Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West

Author: Geoffrey Samuel
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136766405
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Subtle-body practices are found particularly in Indian, Indo-Tibetan and East Asian societies, but have become increasingly familiar in Western societies, especially through the various healing and yogic techniques and exercises associated with them. This book explores subtle-body practices from a variety of perspectives, and includes both studies of these practices in Asian and Western contexts. The book discusses how subtle-body practices assume a quasi-material level of human existence that is intermediate between conventional concepts of body and mind. Often, this level is conceived of in terms of an invisible structure of channels, associated with the human body, through which flows of quasi-material substance take place. Contributors look at how subtle-body concepts form the basic explanatory structure for a wide range of practices. These include forms of healing, modes of exercise and martial arts as well as religious practices aimed at the refinement and transformation of the human mindbody complex. By highlighting how subtle-body practices of many kinds have been introduced into Western societies in recent years, the book explores the possibilities for new models of understanding which these concepts open up. It is a useful contribution to studies on Asian Religion and Philosophy.

Religion and Illness

Author: Annette Weissenrieder
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498293514
Format: PDF
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What are the relevant conceptualities and terminologies marking the coupling of religion and medical interpretations of illness in different religions such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity? How do religious orientations influence courses of a disease? How do experiences of illness change images of the divine in late modernity? This collection of essays from a symposium held at the International Research Institute of the University of Heidelberg examines connections between religious and medical interpretations of illness in different cultures in order to suggest criteria for coupling religion and medicine in ways that enhance rather than diminish life. By discerning which relationships between religion and medicine appear to be beneficial and which harmful, the book as a whole proposes criteria that are not limited to a single scientific approach, cultural tradition, or time period (such as the present). The book has four parts, which deal with Islamic medicine, Chinese medicine, and the relationship between religion and medicine in both Jewish and Christian traditions. All chapters cover from antiquity to the present.

Asian Religions Technology and Science

Author: István Keul
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317674472
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Over the past five decades, the field of religion-and-science scholarship has experienced a considerable expansion. This volume explores the historical and contemporary perspectives of the relationship between religion, technology and science with a focus on South and East Asia. These three areas are not seen as monolithic entities, but as discursive fields embedded in dynamic processes of cultural exchange and transformation. Bridging these arenas of knowledge and practice traditionally seen as distinct and disconnected, the book reflects on the ways of exploring the various dimensions of their interconnection. Through its various chapters, the collection provides an examination of the use of modern scientific concepts in the theologies of new religious organizations, and challenges the traditional notions of space by Western scientific conceptions in the 19th century. It looks at the synthesis of ritual elements and medical treatment in China and India, and at new funeral practices in Japan. It discusses the intersections between contemporary Western Buddhism, modern technology, and global culture, and goes on to look at women’s rights in contemporary Pakistani media. Using case studies grounded in carefully delineated temporal and regional frameworks, chapters are grouped in two sections; one on religion and science, and another on religion and technology. Illustrating the manifold perspectives and the potential for further research and discussion, this book is an important contribution to the studies of Asian Religion, Science and Technology, and Religion and Philosophy.

Objects of Worship in South Asian Religions

Author: Knut A. Jacobsen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317675940
Format: PDF, ePub
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Objects of worship are an aspect of the material dimension of lived religion in South Asia. The omnipresence of these objects and their use is a theme which cuts across the religious traditions in the pluralistic religious culture of the region. Divine power becomes manifest in the objects and for the devotees they may represent power regardless of religious identity. This book looks at how objects of worship dominate the religious landscape of South Asia, and in what ways they are of significance not just from religious perspectives but also for the social life of the region. The contributions to the book show how these objects are shaped by traditions of religious aesthetics and have become conceptual devices woven into webs of religious and social meaning. They demonstrate how the objects have a social relationship with those who use them, sometimes even treated as being alive. The book discusses how devotees relate to such objects in a number of ways, and even if the objects belong to various traditions they may attract people from different communities and can also be contested in various ways. By analysing the specific qualities that make objects eligible for a status and identity as living objects of worship, the book contributes to an understanding of the central significance of these objects in the religious and social life of South Asia. It will be of interest to students and scholars of Religious Studies and South Asian Religion, Culture and Society.

Christianity in Contemporary China

Author: Francis Khek Gee Lim
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136204997
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Christianity is one of the fastest growing religions in China. Despite its long history in China and its significant indigenization or intertwinement with Chinese society and culture, Christianity continues to generate suspicion among political elites and intense debates among broader communities within China. This unique book applies socio-cultural methods in the study of contemporary Christianity. Through a wide range of empirical analyses of the complex and highly diverse experience of Christianity in contemporary China, it examines the fraught processes by which various forms and practices of Christianity interact with the Chinese social, political and cultural spheres. Contributions by top scholars in the field are structured in the following sections: Enchantment, Nation and History, Civil Society, and Negotiating Boundaries. This book offers a major contribution to the field and provides a timely, wide-ranging assessment of Christianity in Contemporary China.

Nothingness in Asian Philosophy

Author: JeeLoo Liu
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317683846
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A variety of crucial and still most relevant ideas about nothingness or emptiness have gained profound philosophical prominence in the history and development of a number of South and East Asian traditions—including in Buddhism, Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, Hinduism, Korean philosophy, and the Japanese Kyoto School. These traditions share the insight that in order to explain both the great mysteries and mundane facts about our experience, ideas of "nothingness" must play a primary role. This collection of essays brings together the work of twenty of the world’s prominent scholars of Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, Neo-Confucian, Japanese and Korean thought to illuminate fascinating philosophical conceptualizations of "nothingness" in both classical and modern Asian traditions. The unique collection offers new work from accomplished scholars and provides a coherent, panoramic view of the most significant ways that "nothingness" plays crucial roles in Asian philosophy. It includes both traditional and contemporary formulations, sometimes putting Asian traditions into dialogue with one another and sometimes with classical and modern Western thought. The result is a book of immense value for students and researchers in Asian and comparative philosophy.

Why Traditional Chinese Philosophy Still Matters

Author: Ming Dong Gu
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351356003
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Traditional Chinese philosophy, if engaged at all, is often regarded as an object of antiquated curiosity and dismissed as unimportant in the current age of globalization. Written by a team of internationally renowned scholars, this book, however, challenges this judgement and offers an in-depth study of pre-modern Chinese philosophy from an interdisciplinary perspective. Exploring the relevance of traditional Chinese philosophy for the global age, it takes a comparative approach, analysing ancient Chinese philosophy in its relation to Western ideas and contemporary postmodernist theories. The conversation extends over a broad spectrum of philosophical areas and themes, ranging from metaphysics, hermeneutics, political theory, religion and aesthetics to specific philosophical schools including Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. By engaging many time-honoured philosophical issues from a comparative perspective, this book bridges the gap between Eastern and Western thought and emphasises the need for a newly fortified global humanism and a deeper appreciation of different philosophical and religious values in an age gripped by large-scale crises. Arguing that traditional Chinese philosophy has immediate relevance to the many challenges of modern life, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Asian Philosophy and Asian Studies in general.

The Upanisads

Author: Signe Cohen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317636961
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Upani?ads are among the most sacred foundational scriptures in the Hindu religion. Composed from 800 BCE onward and making up part of the larger Vedic corpus, they offer the reader "knowledge lessons" on life, death, and immortality. While they are essential to understanding Hinduism and Asian religions more generally, their complexities make them almost impenetrable to anyone but serious scholars of Sanskrit and ancient Indian culture. This book is divided into five parts: Composition, authorship, and transmission of the Upani?ads; The historical, cultural, and religious background of the Upani?ads; Religion and philosophy in the Upani?ads; The classical Upani?ads; The later Upani?ads. The chapters cover critical issues such as the origins of the Upani?ads, authorship, and redaction as well as exploring the broad religious and philosophical themes within the texts. The guide analyses each of the Upani?ads separately, unpacking their contextual relevance and explaining difficult terms and concepts. The Upani?ads: A Complete Guide is a unique and valuable reference source for undergraduate religious studies, history, and philosophy students and researchers who want to learn more about these foundational sacred texts and the religious lessons in the Hindu tradition.

Sufi Political Thought

Author: Milad Milani
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317660005
Format: PDF, ePub
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Sufism is generally perceived as being spiritually focused and about the development of the self. However, Sufi orders have been involved historically as important civic and political actors in the Muslim world, having participated extensively in inter-faith dialogue and political challenges to religious orthodoxy. This book presents a comprehensive overview of the Sufi political tradition, both historically and in its present form. It outlines how Sufi thought has developed, examines how Sufism has been presented both by scholars and by Sufis themselves, and considers Sufis’ active political roles. It argues that Sufis – frequently well educated, well travelled and imaginative – have been well placed to engage with other faiths and absorb their ideas into Islam; but that they have also been, because they understand other faiths, well placed to understand the distinctiveness of Islam, and thereby act as the guardians of Islam’s core ideas and values.

Training the Wisdom Body

Author: Rose Taylor Goldfield
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
ISBN: 0834828995
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Sitting still in meditation may be the common image that comes to mind when one thinks of Buddhist practice—but just as important is cultivation of awareness through movement. The traditional Tibetan practice of yogic exercises known as lujong helps us connect with and explore the natural wisdom inherent in our living, breathing, feeling bodies. Lujong is an exercise that engages our whole being—body, mind, and subtle body—from the coarse aspects to the subtler and more profound. This book provides a thorough foundation for those new to the practice, and it helps people already engaged in any form of yogic exercise to deepen the potent fusion of meditation and physical movement. Included is an overview of the unique tradition of Buddhist yoga, along with instructions on how to work with the body and mind in seated meditation; tips for furthering our practice by working with adversities such as fear, procrastination, and anxiety; and guidance on bringing practice mind into daily life. The author also offers exercise instructions and a complete explanation of the movement practices, with photos to illustrate.