Pure Lands in Asian Texts and Contexts: An Anthology
This diverse anthology of original Buddhist texts in translation provides a historical and conceptual framework that will transform contemporary scholarship on Pure Land Buddhism and instigate its recognition as an essential field of Buddhist studies. Traditional and contemporary primary sources carefully selected from Buddhist cultures across historical, geopolitical, and literary boundaries are organized by genre rather than chronologically, geographically, or by religious lineage—a novel juxtaposition that reveals their wider importance in fresh contexts. Together these fundamental texts from different Asian traditions, expertly translated by eminent and up-and-coming scholars, illustrate that the Buddhism of pure lands is not just an East Asian cult or a marginal type of Buddhism, but a pan-Asian and deeply entrenched religious phenomenon.
The volume is organized into six parts: Ritual Practices, Contemplative Visualizations, Doctrinal Expositions, Life Writing and Poetry, Ethical and Aesthetic Explications, and Worlds beyond Sukhāvatī. Each part is introduced and summarized, and each translated piece is prefaced by its translator to supply historical and sectarian context as well as insight into the significance of the work. Common and less-common issues of practice, doctrine, and intra-religious transfer are explored, and deeper understandings of the meaning of “pure lands” are gained through the study of the celestial, cosmological, internal, and earthly pure lands associated with various buddhas, bodhisattvas, and devotional figures. The introduction by the volume editors ties the diverse themes of the book together and provides a historical background to Pure Land Buddhist studies. Scholars of Buddhism and Asian religion, including graduate and post-graduate students, as well as Buddhist practitioners, will appreciate the range of translated materials and accompanied discussions made accessible in one essential collection, the first of its kind to center on the formerly-neglected topic of Buddhist pure lands.
- Georgios T. Halkias is an assistant professor and undergraduate program director at the Centre of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong.
- Richard K. Payne is Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley.
Robert F. Rhodes is professor of Buddhist studies at Otani University in Kyoto.
- Aaron P. Proffitt is assistant professor of Japanese Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY.
- Charles B. Jones is associate professor and director of the Religion and Culture graduate program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
- Clark Chilson is assistant professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University.
- Jacqueline I. Stone is professor of religion at Princeton University.
- Richard D. McBride II is associate professor of history at Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i.