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Malleable Mara: Transformations of a Buddhist Symbol of Evil
Malleable Mara: Transformations of a Buddhist Symbol of Evil

Our Price: $85.00
Author: Michael D. Nichols
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781438473215
Publication Date: 2019

Product Code: 9781438473215

Description About the author
Analyzes the breadth of representations of the mythic figure of Mara in Buddhism to reveal how closely tied such narratives are to the social and historical concerns of Buddhist communities.

This is the first book to examine the development of the figure of Mara, who appears across Buddhist traditions as a personification of death and desire. Portrayed as a combination of god and demon, Mara serves as a key antagonist to the Buddha, his followers, and Buddhist teaching in general. From ancient India to later Buddhist thought in East Asia to more recent representations in Western culture and media, Mara has been used to satirize Hindu divinities, taken the form of wrathful Tibetan gods, communicated psychoanalytic tropes, and appeared as a villain in episodes of Doctor Who. Michael D. Nichols details and surveys the historical transformations of the Mara figure and demonstrates how different Buddhist communities at different times have used this symbol to react to changing social and historical circumstances. Employing literary and cultural theory, Nichols argues that the representation of Mara closely parallels and reflects the social concerns and anxieties of the particular Buddhist community producing it.

"This book is an original and engaging exploration of the various forms myths about Mara have taken across Buddhist history." -- Maria Heim, author of Voice of the Buddha: Buddhaghosa on the Immeasurable Words

Malleable Mara, Michael D. Nichols, SUNY Press, Hardcover, 251 pp., $85.00

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