TransBuddhism: Transmission, Translation, and Transformation

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The global spread of Buddhism is giving rise to new forms of religious complexity, both in the West and in Asia. This collection of essays examines the religious and cultural conversations that are occurring in this process from a diverse range of disciplinary, methodological, and literary, perspectives, including philosophy, ethnography, history, and cultural studies.

The chapters in the first section explore the transmission of Buddhism to the West, ranging from the writings of one of its earliest western interpreters, the Wesleyan missionary R. Spence Hardy, to the globalization of Tibetan Buddhist reincarnation, to the development and practice of Buddhism within the American prison system. The concluding chapter of this section presents a case study of a Japanese Buddhist temple in Oregon that ultimately died out-an example of a transmission that failed.

The second section looks at the complex issues that arise in the translation of Buddhist terms, texts, and concepts from one language or cultural milieu to another. Two chapters examine the challenges confronted by those who translate Buddhist texts-one exploring the contemporary translation of Tibetan Buddhism, the second analyzing an exchange of poetry in medieval Japan. The other two chapters describe the translation of Buddhist ideas into new cultural domains in America, specifically film and sports.

The final section presents case studies in the transformation of Buddhism which is resulting from its new global interconnections. Topics include the role of women in transforming Buddhist patriarchy, Buddhist-Freudian dialogue in relationship to mourning, and the interplay between Buddhism and the environmentalmovement.

The book also includes images created by the noted artist Meridel Rubenstein which frame the individual chapters within a nonverbal exploration of the themes discussed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558497078
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction TransBuddhism: Authenticity in the Context of Transformation Nalini Bhushan Abraham Zablocki 1

Part I Transmission

Chapter 1 Discourse, Authority, Demand: The Politics of Early English Publications on Buddhism Judith Snodgrass 21

Chapter 2 Transnational Tulkus: The Globalization of Tibetan Buddhist Reincarnation Abraham Zablocki 43

Chapter 3 Buddhism in American Prisons Constance Kassor 55

Chapter 4 Incense at a Funeral: The Rise and Fall of an American Shingon Temple Elizabeth Eastman 69

Part II Translation

Chapter 5 Translation as Transmission and Transformation Jay L. Garfield 89

Chapter 6 Two Monks and the Mountain Village Ideal Thomas H. Rohlich 105

Chapter 7 Text, Tradition, Transformation, and Transmission in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Mario D'Amato 119

Chapter 8 Eastern Influences on Western Sport: Appropriating Buddhism in the G/Name of Golf Jane M. Stangl 135

Part III Transformation

Chapter 9 Global Exchange: Women in the Transmission and Transformation of Buddhism Karma Lekshe Tsomo 151

Chapter 10 Toward an Anatomy of Mourning: Discipline, Devotion, and Liberation in a Freudian-Buddhist Framework Nalini Bhushan 167

Chapter 11 Translating Modernity: Buddhist Response to the Thai Environmental Crisis Susan M. Darlington 183

Chapter 12 The Transcendentalist Ghost in EcoBuddhism Mark L. Blum 209

References 239

List of Contributors 253

Note on the Images 255

Index 257

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