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Book Review: "From Comrades to Bodhisattvas: Moral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China," by Gareth Fisher
Author Nichols, Brian J.
Source Religious Studies Review
Volumev.41 n.3
Publisher Url
LocationOxford, UK [牛津, 英國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article; 書評=Book Review
NoteFrom Comrades to Bodhisattvas: Moral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China. By Gareth Fisher. University of Hawaii Press, August 31, 2014. 280 pages. ISBN-10: 0824839668 ISBN-13: 978-0824839666
AbstractSince the 1980s, religious traditions have revived and scholars have gained access to mainland China for the first time in decades. While there have been book‐length studies of popular religion, Taoism, and Christianity in contemporary China, this is the first book‐length study of Han Buddhism in post‐Mao China. Based on twenty‐seven months of ethnographic research conducted from 2001 to 2012, the focus of this study is on lay Buddhists who gather in “preacher circles” in the outer courtyard of the Temple of Universal Rescue (Guangji si), an important Buddhist temple in central Beijing. The book is divided into six chapters, each one centered on a central trope of the lay Buddhists' worldview such as karmic affinity or the search for balance. Fisher provides insight into the beliefs and practices of his informants, which include the distribution of Buddhist literature, the circulation of miraculous tales, and the promotion of moralistic teachings sometimes framed as compatible with Maoism. An overarching framework used to understand the embrace and deployment Buddhist ideas is a way of resolving “moral breakdowns” (J. Zigon) related to economic, social, and ethical dislocations caused by the transition from a planned to a free market economy. The book is written in clear, engaging, and accessible prose and is an essential reading for scholars of contemporary religion in East Asia and anthropologists of Buddhism. It will also interest scholars of Buddhism and Chinese religion.
ISSN0319485X (P); 17480922 (E)
Created date2017.03.29
Modified date2019.11.25

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