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Buddhism in Asia: Revival and Reinvention

 
Nayanjot Lahiri (Editor) Upinder Singh (Editor)
Synopsis

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.

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About the authors

Nayanjot Lahiri

Nayanjot Lahiri is Professor of History at Ashoka University, Sonepat, Haryana. She established her reputation as an accessible historian of Indian antiquity with Finding Forgotten Cities: How the Indus Civilization was Discovered (2005). Her other books include Marshalling the Past: Ancient India and its Modern Histories (2012) and The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes (1993). She was awarded the Infosys Prize in Humanities—Archaeology for 2013, and her most recent book Ashoka in Ancient India won the John F. Richards prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in South Asian History for 2015.

Upinder Singh

Upendra Singh teaches ancient history at St Stephen’s College, Delhi. She is the author of Kings, Brahmanas and Temples in Orissa: An Epigraphic Study, AD 300-1147 (1994); Ancient Delhi (1999); and a book for children, Mystereis of the Past: Archaeological Sites in India (2002). Her scholarly articles have appeared in World Archaeology, The Indian Economic and Social History Review, The Indian Historical Review, Man and Environment, and South Asian Studies.

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Bibliographic information

Title Buddhism in Asia: Revival and Reinvention
Format Hardcover
Date published: 10.03.2016
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789350981160
length 420p.,