Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Religion Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 38

Full-Text Articles in Religion

The Inner Journey : Views From The Buddhist Tradition, Philip Novak Feb 2016

The Inner Journey : Views From The Buddhist Tradition, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

With The Inner Journey, Philip Novak, editor of The World’s Wisdom and coauthor of Buddhism, a Concise Introduction, selects the best work from the Buddhist tradition to be found within Parabola’s 30 years of archives. The contributors, broad and experienced, range from H. H. the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman to Pema Chodran and Thict Nhat Hanh. Incisive interviews and cogent essays are informed by poetry and folklore. A lavish, full-color, 16-page set of plates brilliantly conveys the rich variety within the tradition. From full works of great intricacy to passages of pure insight, the collection spans the ...


Book Review: The Religious Thought Of Chu Hsi, Julia Ching, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: The Religious Thought Of Chu Hsi, Julia Ching, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

Julia Ching's Religious Thought of Chu Hsi is one of several Western-language works in recent years to address issues of religiosity and spirituality in the Confucian tradition. Somewhat earlier are several full-length books devoted to the thought of one particular thinker, much of which could be considered "religious," although the authors do not necessarily focus on that theme. Zhu Xi's religious beliefs and practices have been the subject of several chapter-length studies in Western languages. And Zhu's studies of ritual have been translated in Patricia Buckley Ebrey's Chu Hsi's Family Rituals. Neither of those works ...


Book Review: Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, Kwong-Loi Shun, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, Kwong-Loi Shun, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This is the first of a projected three-volume series on "the nature of Confucian-Mencian ethical thought." This volume, as well as a projected second volume, highlights important passages and concepts from the Mencius for close exegetical analysis, and compares them insightfully with such works as the Analects, the Guanzi, and the Mozi. Comparative philosophical interpretation of these concepts is planned for a projected volume three. By separating textual analysis from modem philosophical interpretation, Shun attempts to consider early Chinese concepts on their own terms, as far as that is possible, without viewing them through the lens of contemporary Western categories ...


Book Review: Transformations Of The Confucian Way, John Berthrong, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: Transformations Of The Confucian Way, John Berthrong, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This book is part of Westview's series Explorations: Contemporary Perspectives on Religion. However, Transformations of the Confucian Way focuses not on the religious aspects of the literati tradition, but on "the intellectual development of the Confucian Way in East Asia." Transformations is a concise survey, based primarily on English language sources, of the main figures of literati intellectual history from Confucius to Okada Takehiko.

Berthrong first begins by trying to define what being "a Confucian" is, and places such attempts at definition within a comparative context. He states that being a Confucian means "being dedicated to the canon and ...


Conceptualizations Of Earth And Land In Classical Chinese Texts, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Conceptualizations Of Earth And Land In Classical Chinese Texts, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

Many studies have explored conceptualizations of heaven (tian 天) in early Chinese thought, but few if any have explored understandings of heaven's later cosmological counterpart, earth (di 地). This article examines Chinese understandings of earth and land (tu 土) in pre-Qin 先秦sources. In ancient texts such as the Book of Odes (Shi jing詩經) and Book of Documents (Shang shu尚書), the earth is not yet the paired counterpart to heaven that it will become in later Warring States (fifth-third centuries BCE) texts. Older works often depict earth and land as passive recipients of heaven's forces or human ...


邱濬與明代儒家廢存之議 (Qiu Jun And Iconoclasm In The Ming Dynasty), Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

邱濬與明代儒家廢存之議 (Qiu Jun And Iconoclasm In The Ming Dynasty), Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This article examines key figures in iconoclastic controversies that developed in the early Ming (1368-1644) era in China. The scholar-official Qiu Jun (1421-1495), the compiler of the massive guide to statecraft and governance titled Supplement to the Extended Meaning of the Great Learning (Daxue yanyi bu 大學衍義補), believed that anthropomorphic images of Confucius in official temples should be destroyed and replaced with spirit tablets inscribed with the name of the deceased. This essay explores the philosophical and religious arguments of Qiu Jun and other early Ming thinkers regarding the use of images in ritual contexts.


Recent Western Studies Of Zhu Xi (近代朱子研究在西方), Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Recent Western Studies Of Zhu Xi (近代朱子研究在西方), Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This article is a bibliographic survey of research scholarship on the thinker Zhu Xi (朱熹, 1130-1200) published in North America from the mid-1990s until 2008. This essay was originally presented at the international invited conference "Song Dynasty Neo-Confucianism: A Focus on Zhu Xi" (宋代新儒學的精神世界:以朱熹為中心) at Fudan University, Shanghai 上海复旦大学, Oct. 25-26, 2008.


Warrants For Women's Religious Authority In Chinese Religious Traditions, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Warrants For Women's Religious Authority In Chinese Religious Traditions, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


Chinese Religions In World Religions Textbooks, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Chinese Religions In World Religions Textbooks, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

Religions of China are routinely given short shrift in world religions textbooks. It would be foolish to expect equity in these matters, but when traditions important to a large percentage of the world's populations are accorded only a fraction of the pages devoted to that upstart Mediterranean cult—I am speaking, of course, of Christianity—one naturally begins to ask questions. Such books are thicker in their treatment of “the center of the world,” that fertile spiritual navel from which emerged the so-called Abrahamic traditions, and become thinner and thinner as they move toward the “barren” Pacific Rim, where ...


文革中的批孔運動和孔子形像的演變 (Images For Iconoclasts: Depictions Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution), Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

文革中的批孔運動和孔子形像的演變 (Images For Iconoclasts: Depictions Of Confucius In The Cultural Revolution), Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


Destroying Confucius: Iconoclasm In The Confucian Temple, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Destroying Confucius: Iconoclasm In The Confucian Temple, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

No abstract provided.


Taoism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Taoism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This essay is Chapter 28 of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts edited by Frank Burch Brown (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pages 379-387). Religion and the Arts is one of the newest additions to the Oxford Handbook series, a project that explores reviews of recent academic research across disciplines. This edited volume of essays examines intersections of the visual and spiritual realms as they are expressed in religious traditions around the globe. Sommer's article, which was commissioned for Part III of this volume, "Religious Ways of Being Artistic," is a state-of-the-field review of recent Western-language ...


Confucianism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Confucianism And The Arts, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

This essay is Chapter 29 of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts edited by Frank Burch Brown (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pages 388-395). Religion and the Arts is one of the newest additions to the Oxford Handbook series, a project that explores reviews of recent academic research across disciplines. This edited volume of essays examines intersections between the visual and spiritual realms as they are expressed in religious traditions around the globe. Sommer's article was commissioned for Part III of this volume, "Religious Ways of Being Artistic," and it is a state-of-the-field review of recent ...


Book Review: The Rivers Of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, And Muhammad As Religious Founders, David Freedman, Michael Mcclymond, Deborah Sommer Apr 2014

Book Review: The Rivers Of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, And Muhammad As Religious Founders, David Freedman, Michael Mcclymond, Deborah Sommer

Deborah A. Sommer

In his introduction to Rivers of Paradise, David Noel Freedman explains how the book finds a guiding metaphor in a passage from Genesis (2:10–14) that relates how a river emerges from Eden and splits into four different rivers that flow to different parts of the world. He associates these five rivers with five “great personality religions of the world,” which are traditions “originating in and centering around the person, the life and experience, of a single individual—as it happens all of them men” (p. 2). These “founding fathers” are Moses, the Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad, in ...


Ecological Issues: A Daoist Confucian Perspective, Pamela Herron Feb 2014

Ecological Issues: A Daoist Confucian Perspective, Pamela Herron

Pamela Herron

Abstract: The Dao De Jing is the foundation of Daoism while the Lun Yu, or the Analects of Confucius, is the central text for Confucianism. The Dao De Jing in particular has long been a popular text within the new age spiritual movement in Western culture. Both classic Chinese texts emphasize working toward a harmony with nature without the assumption of man set above plants, animals, mountains, water and other aspects of nature; rather man is a part of this greater whole. This paper explores specific references in both classic texts that reinforce this idea of man being simply part ...


Daoism And Sustainability: A Confucian Perspective, Pamela Herron Dec 2013

Daoism And Sustainability: A Confucian Perspective, Pamela Herron

Pamela Herron

The Dao De Jing is the foundation of Daoism while the Lun Yu, or the Analects of Confucius, is the central text for Confucianism. Both classic Chinese texts emphasize working toward a harmony with nature without the assumption of man set above plants, animals, mountains, water and other aspects of nature; rather man is a part of this greater whole. This paper challenges the western view of man’s superiority or dominion over nature and explores specific references in both classic texts that reinforce this idea of man being simply part of the natural world. In particular can Chinese or ...


To Become A Confucian, Anna Sun Dec 2013

To Become A Confucian, Anna Sun

Anna Sun

No abstract provided.


Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma Dec 2011

Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The nature of self awareness and the origin and persistence of personal identity still loom large in contemporary philosophy of mind. Many philosophers have been wooed by the computational approach to consciousness, and they attempt to find the self amidst the phenomenon of neocortical information processing. Affective neuroscience offers another pathway to understanding the evolution and nature of self. This paper explores how affective neuroscience acts as a positive game-changer in the philosophical pursuit of self. In particular, we focus on connecting 'mammalian agency' to (a) subjective awareness, and (b) identity through time.


Gauging Gender: A Metaphysics, Stephen Asma Nov 2011

Gauging Gender: A Metaphysics, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

In this article the author discusses sex and gender in human beings and examines how the study of science, particularly biology, has influenced the study of these subjects in higher education. It traces the evolution of sex and gender studies in academe, comments on the failure of many humanities scholars to dismiss biology in studying human behavior, and explores ways in which psychoanalysis, social constructionism, and metaphysics have informed the debate over the differences between sex and gender. Other topics include research conducted by Anne Fausto-Sterling regarding intersexed people, scientific tests focusing on sexual preference in rats, and thoughts by ...


Risen Apes And Fallen Angels: The New Museology Of Human Origins, Stephen Asma Mar 2011

Risen Apes And Fallen Angels: The New Museology Of Human Origins, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

There has been a little explosion of "origin" exhibitions in the past few years. The recent bicentennial of Darwin's birth, in 2009, ushered in a bevy of traveling exhibitions and events. Grandscale permanent exhibitions have recently opened at the American Museum of Natural History (the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins) in New York, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins) in Washington, D.C. A new museology is afoot, and some of the recent changes are worth tracking. And let's not forget the recently opened Creation Museum in ...


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 ...


What We Talk About When We Talk About The Soul, Stephen Asma May 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About The Soul, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The author discusses the popularity among college students of the concept of the soul, and attempts to place it in its proper context. He dispenses with orthodox theological arguments and New Age arguments as scientifically untenable. He takes a so-called Wittgensteinian approach, noting soul's linguistic significance. He analyzes expressions which use the concept of soul and concludes that they are qualitatively different from testable factual expressions. He notes that soul talk is about hopes and aspirations, inspiration, or feelings deeper than friendship. He assigns it meaning outside of scientific concepts. He likens expressions of soul to creative and ethical ...


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 ...


Green Guilt, Stephen Asma Jan 2010

Green Guilt, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The essay discusses the more neurotic aspects of environmentalism, involving guilt over failure to recycle or turn off the lights. It notes that those most prone to these sensibilities are those who have left traditional religion. It quotes philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who states that religious emotions such as guilt and indignation are still present in a post-Christian world. The essay argues that we should certainly save the planet but avoid the neurosis that often accompanies it.


Monsters And The Moral Imagination, Stephen Asma Oct 2009

Monsters And The Moral Imagination, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses the cultural interest in monsters in the 21st century. The author speculates on the reasons for the interest, citing anxiety after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq, or the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. He notes a conference in September 2009 at the University of Oxford entitled "Monsters and the Monstrous." Cultural uses of monsters, he notes, include scolding ourselves for failure to be inclusive, the medievals' punishment for the sin of pride, or the ancient Greeks' warnings of impending calamity. He notes that monster stories can promote the individual's thought about ...


Ancient Antidotes To Timeless Troubles: Stoicism And The Recession, Stephen Asma May 2009

Ancient Antidotes To Timeless Troubles: Stoicism And The Recession, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article reviews the books "The Present Alone is Our Happiness," by Arnold I. Davidson and Jeannie Carlier and "A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus" by David Konstan.


"Early Christianity In North Africa" By Francois Decret, Edward Smither Dec 2008

"Early Christianity In North Africa" By Francois Decret, Edward Smither

Edward L Smither

Please visit http://wipfandstock.com/store/Early_Christianity_in_North_Africa for more information on the book.


Trapped In The Creation Museum, Stephen Asma Jan 2008

Trapped In The Creation Museum, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Into the swampy debate over evolution has waded the new Creation Museum, in Petersburg, Ky. In an America divided between those who accept Darwin's theories and those who believe God created the world in six days, it seeks to win moderates and compromisers over to its side. Shortly after the museum opened last spring, I made a pilgrimage to witness this quirky new spectacle of Americana...


Never Mind Grendel! Can Beowulf Conquer The 21st-Century Guilt Trip?, Stephen Asma Dec 2007

Never Mind Grendel! Can Beowulf Conquer The 21st-Century Guilt Trip?, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The writer casts doubt on whether the emasculated Beowulf put forward by J. R. R. Tolkien and in the recent movie version of the story transcends and nullifies the heroic original. He suggests that both Beowulfs may be necessary.


How To Survive The Apocalypse, Stephen Asma Aug 2007

How To Survive The Apocalypse, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article presents a guide on how people with skepticism and critical thinking can survive the Rapture and Armageddon. According to the Book of Revelations, the Lord will return to the earth to separate the good and the bad. When the Great Tribulation comes, people have no more time for repentance. The impostor strategy is one way to avoid the Tribulation.