Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
Maitreya, the Future Buddha

Maitreya, the Future Buddha

by Alan Sponberg, Helen Hardacre


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Originally published in 1988, this book is a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural study of the legend that has evolved around the figure of Maitreya, which followers of the Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama had agreed would be the future Buddha, and the substantial influence of this legend on Buddhist culture. Arising out of an international conference held at Princeton University, this collection of twelve essays by specialists in textual studies, art history and cultural anthropology examines the origins of the Maitreya tradition in South Asia as well as a variety of culturally specific expressions of the tradition as it developed in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. The essays explore the various expectations Buddhist practitioners have had of Maitreya and examine the iconographic and ritualistic symbols associated with this messianic and millenarian figure. Several essays also examine the controversy regarding circumstances under which the figure has sometimes taken on apocalyptic and eschatological characteristics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521180108
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/17/2011
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors; Preface; Abbreviations; introduction Alan Sponberg; Part I. Mitreya and the History of Religions: 1. The many faces of Maitreta: a historian of religions' reflections Joseph M. Kitagawa; 2. The meanings of the Maitreya myth: a typological analysis Jan Nattier; Part II. The Core Tradition and its Subsequent Variation; Section 1. Maitreya in South Asia: Introduction Alan Sponberg: 3. Stages in the Bodhisattva career of the Tathāgata Maitreya Padmanabh S. Jaini; Section 2. Maitreya in China , Korea, and Vietnam: Introduction Alan Sponberg: 4. Wŏnhyo on Maitreya visualisation Alan Sponberg; 5. Messenger, savior and revolutionary: Maitreya in Chinese popular religious literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Daniel L. Overmyer; 6. Maitreya in Korea Lewis Lancaster; 7. Perfect world and perfect time: Maitreya in Vietnam Hue-Tame Ho Tai; Section 3. Maitreya in Japan: Introduction Helen Hardacre: 8. Types of Maitreya belief in Japan Miyata Noboru; 9. The pensive prince of Chūgūju: Maitreya cult and image in seventh-century Japan Christine M. E. Guth; 10. Awaiting Maitreya at kasagi Karen L. Brock; 11. Mt Fuji as the realm of Miroku: the transformation of Maitrya in the cult of Mt Fuju in early modern Japan Martin Colcutt; 12. Maitreya in modern Japan Helen Hardacre; Epilogue: a prospectus for the study of Maitreya Alan Sponberg; Index.

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