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Interviews with Scholars of Buddhism about their New Books

Interviews with Scholars of Buddhism about their New Books
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United States

Description:

Interviews with Scholars of Buddhism about their New Books

Language:

English


Episodes

Thomas Borchert, “Educating Monks: Minority Buddhism on China’s Southwest Border” (U Hawaii Press, 2017)

12/7/2018
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What makes a Buddhist monk? This is the motivating question for Thomas Borchert, Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont, as he explores the social and educational formation of Buddhists from Southwest China. Borchert introduces his readers to the Dai ethnic minority community through vivid accounts of their local temples, village schools, and transnational connections in his new book Educating Monks: Minority Buddhism on China’s Southwest Border(University Of Hawaii Press,...

Duration:01:03:29

McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century" (Verso, 2017)

12/6/2018
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McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to important work in Anglophone cultural studies, psychoanalysis, political theory, media theory, speculative realism, science studies, Italian and French workerist and autonomist thought, two “imaginative readings of Marx,” and two “unique takes on...

Duration:01:01:16

Jessica Marie Falcone, "Battling the Buddha of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built" (Cornell UP, 2018)

12/4/2018
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What can we learn from the anthropological study of projects that are never realized, or of dreams that are never fulfilled? In her new book Battling the Buddha of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built(Cornell University Press, 2018), Dr. Jessica Marie Falcone takes her readers on a transnational journey to explore the history of a giant Maitreya Buddha statue that the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) planned to build in Kushinagar,...

Duration:00:59:53

Stephen Batchelor, “Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World” (Yale UP, 2017)

10/22/2018
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As the practice of mindfulness permeates mainstream Western culture, more and more people are engaging in a traditional form of Buddhist meditation. However, many of these people have little interest in the religious aspects of Buddhism, and the practice occurs within secular contexts such as hospitals, schools, and the workplace. Clinical trials show that practicing Buddhist meditation has benefits regardless of whether or not one subscribes to the religion, raising fundamental questions...

Duration:01:08:47

Ruth Gamble, “Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism: The Third Karmapa and the Invention of a Tradition” (Oxford UP, 2018)

9/21/2018
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Ruth Gamble’s Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism: The Third Karmapa and the Invention of a Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a thorough and accessible study on reincarnation, the tulku tradition in Tibet, and the life of the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorjé (1284-1339). In this book, Gamble gives an account of Rangjung Dorjé’s life based on his autobiographical liberation stories and songs, connecting him to the teaching and practice lineages with which he was involved, the...

Duration:00:42:16

Katherine A. Bowie, “Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand” (U Wisconsin Press, 2017)

7/27/2018
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From the sidelines of the Asian Studies Association of Australia’s biennial conference, where she presented the inaugural keynote address of the Association of Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars, Katherine A. Bowie, joined New Books in Southeast Asian Studies to talk about Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017). Bowie at first hated the Vessantara Jataka: a story in which women and children are objects to be...

Duration:00:43:04

Michelle C. Wang, “Mandalas in the Making: The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang” (Brill, 2018)

7/5/2018
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Michelle C. Wang’s new book Mandalas in the Making: The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang (Brill, 2018) joins a growing body of scholarship on esoteric Buddhism in China. Her work is an important contribution for the way in which she draws together murals, portable paintings, ritual manuscripts, and diagrams connected to the Mandala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas. Wang traces how the use of this maṇḍala changed over time, and how it was shaped by the distinct cultural and...

Duration:01:04:53

Holly Gayley, “Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet” (Columbia UP, 2016)

5/10/2018
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Often when people think of Tibetan Buddhism they have a limited vision of that social reality, perhaps one that imagines monks sitting in meditation or focused on the Dalai Lama. Rarely is the historical role of female Buddhist masters central to one’s understanding of contemporary Tibetan life. In Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2016), Holly Gayley, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder,...

Duration:00:53:42

Guillaume Rozenberg, “The Immortals: Faces of the Incredible in Buddhist Burma” (U Hawaii Press, 2015)

4/30/2018
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“It is difficult to characterize this fascinating book,” George Tanabe writes in his short preface to The Immortals: Faces of the Incredible in Buddhist Burma (University of Hawai’i Press, 2015), “Not just because it concerns thousand-year-old Burmese Buddhists who fly but also because its author has chosen, almost by necessity, unusual procedures for studying and writing about this strange topic.” Indeed. Not only Guillaume Rozenberg’s topic but also his book is itself unusual and...

Duration:00:41:48

Reiko Ohnuma, “Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination” (Oxford UP, 2017)

3/20/2018
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Reiko Ohnuma‘s Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2017) is a masterful treatment of animals in Indian Buddhist literature. Although they are lower than humans in the paths of rebirth, stories about animals show them as virtuous and generous—and often the victim of human failings. In the life stories of the Buddha, animals serve as “doubles,” thereby adding nuance and complexity to various episodes in the Buddha’s life. Ohnuma, in this...

Duration:00:51:50

Radhule Weininger, “Heartwork: The Path of Self-Compassion” (Shambhala, 2017)

3/11/2018
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Dr. Radhule Weininger is a clinical psychologist and meditation teacher who integrates psychodynamic, Jungian and Gestalt psychotherapies with Buddhist psychology. In her new book Heartwork: The Path of Self-Compassion (Shambhala, 2017), Dr. Weininger shares the path she took from medical school to Buddhist Psychologist and how she applies the principles of Buddhist practice in therapy. Heartwork defines self-compassion and offers tangible practices to increase a felt sense of kindness...

Duration:00:53:47

Amy Langenberg, “Birth in Buddhism: The Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom” (Routledge, 2017)

2/27/2018
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Birth and suffering are deeply linked concepts in Buddhism, and their connection has shaped how the bodies and status of women were understood. Join us for a conversation with Amy Paris Langenberg about her book Birth in Buddhism: The Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom, published by Routledge in their series Critical Studies in Buddhism. Amy takes as her focus an early first millennium work, the Garbhavakranti-sutra, or Descent of the Embryo Scripture. Using this text as her point of...

Duration:00:57:15

Shinshu Roberts, “Being-Time: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dogen’s Shobogenzo Uji” (Wisdom Publications, 2018)

2/22/2018
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In her new book, Being-Time: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dogen’s Shobogenzo Uji (Wisdom Publications, 2018), Shinshu Roberts focuses on the practical study of the inner self and perception of all phenomena through the famously complex work of Dogen Zenji, “Uji” (or being-time). In doing so, she illuminates aspects of how we perceive the present reality before us with great nuance, kindness, and articulation. To tackle such a document with the elegance and understanding that Shinshu Roberts...

Duration:00:45:48

Yael Shy, “What Now? Meditation For Your Twenties and Beyond” (Parallax Press, 2017)

2/16/2018
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In an age which seems to be moving faster and faster, it has become difficult for people, especially young people, to stop and take valuable moments of reflection. Our anxieties can rack our productivity and emotional stability causing us even more trouble than we thought. Even in an time filled with such ease of access to sources of information on self-help and meditation it can be difficult to find a practice that is easy to connect with. Yael Shy offers meditation as something more...

Duration:00:42:38

Anna Andreeva, “Assembling Shinto: Buddhist Approaches to Kami Worship in Medieval Japan” (Harvard Asia Center, 2017)

2/7/2018
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In her recent monograph, Assembling Shinto: Buddhist Approaches to Kami Worship in Medieval Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2017), Anna Andreeva focuses on a complex network of religious sites, figures, and texts to help us better understand the way in which Japanese deities were worshipped in medieval Japan. In so doing, she illuminates the medieval stages of a process that led to what was later called Shinto, and adds to the growing body of scholarship that challenges the...

Duration:00:39:25

Wendy Hasenkamp and Janna R. White, eds. “The Monastery and the Microscope” (Yale UP, 2017)

12/19/2017
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Wendy Hasenkamp and Janna R. White spent four years editing a series of conversations between prominent scientists, philosophers, scholars of Tibetan Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama, resulting in The Monastery and the Microscope: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mind, Mindfulness, and the Nature of Reality (Yale University Press, 2017). This book presents a record of these conversations, annotated with explanations and footnotes, surrounding topics related to consciousness, the nature of...

Duration:00:56:14

Megan Adamson Sijapati and Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, “Religion and Modernity in the Himalaya” (Routledge, 2016)

12/18/2017
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The Himalayas have long been at the crossroads of the exchange between cultures, yet the social lives of those who inhabit the region are often framed as marginal to historical narratives. And while scholars have studied religious diversity in the context of modern nation-states, such as India, Pakistan, Tibet, or Nepal, seldom has the Himalaya been the focus of examination in and of itself. Megan Adamson Sijapati, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gettysburg College, and Jessica...

Duration:00:59:53

Bryan D. Lowe, “Ritualized Writing: Buddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan” (U of Hawaii Press, 2017)

12/4/2017
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In his recent monograph, Ritualized Writing: Buddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2017), Bryan D. Lowe examines eighth-century Japanese practices that ritualized writing, or, in other words, conceptually and practically set sutra-transcription apart from other forms of writing. Drawing on a rich trove of eighth-century documents that describe everything from donation sums and sources, to the types of paper used, to the purification rites...

Duration:01:08:00

John Powers, “The Buddha Party: How the People’s Republic of China Works to Define and Control Tibetan Buddhism” (Oxford UP, 2016)

11/7/2017
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In his recent book, The Buddha Party: How the People’s Republic of China Works to Define and Control Tibetan Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 2016), John Powers presents a comprehensive overview of propaganda employed by the People’s Republic of China related to Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, showing not only how Han Chinese come to believe it, but also how Tibetans work to resist it. Drawing on previously untranslated material collected from both inside and outside of Tibet and China, this...

Duration:00:53:06

Justin R. Ritzinger, “Anarchy in the Pure Land: Reinventing the Cult of Maitreya in Modern Chinese Buddhism” (Oxford UP, 2017)

10/9/2017
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In his recent monograph, Anarchy in the Pure Land: Reinventing the Cult of Maitreya in Modern Chinese Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 2017), Justin R. Ritzinger examines the cult of Maitreya as developed during the Republican period by the Chinese monk Taixu (1890-1947) and his circle. Drawing on previously unexamined sources, including contemporaneous anarchist periodicals, Ritzinger begins the book by arguing that Taixu was deeply involved in radical political circles during his...

Duration:00:51:23