditioned by a set of pervasive factors: changes in consciousness, the perception of affinities and resonances at the systemic and cultural levels, processes of decontextualization, and a wide range of power issues including the revival of cultural chauvinism.
1 Approaching Religion under Globalization
2 Religious Others at the Door: Inclusivism and Pluralism as Forms of Global Repositioning
3 Glocal Environmentalism: Unpacking the Greening of Religion in Japan
4 Meditation à la Carte: Glocal Change in Hawaiian Jōdo Shinshū
5 Global Repositionings: Risshō Kōseikai, Japan, and the World at Large
6 Toward an Integrated Approach: The Global Repositioning Model
With best wishes,
PD Dr. Ugo Dessì
Leipzig University, Institute for the Study of Religion
Honorary Research Associate, University of Cape Town
Senior Research Fellow, Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies (HCAS) "Multiple Secularities: Beyond the West, Beyond Modernity,” University of Leipzig