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Using a commentary on the influential text, the Manjusri-namasamgiti, 'The Chanting of the Names of Manjusri', this book deals with Buddhist tantric meditation practice and its doctrinal context in early-medieval India. The commentary was written by the 8th-9th century Indian tantric scholar Vilasavajra, and the book contains a translation of the first five chapters. The translation is extensively annotated, and accompanied by introductions as well as a critical edition of the Sanskrit text based on eight Sanskrit manuscripts and two blockprint editions of the commentary's Tibetan translation. The commentary interprets its root text within an elaborate framework of tantric visualisation and meditation that is based on an expanded form of the Buddhist Yoga Tantra mandala, the Vajradhatu-mandala. At its heart is the figure of Manjusri, no longer the familiar bodhisattva of wisdom, but now the embodiment of the awakened non-dual gnosis that underlies all Buddhas as well their activity in the cosmos. The book contributes to our understanding of the history of Indian tantric Buddhism in a period of significant change and innovation. With its extensively annotated translation and lengthy introductions the book is designed to appeal not only to professional scholars and research students but also to contemporary Buddhists.
The Prophetic traditions of Islam, which are commonly referred to as the hadiths (literally: reports ), preserve the sum and substance of the utterances, deeds, directives, and descriptive anecdotes connected with the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions. Together with the Qur an, the hadiths provide the religion of Islam with its principal scriptural sources.
The collection features an accessible and informative introduction which presents an outline of the significance of the hadiths within the religious tradition while also reviewing classical scholarship devoted to the literature of the traditions; moreover, the introduction decisively sets into context the academic debates and arguments which are fleshed out in the articles selected. It also charts developments in the academic study of hadiths, summing up the current state of the field and features a detailed bibliography listing primary classical sources germane to the field of Prophetic traditions together with recent research monographs and articles devoted to the subject.
This Major Work provides an authoritative collection of the seminal research articles produced by western academic scholarship on the subject of the hadith over the past century, including recent papers on the subject. In bringing together the finest examples of scholarship devoted to the hadith and the classical literature that surrounds it, these volumes provide an indispensable reference resource for academics, research institutions, governmental organizations, and those with a general interest in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, Arabic Cultural Studies, and Middle East History.
In Seeking Ezekiel, David J. Halperin argues that the biblical Book of Ezekiel provides substantial information about its author's psychology and reveals his personality in considerable depth. Psychoanalytic investigation of the book yields a coherent portrait of its author: a marvelously gifted yet profoundly disturbed man, tormented by inner conflicts over his sexual longings and fears.
Ezekiel, Halperin argues, was dominated by a pathological dread and loathing of female sexuality. He expresses this emotional stance in the symbolic language of dreams (his vision of a temple polluted by idolatry); in a thin disguise of historical allegory (his obscenely graphic representations of Israel and Jerusalem as promiscuous wives); and in his self-described behavior at his wife's death.
Ezekiel also demonstrates a deeply ambivalent attitude toward a dominant male figure. Normally, he projects the positive elements of his ambivalence onto his God, its negative elements onto other males. Yet the reverse can also take place, and this does much to explain the disturbing cruelty and arbitrariness of Ezekiel's God.
Any psychological study of a man dead for 2500 years will run into formidable methodological difficulties. Halperin establishes the legitimacy of his approach by arguing that it permits the solution of a wide range of long-recognized textual problems.
The implications of Halperin's study extend far beyond the boundaries of Biblical scholarship. The sexual pathology that he attributes to Ezekiel has afflicted humanity for most of its history, tainting the relations of men and women the world over. Ezekiel's powerful influence on posterity has done its part in strengthening the grip of this pathology. By understanding Ezekiel, people may come to a better understanding of his sickness within themselves and thus eventually come to find healing.
Sankara's non-dualistic system of Advaita Vedanta has long been recognized as one of the greatest philosophical achievements of the Indian tradition. At the heart of Sankara's system is the articulation of the means by which a human understanding of ultimate reality can be attained. Most scholarship has concluded that for Sankara, full knowledge of ultimate reality can be acquired only through personal experience. Through a careful analysis of the original commentaries, however, Anantanand Rambachan attempts to establish that Sankara regarded the "Vedas" as the unique and definitive source of valid knowledge of ultimate reality. All other sources of knowledge, including personal experience, are in fact to be understood as subordinate to the revelations of the "Vedas".
The Koran: It may be the most controversial book in the world. Some
see it as a paean to peace, others call it a violent mandate for
worldwide Islamic supremacy.
Daisetz Suzuki discusses the influence of the Lankavatara Sutra in the expression of Zen ideas. He examines the legends that Bodhidharma, the supposed founder of Zen in China, took with him only the Lanka text, and that Bodhidharma was only one in a line of teachers of the Lanka Sutra in China. Suzuki explores the fundamental themes of the sutra -- the acceptance of the Void, the career of the Bodhisattva, and the unreality of perception.
Within the classical Islamic tradition, the field of Qur'anic exegesis, more commonly referred to as tafsir, occupies a revered place among the traditional Muslim sciences. Although tafsir encompasses various approaches to the explication of the Qur'an and these include legal, theological, rhetorical, linguistic, mystical, literary, and philosophical treatments, it is the technical tools and methodologies applied in Qur'anic exegesis and the history of their development which make the discipline so unique in its Islamic context. Given the significance of tafsir within the religious tradition, western academic scholars have devoted considerable attention to the field. This interest remains vigorous today and represents one of the key areas of research in modern Islamic studies. This collection of articles on tafsir provides a definitive overview of the tradition of tafsir in its early, medieval, and modern settings. Tafsir: Interpreting the Qur'an includes works germane to the history and development of exegesis; materials which focus on the tradition's great commentators and their commentaries; articles which look at the genres, themes and contexts of the tafsir tradition; research on exegetical ideas, sources, and constructs; and, finally, articles which examine the hermeneutic tools defined by scholarship for the explication of the sacred text. It is an essential work of reference destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource.
This is the first English translation of the earliest Chinese Buddhist text, but it is more than a translation. Keenan shows that Mou-tzu's Treatise On Alleviating Doubt is a Buddhist hermeneutic on the Chinese classics.
The articles in this volume fall into two main groups, the one dealing with secular learning and especially grammar and logic, the other with biblical scholarship, while the final articles look at the work of particular scholars. Margaret Gibson, however, would see them all as closely interrelated. Scholars in the Latin West, from the end of Antiquity right through the 12th century, were united in the belief that all knowledge, if true, was compatible and that sapientia was one and coherent. In the same way, she would hold, it is impossible to study only the 'artes' given their implication for Bible, nor only Bible, when every commentator thought within the context of the 'artes'. Les articles contenus dans ce volume se divisent en deux categories principales: la premiere traitant du savoir seculaire et, plus particulierement, de la grammaire et de la logique; la seconde s'attachant au savoir biblique avec, pour finir, un nombre d'articles examinant l'oeuvre de certains erudits. Margaret Gibson considere toutes ces etudes comme etant interdependantes. Les erudits de l'Occident latin, de la fin de l'Antiquite A celle du 12e siecle, etaient unis dans la conviction que toutes connaissances veridiques etaient compatibles entre elles et que la sapience formait un tout coherent. Par lA mAme, l'auteur maintient qu'il est impossible de s'adonner uniquement A l'etude des artes , etant donnee leur implication pour la Bible, ou mAme A l'etude de cette derniere, alors que la pensee de chacun des commentateurs etait formulee dans le contexte de artes .
An anthology of selections from the Qur'an in contemporary English on topics ranging from the story of Creation and the idea of God to politics and economics. Compiled by three scholars, including T. B. Irving, the first American to translate the Qur'an into English, with a helpful introduction, extensive glossary and an index of Qur'anic verses.
The series Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (BZAW) covers all areas of research into the Old Testament, focusing on the Hebrew Bible, its early and later forms in Ancient Judaism, as well as its branching into many neighboring cultures of the Ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world.
These two volumes collect some of the most influential and
important scholarly essays by the late Morton Smith (1915-1991),
for many years Professor of Ancient History at Columbia University
in New York City. Smith was admired and feared for his
extraordinary ability to look at familiar texts in unfamiliar ways,
to re-open old questions, to pose new questions, and to demolish
received truths. He practiced the "hermeneutics of suspicion" to
devastating effect. His answers are not always convincing but his
questions cannot be ignored.
In Indian mythological texts like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, there are recurrent tales about gleaners. The practice of "gleaning" in India had more to do with the house-less forest life than with residential village or urban life or with gathering residual post-harvest grains from cultivated fields. Gleaning can be seen a metaphor for the Mahabharata poets' art: an art that could have included their manner of gleaning what they made the leftovers (what they found useful) from many preexistent texts into Vyasa's "entire thought"-including oral texts and possibly written ones, such as philosophical debates and stories. This book explores the notion of non-violence in the epic Mahabharata. In examining gleaning as an ecological and spiritual philosophy nurtured as much by hospitality codes as by eating practices, the author analyses the merits and limitations of the 9th century Kashmiri aesthetician Anandavardhana that the dominant aesthetic sentiment or rasa of the Mahabharata is shanta (peace). Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent reading of the Mahabharata via the Bhagavad Gita are also studied. This book by one of the leaders in Mahabharata studies is of interest to scholars of South Asian Literary Studies, Religious Studies as well as Peace Studies, South Asian Anthropology and History.
Few books in history have been as important or as poorly understood
as the Qur'an. Sent down in a series of revelations to the Prophet
Muhammad, the Qur'an is the unmediated word of Allah: a ritual,
political, and legal authority, an ethical and spiritual guide, and
a literary masterpiece. It is revered by Muslims throughout the
world, in whom it inspires devotion, passion, fear, and sometimes
This book focuses on the interpretation of Malachi 2:10-16, which
censures the lax marital practice of its contemporaries. In
particular, Hugenberger investigates Malachi's identification of
marriage as a "covenant" in response to recent scholarly challenges
to this identification.
The Bible is often said to be one of the foundation texts of
Western culture. The present volume shows that it goes far beyond
being a religious text. The essays explore how religious, political
and cultural identities, including ethnicity and gender, are
embodied in biblical discourse. Following the authors, we read the
Bible with new eyes: as a critic of gender, ideology, politics and
culture. We ask ourselves new questions: about God's body, about
women's role, about racial prejudices and about the politics of the
Using the method of critical intertextual research, this book demonstrates that Deuteronomy (written c. 500 BC) is an Israelite sequential hypertextual reworking of Ezekiel, that Genesis and Exodus-Numbers (written c. 400 BC) are Israelite sequential hypertextual reworkings of Deuteronomy, and that Samuel-Kings (written c. 300 BC) is a Judaean sequential hypertextual reworking of Deuteronomy. Consequently, the book disproves the theories of the existence of the so-called sources or traditions of the Pentateuch. The recognition of the fact that the Pentateuch is an Israelite and not a Judaean work may have great consequences for the dialogue between the monotheistic civilizations in our world and for peace initiatives in the Holy Land.
Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy is a radically new interpretation of prophetic poetry. Using more than thirty new translations from the Hebrew Bible, it shows that this poetry is inseparable from imperialism, that each of the three major waves of biblical prophecy which have survived in the Old Testament occurred in response to simultaneous waves of imperialist conquest.
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