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Defining Buddhism(s): A Reader

ISBN: 9781845532314 | 1845532317
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 8/8/2014

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Defining Buddhisms: A Reader explores the multiple ways in which Buddhisms have been defined and constructed by Buddhists and scholars. In recent decades, scholars have become increasingly aware of their own role in the process of constructing the Buddhist communities that they represent- a process in which multiple representations of "Buddhism" (hence "Buddhisms") compete with and complement one another. The essays in this reader, written by leaders in the field of Buddhist studies, consider a broad range of inquiries and concerns, methods and approaches that contribute to understanding and learning from constructions of Buddhisms, illuminating the challenges and dilemmas involved in defining historical, social, and political contexts. These different perspectives also demonstrate that definitions of "Buddhism" have always been contested.As an anthology, this volume also participates in the process of construction, developing a framework in which recent scholarship on Buddhisms can be productively related and interpreted. By creating a new context for these essays, this volume enables a new conversation to emerge, as the investigations and debates raised in each piece are considered in relation to one another.The volume and section introductions highlight the ways in which the essays included represent the contested aspects of constructed Buddhisms: historical contexts are never singular and there is never a solitary agent engaged in shaping them. These diverse reconstructions of "Buddhism" derive from the recognition that we have much to learn from, as well as about, Buddhists.

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