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Full-Text Articles in Religion

Perpetual Change: Moving Beyond Object Dependent Identity, Lucas Waggoner Oct 2018

Perpetual Change: Moving Beyond Object Dependent Identity, Lucas Waggoner

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

In this paper, I disassemble classical notions of identity, and propose a new mode of identity-creation through change itself. While static characteristics or categories are traditionally utilized in forming identities, the existence of change creates problems for maintaining them. Rather than continue following that same pattern of category formation, I argue that flux, and a history of changes a thing or being has undergone, can contain innately a sense of identity. I use the science fiction of Octavia Butler, the works of the Presocratic philosophers, Timothy Morton’s ecological philosophy, the communicative philosophy of Martin Buber, the writings of Hannah ...


Sensory Dots, No-Self, And Stream-Entry: The Significance Of Buddhist Contemplative Development For Transpersonal Studies, Charles D. Laughlin Sep 2017

Sensory Dots, No-Self, And Stream-Entry: The Significance Of Buddhist Contemplative Development For Transpersonal Studies, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Based on the author’s nearly 50 years of meditation, it is observed that as a given alternative state is accessed and used over the span of years, experiences and capacities within that state are not merely static but may themselves shift as a practitioner develops neuropsychologically. An ethnographer using a substance within the context of a cultural practice may gain helpful direct insights into that cultural practice, but the researcher may fail to realize that the state attained by a novice may be substantively different from that gained by an elder or shaman with years of experience in the ...


Zen Noir Vis-À-Vis Myers-Briggs Personality Typology: Semiotic Multivalency As Grounds For Dialog, Edward J. Godfrey Oct 2016

Zen Noir Vis-À-Vis Myers-Briggs Personality Typology: Semiotic Multivalency As Grounds For Dialog, Edward J. Godfrey

Journal of Religion & Film

Marc Rosenbush’s film, Zen Noir (2004) is at first glance a Buddhist film wherein a troubled detective finds himself at a Zen temple with a murder to solve. But upon further investigation, it becomes evident that the film can also be understood in terms of Myers-Briggs personality typology, which is an extension of the personology and depth psychology of C.G. Jung. This suggests a multivalency which allows the imagery of the film to be interpreted in two different ways; as both suggesting Zen enlightenment and Jungian individuation. To assist with this comparison, this paper introduces the Ten Ox-Herding ...


Six Ways Of Looking At Anomalisa, David L. Smith Oct 2016

Six Ways Of Looking At Anomalisa, David L. Smith

Journal of Religion & Film

Anomalisa is a parable about the nature of human fulfilment that explores the tension between other-worldly desire (the conviction that real life must be “elsewhere”) and the kind of fulfilment that comes from a more transparent relationship to things as they are. The film explores this religious theme not only through its story, but through the way the story comments on its own embodiment as a puppet show—a work of stop-motion animation. In this paper, I try to tease out the film’s complex reflections on the real and the artificial (in particular, on the ways that a desire ...


Tantric Alchemy Of The Soul: A Philosophical Analysis And Synthesis Of Jung And Kashmir Shaivism, Derek C. Wolter Aug 2016

Tantric Alchemy Of The Soul: A Philosophical Analysis And Synthesis Of Jung And Kashmir Shaivism, Derek C. Wolter

Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research

One of the most fascinating parts of intellectual globalization is the dialogue that occurs between two vastly removed systems of thought. One particular area of interdisciplinary dialogue that has emerged in the last century is between Western psychology and traditional Eastern religious and philosophical thought. Two particular disciplines that bear a striking resemblance ripe for comparative study are Jung’s psychology and Indian Tantrism. Some of this dialogue has already taken place, to a limited extent by Jung himself, but more so by modern pundits of Tantrism, particular Buddhist Tantrism. While some truly important work has been done in the ...


A Critical Analysis Of Neural Buddhism's Explanation Of Moral Transformation, Jeffrey R. Dickson Dec 2015

A Critical Analysis Of Neural Buddhism's Explanation Of Moral Transformation, Jeffrey R. Dickson

Eleutheria

As non-theistic arguments for morality become increasingly sophisticated and complex, they are harder to criticize without first admiring their skillful design and near-artistry. One such argument involves a relatively new innovation that is the child of naturalism and eastern philosophy—Neural Buddhism. Like two world-renowned designers collaborating on a new garment, Naturalism and Buddhism have come together in this distinct program to offer something inventive, especially in its explanation of moral transformation. However, this critical analysis will ultimately reveal that Neural Buddhism’s explanation of moral transformation is incapable of providing good answers to several compelling criticisms.


Tradition And Change: Two Buddhisms In The Bible Belt Sharing Common Ground Through Adaptation, Jonathan Spence Dec 2014

Tradition And Change: Two Buddhisms In The Bible Belt Sharing Common Ground Through Adaptation, Jonathan Spence

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This thesis examines how some American and Burmese forms of Buddhism in the Bible Belt today share common ground through a process of adaptation. Exploring tradition and change, I reveal how change often requires adaptation. Utilizing ethnographic research conducted in south central Kentucky and middle Tennessee, I argue that some Burmese and American forms of Buddhism in the Bible Belt experience change through three aspects of adaptation. These consist of reduction, syncretism, and preservation. I explore these three aspects through interviews and observations of immigrant Burmese Buddhist monks and American Buddhist meditation leaders. In doing so, I also examine the ...


The Transformative Power Of Ketamine: Psychedelic States And A Personal History Of Transformation, Philip E. Wolfson Jul 2014

The Transformative Power Of Ketamine: Psychedelic States And A Personal History Of Transformation, Philip E. Wolfson

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

A discussion of the nature of transformation and its relationship to psychedelic experiences— particularly ketamine experiences—is presented and discussed along with a schema for thinking about types of states that may be encountered and transformations that may occur related to psychedelic use and practice. This is followed by a longitudinal historical approach for portraying and examining personal transformation along with a proposed instrument— The Transformational Codex—for cataloging that history and the elements that compose it.


Zen And The Art Of Treason: Radical Buddhism In Meiji Era (1868–1912) Japan, James Shields Mar 2014

Zen And The Art Of Treason: Radical Buddhism In Meiji Era (1868–1912) Japan, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

In the early decades of the twentieth century, as Japanese society became engulfed in war and increasing nationalism, the majority of Buddhist leaders and institutions capitulated to the status quo. At the same time, there was a stream of ‘resistance’ among a few Buddhist figures, both priests and laity. These instances of progressive and ‘radical Buddhism’ had roots in late Edo-period peasant revolts, the lingering discourse of early Meiji period liberalism, trends within Buddhist reform and modernisation and the emergence in the first decade of the twentieth century of radical political thought, including various forms of socialism and anarchism. This ...


Introduction To Against Harmony: Radical Buddhism In Thought And Practice, James Shields Mar 2014

Introduction To Against Harmony: Radical Buddhism In Thought And Practice, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Liberation As Revolutionary Praxis: Rethinking Buddhism Materialism, James Shields Sep 2013

Liberation As Revolutionary Praxis: Rethinking Buddhism Materialism, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

While it is only in recent decades that scholars have begun to reconsider and problematize Buddhist conceptions of “freedom” and “agency,” the thought traditions of Asian Buddhism have for many centuries struggled with questions related to the issue of “liberation”—along with its fundamental ontological, epistemological and ethical implications. With the development of Marxist thought in the mid to late nineteenth century, a new paradigm for thinking about freedom in relation to history, identity and social change found its way to Asia, and confronted traditional religious interpretations of freedom as well as competing Western ones. In the past century, several ...


The Buddhist Coleridge: Creating Space For The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner Within Buddhist Romantic Studies, Katie Pacheco Jun 2013

The Buddhist Coleridge: Creating Space For The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner Within Buddhist Romantic Studies, Katie Pacheco

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The popularization of academic spaces that combine Buddhist philosophy with the literature of the Romantic period – a discipline I refer to as Buddhist Romantic Studies – have exposed the lack of scholarly attention Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner have received within such studies. Validating Coleridge’s right to exist within Buddhist Romantic spheres, my thesis argues that Coleridge was cognizant of Buddhism through historical and textual encounters. To create a space for The Rime within Buddhist Romantic Studies, my thesis provides an interpretation of the poem that centers on the concept of prajna, or wisdom, as ...


Shinto And Buddhist Metaphors In Departures, Yoshiko Okuyama Apr 2013

Shinto And Buddhist Metaphors In Departures, Yoshiko Okuyama

Journal of Religion & Film

Cinematic language is rich in examples of religious metaphors. One Japanese film that contains religious “tropes” (figurative language) is the 2008 human drama, Departures. This paper focuses on the analysis of religious metaphors encoded in select film shots, using semiotics as the theoretical framework for film analysis. The specific metaphors discussed in the paper are the Shinto view of death as defilement and Buddhist practices associated with the metaphor of the journey to the afterlife. The purpose of this paper is to augment the previous reviews of Departures by explicating these religious signs hidden in the film.


Il Futuro (The Future), Dereck Daschke Jan 2013

Il Futuro (The Future), Dereck Daschke

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Il Futuro (The Future) (2013) directed by Alicia Scherson.


Good Karma $1, Dereck Daschke Jan 2013

Good Karma $1, Dereck Daschke

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Good Karma $1 (2013) directed by Amy Laslett and Jason Berger.


Radical Buddhism, Then And Now: Prospects Of A Paradox, James Shields Dec 2012

Radical Buddhism, Then And Now: Prospects Of A Paradox, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


A Blueprint For Buddhist Revolution: The Radical Buddhism Of Seno’O Girō (1889–1961) And The Youth League For Revitalizing Buddhism, James Shields Nov 2012

A Blueprint For Buddhist Revolution: The Radical Buddhism Of Seno’O Girō (1889–1961) And The Youth League For Revitalizing Buddhism, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

In the early decades of the twentieth century, as Japanese society became engulfed in war and increasing nationalism, the majority of Buddhist leaders and institutions capitulated to the status quo. One notable exception to this trend, however, was the Shinkō Bukkyō Seinen Dōmei (Youth League for Revitalizing Buddhism), founded on 5 April 1931. Led by Nichiren Buddhist layman Seno’o Girō and made up of young social activists who were critical of capitalism, internationalist in outlook, and committed to a pan-sectarian and humanist form of Buddhism that would work for social justice and world peace, the league’s motto was ...


Deronda And The Tigress: Judaism, Buddhism, And Universal Compassion In George Eliot’S Daniel Deronda, Joshua Frank Moats Aug 2012

Deronda And The Tigress: Judaism, Buddhism, And Universal Compassion In George Eliot’S Daniel Deronda, Joshua Frank Moats

Masters Theses

Many scholars have discussed Judaism and the ethics of George Eliot in Daniel Deronda, but few have explored the impact of Buddhism upon the novel. This thesis is the first study to demonstrate the influence of Buddhism upon George Eliot's fiction. By tracing Eliot's interest in the emerging field of comparative religion, I argue that Buddhism offered Eliot a unique religion that was compatible with her secular humanism. Although Buddhism appears explicitly in Deronda in only a few instances, I contend that Eliot uses the tradition of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalism as the predominant theology in Deronda ...


Stories Over Miles: Religious And Political Coping Among Tibetan Former Political Prisoners, Dylan Harris May 2012

Stories Over Miles: Religious And Political Coping Among Tibetan Former Political Prisoners, Dylan Harris

Honors Theses

Tibetan former political prisoners suffer before, during, and after imprisonment; however, their distinct coping mechanisms, in this case, specifically Buddhist coping and political coping mechanisms, allow them to overcome suffering. By examining Tibetan culture and contemporary history and concepts of suffering and coping specific to Tibetan former political prisoners, this thesis will answer the question: to what extent do Buddhism and politics effectively aid coping in the lives of Tibetan former political prisoners exiled in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India?


Pure Land And The Social Order In Twelfth-Century China: An Investigation Of "Longshu’S Treatise On Pure Land", Trevor Davis Apr 2012

Pure Land And The Social Order In Twelfth-Century China: An Investigation Of "Longshu’S Treatise On Pure Land", Trevor Davis

Student Work

A 2012-2013 William Prize for best essay in East Asian Studies was awarded to Trevor Davis (Saybrook College '13) for his essay submitted to the History Department, “Pure Land and the Social Order in Twelfth-Century China: An Investigation of Longshu’s Treatise on Pure Land.” (Valerie Hansen, Professor of History, advisor.)

Davis' essay makes a powerful argument about the Pure Land Buddhist Wang Rixiu's understanding of Southern Song (1127-1279) society. Although Pure Land Buddhism is often thought to be egalitarian - or at least to challenge traditional hierarchies - Trevor shows that for Wang Rixiu, an egalitarian Pure Land coexists with ...


The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma Jan 2011

The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses atheism, Buddhism, and the practice of animism in southeast Asia. Atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are discussed as is the argument regarding the "provincialism" of religion. It is noted that some atheists echo the statement by philosopher Karl Marx that religion is an opiate that should be done away with because it has little moral value. The use of spirit houses as a part of religious practice in southeast Asia is described. The opinion held by theists on animism is explored. Other topics include living conditions in Cambodia and the role of religion in ...


Why Altered States Are Not Enough: A Perspective From Buddhism, Igor Berkhin, Glenn Hartelius Jan 2011

Why Altered States Are Not Enough: A Perspective From Buddhism, Igor Berkhin, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Transpersonal psychology has at times employed Buddhist terminology in ways that do not

reflect distinctions that underlie these tightly defined terms. From a Buddhist perspective,

attempts to equate Buddhist terms with language from other traditions are misdirected, and

produce results that no longer represent Buddhism. For example, it is an error to translate

certain Buddhist terms as referring to a shared universal consciousness; Buddhism explicitly

rejects this idea. Nor is it appropriate to assume that the generic, cross-traditional altered

state of nondual awareness postulated in some transpersonally-related circles is in any way

related to nirvana or other advanced states described ...


Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma Feb 2010

Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Profound and amusing, this book provides a viable approach to answering the perennial questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How can I live a meaningful life? For Asma, the answers are to be found in Buddhism.

There have been a lot of books that have made the case for Buddhism. What makes this book fresh and exciting is Asma's iconoclasm, irreverence, and hardheaded approach to the subject. He is distressed that much of what passes for Buddhism is really little more than "New Age mush." He loudly asserts that it is time to "take the California out ...


The Desert Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James F. Mcgrath Jan 2010

The Desert Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James F. Mcgrath

Scholarship and Professional Work - LAS

The movie The Matrix and its sequels draw explicitly on imagery from a number of sources, including in particular Buddhism, Christianity, and the writings of Jean Baudrillard. A perspective is offered on the perennial philosophical question ‘What is real?’, using language and symbols drawn from three seemingly incompatible world views. In doing so, these movies provide us with an insight into the way popular culture makes eclectic use of various streams of thought to fashion a new reality that is not unrelated to, and yet is nonetheless distinct from, its religious and philosophical undercurrents and underpinnings.


The Desert Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James F. Mcgrath Dec 2009

The Desert Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James F. Mcgrath

James F. McGrath

The movie The Matrix and its sequels draw explicitly on imagery from a number of sources, including in particular Buddhism, Christianity, and the writings of Jean Baudrillard. A perspective is offered on the perennial philosophical question ‘What is real?’, using language and symbols drawn from three seemingly incompatible world views. In doing so, these movies provide us with an insight into the way popular culture makes eclectic use of various streams of thought to fashion a new reality that is not unrelated to, and yet is nonetheless distinct from, its religious and philosophical undercurrents and underpinnings.


Buddha For Beginners, Stephen Asma Dec 2008

Buddha For Beginners, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Originally published by Writers and Readers in 1998, this is an iconoclastic, illustrated romp through the life of the Buddha both a credible exploration of his life and teachings and an entertaining introduction to the philosophy of Buddhism.

Many Westerners know about the meditation practices of Buddhism, but few understand the Buddha's philosophical teachings. This book puts the teachings (dharma) in their proper context and unravels some of the more dense knots of Buddha's thinking. And it does all this while entertaining the reader with humorous illustrations and pop-culture sensibility. This primer, constructed like a graphic novel, cuts ...


The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment In The Land Of The Tattered Buddha, Stephen Asma Apr 2006

The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment In The Land Of The Tattered Buddha, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Asma, a professor of Buddhism at Columbia College in Chicago and the author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads (2001), recounts his intense and revelatory Cambodian adventures while teaching at Phnom Penh's Buddhist Institute. In an electrifying and frank mix of hair-raising anecdotes and expert analysis, he explicates the vast difference between text-based Buddhist teachings and daily life in a poor and politically volatile Buddhist society. Amid tales of massage parlors, marijuana-spiced pizza, and bloodshed, he cogently explains how Theravada Buddhism, the form practiced throughout Southeast Asia, differs from the Buddhism Westerners are familiar with, and how entwined it ...


Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning Of Life And Buddhism, Stephen Asma Mar 2006

Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning Of Life And Buddhism, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

From the 1970s cult TV show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to the current hit musical Spamalot, the Monty Python comedy troupe has been at the center of popular culture and entertainment. The Pythons John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam are increasingly recognized and honored for their creativity and enduring influence in the worlds of comedy and film. Monty Python and Philosophy extends that recognition into the world of philosophy. Fifteen experts in topics like mythology, Buddhism, feminism, logic, ethics, and the philosophy of science bring their expertise to bear on Python movies ...


Conflicting Visions Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James Mcgrath Dec 2003

Conflicting Visions Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James Mcgrath

James F. McGrath

James McGrath's contribution to the proceedings of the first global conference of the Cyberworlds, Virtual Reality project, which took place from Monday 11 August - Wednesday 13 August 2003, in Prague, as part of the At the Interface conference series.


The Dynamics Of Attention: Core Of The Contemplative Way, Philip Novak Jan 1984

The Dynamics Of Attention: Core Of The Contemplative Way, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"I am suggesting, then, that in the long haul of planetary evolution, spiritually questing men from various cultures have commonly discovered that here in the mind's inchoate ability to remain attentive there dwelt the fundamental meas of awakening to the full meaning of existence. For attention, as I will presently and briefly suggest, is the core and common denominator of all man's higher form of contemplative praxis, And later I will be attempting to suggest how a little thing like attention may be thought to transform even the deep and unconscious structural determinants of consciousness." ~ from the article