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History of Religions of Eastern Origins

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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 ...


早期 '地' 和 '土'之观 (Concepts Of Earth And Land In Early Chinese Texts), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

早期 '地' 和 '土'之观 (Concepts Of Earth And Land In Early Chinese Texts), Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

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 activity. Earth ...


Book Review: Meeting Of Minds: Intellectual And Religious Interaction In East Asian Traditions Of Thought, Irene Bloom, Joshua Fogel, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

Book Review: Meeting Of Minds: Intellectual And Religious Interaction In East Asian Traditions Of Thought, Irene Bloom, Joshua Fogel, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought, a volume of eleven essays written in honor of Wing-tsit Chan and William Theodore de Bary, proposes to explore how Confucian and Neo-Confucian traditions have responded to and have influenced other traditions (Buddhist, Taoist, folk, Japanese nativist, and so on) in China and Japan. The essays are arranged first geographically (seven articles on China precede four on Japan) and then roughly chronologically. All essays, save one, describe Sung or post-Sung developments. A few sentences per essay must suffice in this review. [excerpt]


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 ...


Book Review: Hsieh Liang-Tso And The Analects Of Confucius: Humane Learning As A Religious Quest, Thomas Selover, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭) Apr 2014

Book Review: Hsieh Liang-Tso And The Analects Of Confucius: Humane Learning As A Religious Quest, Thomas Selover, Deborah A. Sommer (司馬黛蘭)

Deborah A. Sommer

Hsieh Liang-tso is the first volume to explore Chinese traditions in the Academy Series sponsored by Oxford and the American Academy of Religion. Most previous titles in the series focus on Christianity, which perhaps explains Selover’s attention to the perspectives of comparative religions and comparative theology in his introduction. There he briefly traces the history of the issues concerning the religious dimensions of the Chinese literati tradition and outlines a comparative framework for approaching eleventh-century Chinese thought. Inspired by Robert Neville’s Beyond the Masks of God, Selover focuses in the introduction on four themes—scripture, tradition, reason, and ...


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 ...


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 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 ...


Common Features In The Development Of Three World Religions, Lorin Geitner Dec 2009

Common Features In The Development Of Three World Religions, Lorin Geitner

Lorin C. Geitner

The religions of Manichaeism, Sikhism and Bahai share an unusual combination of traits: they are all inclusivist, syncretistic and universalizing. This paper compares the context of their creation to determine if there were any common social, political and historical pressures present at that time which would account for these similarities.


Law And Religion – The First Amendment And The Problems Of Alienation, Lorin Geitner Dec 2009

Law And Religion – The First Amendment And The Problems Of Alienation, Lorin Geitner

Lorin C. Geitner

A survey of the different patterns of the relationship between of law to religion (and vice versa) in the course of world history, in order to provide historical and legal context and argue for the notion that the United States, truly, a secular society, but rather a religiously pluralistic one.


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 ...


End-Times In The East: Eschatology In Hinduism And Jainism, Lorin Geitner Dec 2005

End-Times In The East: Eschatology In Hinduism And Jainism, Lorin Geitner

Lorin C. Geitner

A comparative examination of the idea of end-times is Hinduism and Jainism.


Mary And Isis, Lorin Geitner Dec 2004

Mary And Isis, Lorin Geitner

Lorin C. Geitner

An examination of the degree to which the modern conception of the Virgin Mary was affected and influenced by the cult of Isis.


'Mass Delusion' Or 'True Myth'? Pbs Considers The Question Of God, Stephen Asma Sep 2004

'Mass Delusion' Or 'True Myth'? Pbs Considers The Question Of God, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The Question of God is a new 4-hour miniseries from PBS. It is based on a long-running course taught by Harvard University psychiatry professor Armand Nicholi that compares the biographies and theories of Sigmund Freud, skeptic, and C. S. Lewis, believer. On balance, the miniseries succeeds as an introduction to complex issues.