The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography

by Donald S. Lopez
     
 

"On the history of Buddhism and its transmission to the West, Donald Lopez is the unsurpassable master. The story he tells here about a book that is 'not really Tibetan' and 'not really about death' glistens with delicious ironies and arresting historical parallels. Who else but Lopez would begin a history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead with the story of

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Overview

"On the history of Buddhism and its transmission to the West, Donald Lopez is the unsurpassable master. The story he tells here about a book that is 'not really Tibetan' and 'not really about death' glistens with delicious ironies and arresting historical parallels. Who else but Lopez would begin a history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead with the story of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith—and then, like a mystery writer, reveal the connections at the end? This is a sly and wildly entertaining book."—Kenneth L. Woodward, contributing editor, Newsweek

"The Tibetan Book of the Dead has a wonderful story, and in this fascinating and charming little book, Donald Lopez reveals himself to be a wonderful storyteller."—Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography

"This smart, entertaining introduction to The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a real delight. Despite its title, Donald Lopez argues, The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a uniquely American book and can be properly read and understood only from that perspective. He demonstrates this by exposing its direct links to American Theosophy and spiritualism at the dawn of the New Age in the early twentieth century, while also drawing interesting parallels to the visionary beginnings of Mormonism."—Bryan J. Cuevas, author of The Hidden History of the Tibetan Book of the Dead

"This book offers a fascinating and fresh discussion of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and its life as a text in the United States. Donald Lopez argues that persistent threads in American religious life—the tradition of the 'found' text as a repository for ancient wisdom, and a philosophical interest in life after death—help explain the overwhelming success of the book and its endurance as a cultural artifact."—Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691134352
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/20/2011
Series:
Lives of Great Religious Books Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
756,566
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Donald S. Lopez, Jr., is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. His many books include "The Story of Buddhism" (HarperOne) and "Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West". He has also edited a number of books by the Dalai Lama.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: America 13

Chapter 2: India 30

Chapter 3: T ibet 49

Chapter 4: The World 71

Conclusion 128

Coda 153

Notes 157

Index 171

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