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Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia
By: Juliane Schober

Sacred Biography

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Author: Juliane Schober
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 8120818121 / 9788120818125
Publication Date: 2002

Availability: Usually Ships in 24 Hours
Product Code: 12467

Description About the author Contents
This interdisciplinary collection of essays explores the biographical genre of the Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Scholars in the history of religions, anthropology, literature, and art history present a broad range of explorations into sacred biography as an interpretive genre. Each essay makes unique contributions, and the collection as a whole engages methodological and interpretive approaches that are central to scholars of Buddhism and those specializing in the study of South and Southeast Asia. It also provides new insights for general academic audiences who are more broadly concerned with comparative studies and interdisciplinary methodologies in the humanities and social sciences.

The essays investigate both universal and local articulations of Buddhist sacred biography, illustrating the construction of interpretive frames of reference that map salient themes onto diverse contexts: local cosmologies are integrated into universal ones; pristine religious ideals and modes of practice are recreated in the present and in the lives of others; present contexts are explicated in terms of causes in a pristine past; iconic veneration of an absent Buddha allows the community to participate in his continuing biography."

Following the editor's introduction, the essays are divided into four parts. The first focuses on biographies of the Buddha in textual and visual narratives. Part Two explores the extensions of characteristic features of the Buddha biography to individuals and communities "portrayed in a broad range of textual sources in the tradition. Depictions of biographical themes in stories of the Buddha's past lives, the Jatakas, and in the biographies of kings are surveyed in Part Three. The final section discusses the articulation of expressions of the biographical genre in local cults and practice."

Sacred Biography brings together the erudite scholarship of major scholars in the field who enhance our knowledge of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. The combination of thematic depth and theoretical sophistication makes this volume innovative reading for all scholars with comparative interests in the study of religion, history, and anthropology.

Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Contributors: Juliane Schober - editor, Motilal, 1997. 366 pp.

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