Religions of Tibet in Practice

Religions of Tibet in Practice

by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
     
 

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Religions of Tibet in Practice is a landmark work, the first major anthology on the topic ever produced. It presents a stunning array of works (hagiographies, pilgrimage guides, prayers, accounts of visits to hell, epics, consecration manuals, sermons, and exorcism texts) that together offer an unparalleled view of the realities of those who have inhabited

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Overview

Religions of Tibet in Practice is a landmark work, the first major anthology on the topic ever produced. It presents a stunning array of works (hagiographies, pilgrimage guides, prayers, accounts of visits to hell, epics, consecration manuals, sermons, and exorcism texts) that together offer an unparalleled view of the realities of those who have inhabited the Tibetan cultural domain over the centuries. The volume provides a wealth of voices that together lead to a new and more nuanced understanding of the religions of Tibet.

The thirty-six chapters are testimony to the vast scope of religious practice in the Tibetan world, past and present, offering works heretofore unknown. The chapters are organized thematically under five headings: Accounts of Time and Place, Remarkable Lives, Rites and Techniques, Prayers and Sermons, and Dealing with Death and Other Demons. They juxtapose materials from different sects, historical periods, and geographical regions in an attempt to broaden the range of what we understand the religious practices of Tibet to encompass. Each chapter contains a translation and a substantial yet accessible introduction by a leading scholar of Tibetan religions. Religions of Tibet in Practice represents the largest sourcebook on Tibetan religions ever assembled, a work of great value to scholars, students, and general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This anthology on Tibetan religions is a first of its kind. . . . The 16 contributors. . . are among the best in the growing field. Lopez's introduction is a commendable short history of the subject. To make the religions of Tibet accessible in such a thorough and fascinating manner is a benefit to those who study Asia and history of religions. Significant and groundbreaking."--Choice

"An extraordinary achievement."--Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This, the fourth volume in the Princeton Readings in Religion series and professedly the first substantial anthology of Tibetan religious literature to appear in English, is an extraordinary achievement. Splitting its hugely complex subject into thematic areasaccounts of time and place, remarkable lives, rites and techniques, prayers and sermons, dealing with death and demonsthe book includes essays by 17 contributors who introduce texts from all periods of Tibetan spirituality as well as from a wide variety of Tibetan Buddhist sects. A dense, very informative and lucid 36-page introduction covers all the major themes of Tibetan religions, including the distinctions between interconnected lore, the history of Bon (the indigenous religion of Tibet) and Buddhism. As complete as the book is, however, the editor has not included Tibetan translations of Indian philosophical or exegetical works, preferring instead to offer "a compendium of the popular or lay practice of the common folk." In addition, the texts themselves are lightly and unobtrusively annotated. While this makes the texts very readable, those seeking specific information will need to consult heavily the promised index (not seen by PW). The book includes black-and-white illustrations (also not seen by PW) and a brief bibliography after each excerpt. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691011837
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/03/1997
Series:
Princeton Readings in Religions Series
Pages:
560
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.17(h) x 1.21(d)

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