Thailand s International Meditation Centers

Author: Brooke Schedneck
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317449398
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book explores contemporary practices within the new institution of international meditation centers in Thailand. It discusses the development of the lay vipassana meditation movement in Thailand and relates Thai Buddhism to contemporary processes of commodification and globalisation. Through an examination of how meditation centers are promoted internationally, the author considers how Thai Buddhism is translated for and embodied within international tourists who participate in meditation retreats in Thailand. Shedding new light on the decontextualization of religious practices, and raising new questions concerning tourism and religion, this book focuses on the nature of cultural exchange, spiritual tourism, and religious choice in modernity. With an aim of reframing questions of religious modernity, each chapter offers a new perspective on the phenomenon of spiritual seeking in Thailand. Offering an analysis of why meditation practices appeal to non-Buddhists, this book contends that religions do not travel as whole entities but instead that partial elements resonate with different cultures, and are appropriated over time.

Catholics and Everyday Life in Macau

Author: Chen Hon-Fai
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1134739923
Format: PDF, ePub
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Catholicism has had an important place in Macau since the earliest days of Portuguese colonization in the sixteenth century. This book, based on extensive original research including in-depth interviews, examines in detail the everyday life of Catholics in Macau at present. It outlines the tremendous societal pressures which Macau is currently undergoing – sovereignty handover and its consequences, the growth of casinos and tourism and the transformation of a serene and somewhat obscure colony into a vibrantly developing city. It shows how, although the formal structures of Catholicism no longer share in rule by the colonial power, and although formal religious observance is declining, nevertheless the personal piety and ethical religious outlook of individual Catholics continue to be strong, and have a huge, and possibly increasing, impact on public life through the application of personal religious ethics to issues of human rights and social justice and in the fields of education and social services.

The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism

Author: Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Michael Jerryson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199362386
Format: PDF, Docs
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As an incredibly diverse religious system, Buddhism is constantly changing. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day. Taken together, the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism's past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The volume contains 41 essays, divided into two sections. The essays in the first section examine the historical development of Buddhist traditions throughout the world. These chapters cover familiar settings like India, Japan, and Tibet as well as the less well-known countries of Vietnam, Bhutan, and the regions of Latin America, Africa, and Oceania. Focusing on changes within countries and transnationally, this section also contains chapters that focus explicitly on globalization, such as Buddhist international organizations and diasporic communities. The second section tracks the relationship between Buddhist traditions and particular themes. These chapters review Buddhist interactions with contemporary topics such as violence and peacebuilding, and ecology, as well as Buddhist influences in areas such as medicine and science. Offering coverage that is both expansive and detailed, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism delves into some of the most debated and contested areas within Buddhist Studies today.

Tracks and Traces

Author: Philip Hirsch
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
ISBN: 9089642498
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This volume traces the threads that tie together an understanding of Thailand as a dynamic and rapidly changing society, through an examination of the work of one major scholar of the country, Andrew Turton. Turton's anthropological studies of Thailand cover a wide spectrum from politics and economy to ritual and culture, and have been crucial in shaping evolving understandings of Thai society. In this collection, ten leading specialists on Thailand from a variety of disciplines critically consider aspects of Turton's work in relation to the changing nature of different aspects of Thai society. The book tracks the links between past and present scholarship, examines the contextuality of scholarship in its times, and sheds light on the current situation in Thailand.

Orientalism and Religion

Author: Richard King
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134632347
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion. Richard King examines the way in which notions such as mysticism, religion, Hinduism and Buddhism are taken for granted. He shows us how religion needs to be reinterpreted along the lines of cultural studies. Drawing on a variety of post-structuralist and post-colonial thinkers, such as Foucault, Gadamer, Said, and Spivak, King provides us with a challenging series of reflections on the nature of Religious Studies and Indology.

Religion in China

Author: Max Deeg
Publisher:
ISBN: 9783700177593
Format: PDF
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Religions of foreign origin have shaped Chinese cultural history much stronger than generally assumed and continue to have impact on Chinese society in varying regional degrees. The essays collected in the present volume put a special emphasis on these "foreign" and less familiar aspects of Chinese religion. Apart from an introductory article on Daoism (the prototypical autochthonous religion of China), the volume reflects China's encounter with religions of the so-called Western Regions, starting from the adoption of Indian Buddhism to early settlements of religious minorities from the Near East (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) and the early modern debates between Confucians and Christian missionaries. Contemporary religious minorities, their specific social problems, and their regional diversities are discussed in the cases of Abrahamitic traditions in China. The volume therefore contributes to our understanding of most recent and potentially violent religio-political phenomena such as, for instance, Islamist movements in the People's Republic of China.

Sufi Political Thought

Author: Milad Milani
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317660005
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Meditation in Modern Buddhism

Author: Joanna Cook
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139487841
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In contemporary Thai Buddhism, the burgeoning popularity of vipassanā meditation is dramatically impacting the lives of those most closely involved with its practice: monks and mae chee (lay nuns) living in monastic communities. For them, meditation becomes a central focus of life and a way to transform the self. This ethnographic account of a thriving Northern Thai monastery examines meditation in detail, and explores the subjective signification of monastic duties and ascetic practices. Drawing on fieldwork done both as an analytical observer and as a full participant in the life of the monastery, Joanna Cook analyzes the motivation and experience of renouncers, and shows what effect meditative practices have on individuals and community organization. The particular focus on the status of mae chee - part lay, part monastic - provides a fresh insight into social relationships and gender hierarchy within the context of the monastery.

Nirvana for Sale

Author: Rachelle M. Scott
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9781438427843
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Explores the relationship between material prosperity and spirituality in contemporary Thai Buddhism.

Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines

Author: Jayeel Serrano Cornelio
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317621972
Format: PDF
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This book, based on extensive original research, examines the nature of Catholicism in the contemporary Philippines. It shows how Catholicism is apparently flourishing, with good attendance at Sunday Masses, impressive religious processions and flourishing charismatic groups, and with interventions by the Catholic hierarchy in national and local politics. However, focusing in particular on the beliefs and practices of young people, the book shows that young people are often adopting a different, more individualised approach to Catholicism, which is frequently out of step with the official position. It considers the features of this: a more personal and experiential relationship with God; a new approach to morality, in which right living is seen as more important than right believing; and a critical view of what is seen as the Catholic hierarchy's misguidedness. The book argues that this reinterpreting of religion by young people has the potential to alter fundamentally the nature of Catholicism in the Philippines, but that, nevertheless, young people's new approach involves a solid, enduring commitment and a strong view of their own Catholic, religious identity.