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The Halo of Golden Light

Imperial Authority and Buddhist Ritual in Heian Japan

Asuka Sango

In this pioneering study of the shifting status of the emperor within court society and the relationship between the state and the Buddhist community during the Heian period (794–1185), Asuka Sango details the complex ways in which the emperor and other elite ruling groups employed Buddhist ritual to legitimate their authority. Although considered a descendant of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, the emperor used Buddhist idiom, particularly the ideal king as depicted in the Golden Light Sūtra, to express his right to rule. Sango’s book is the first to focus on the ideals presented in the sūtra to demonstrate how the ritual enactment of imperial authority was essential to justifying political power. These ideals became the basis of a number of court-sponsored rituals, the most important of which was the emperor’s Misai-e Assembly.

Sango deftly traces the changes in the assembly’s format and status throughout the era and the significant shifts in the Japanese polity that mirrored them. In illuminating the details of these changes, she challenges dominant scholarly models that presume the gradual decline of the political and liturgical influence of the emperor over the course of the era. She also compels a reconsideration of Buddhism during the Heian as “state Buddhism” by showing that monks intervened in creating the state’s policy toward the religion to their own advantage. Her analysis further challenges the common view that Buddhism of the time was characterized by the growth of private esoteric rites at the expense of exoteric doctrinal learning.

The Halo of Golden Light draws on a wide range of primary sources—from official annals and diaries written by courtiers and monks to ecclesiastical records and Buddhist texts—many of them translated or analyzed for the first time in English. In so doing, the work brings to the surface surprising facets in the negotiations between religious ideas and practices and the Buddhist community and the state.

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A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice

A Mirror on the Son School of Buddhism (Songa kwigam)

Translated by John Jorgensen

Sŏn (Japanese Zen) has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea from medieval times to the present. A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice: A Mirror on the Sŏn School of Buddhism (Sŏn’ga kwigam) was the most popular guide for Sŏn practice and life ever published in Korea and helped restore Buddhism to popularity after its lowest point in Korean history. It was compiled before 1569 by Sŏsan Hyujŏng (1520–1604), later famed as the leader of a monk army that helped defend Korea against a massive Japanese invasion in 1592. In addition to succinct quotations from sutras, the text also contained quotations from selected Chinese and Korean works together with Hyujŏng’s explanations. Because of its brevity and organization, the work proved popular and was reprinted many times in Korea and Japan before 1909.

A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice commences with the ineffability of the enlightened state, and after a tour through doctrine and practice it returns to its starting point. The doctrinal rationale for practice that leads to enlightenment is based on the Mahayana Awakening of Faith, but the practice Hyujŏng enjoins readers to undertake is very different: a method of meditation derived from the kongan (Japanese koan) called hwadu (Chinese huatou), or “point of the story,” the story being the kongan. Hyujŏng goes on to outline the specifics of practice, such as rules of conduct and chanting and mindfulness of the Buddha, and stresses the requirements for living the life of a monk. At the end of the text he returns to the hwadu, the need for a teacher, and hence the importance of lineage.

The version of the text translated here is the earliest and the longest extant. It was “translated” into Korean from Chinese by one of Hyujŏng’s students to aid Korean readers. The present volume contains a brief history of hwadu practice and theory, a life of Hyujŏng, and a summary of the text, plus a detailed, annotated translation. It should be of interest to practitioners of meditation and students of East Asian Buddhism and Korean history.

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The Heart of Buddhist Philosophy

#REF!

Nolan Pliny Jacobson

Jacobson convincingly demonstrates that Buddhism and the Western philosophies of Heraclitus and of modern thinkers such as Dewey, Whitehead, and Hartshorne have developed a reason truer to authentic experience than the reason so prevalent in traditionally dominant Western philosophy.

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Heaven and Earth Are Not Humane

The Problem of Evil in Classical Chinese Philosophy

Franklin Perkins

That bad things happen to good people was as true in early China as it is today. Franklin Perkins uses this observation as the thread by which to trace the effort by Chinese thinkers of the Warring States Period (c.475-221 BCE), a time of great conflict and division, to seek reconciliation between humankind and the world. Perkins provides rich new readings of classical Chinese texts and reflects on their significance for Western philosophical discourse.

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Hsun Yueh and the Mind of Late Han China

A Translation of the SHEN-CHIEN

Chi-yen Ch'en

Hsiin Yiieh's Shen-chien (Extended Reflections) is one of the four major philosophical works that have survived from the later Han dynasty (A.D. 25- 220). Presented here for Western readers is an English translation by Ch'i-ytin Ch'en of the entire work, supplemented with selections of Hsiin Yiieh's other essays

Originally published in 1980.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Human Nature, Ritual, and History

Studies in Xunzi and Chinese Philosophy (Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, Volume 43)

Antonio S. Cua

In this volume, distinguished philosopher Antonio S. Cua offers a collection of original studies on Xunzi, a leading classical Confucian thinker, and on other aspects of Chinese philosophy.

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Ironies of Oneness and Difference

Coherence in Early Chinese Thought; Prolegomena to the Study of Li

Explores the development of Chinese thought, highlighting its concern with questions of coherence. Providing a bracing expansion of horizons, this book displays the unsuspected range of human thinking on the most basic categories of experience. The way in which early Chinese thinkers approached concepts such as one and many, sameness and difference, self and other, and internal and external stand in stark contrast to the way parallel concepts entrenched in much of modern thinking developed in Greek and European thought. Brook Ziporyn traces the distinctive and surprising philosophical journeys found in the works of the formative Confucian and Daoist thinkers back to a prevailing set of assumptions that tends to see questions of identity, value, and knowledge—the subject matter of ontology, ethics, and epistemology in other traditions—as all ultimately relating to questions about coherence in one form or another. Mere awareness of how many different ways human beings can think and have thought about these categories is itself a game changer for our own attitudes toward what is thinkable for us. The actual inhabitation and mastery of these alternative modes of thinking is an even greater adventure in intellectual and experiential expansion.

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The Ivory Tower and the Marble Citadel

Essays on Political Philosophy in Our Modern Era of Interacting Cultures

By Thomas A. Metzger

The Ivory Tower and the Marble Citadel opens up a new way of pursuing the critical development of political philosophy in today’s intercultural intellectual arena. Metzger holds that political philosophies are linguistically unavoidable efforts to infer the principles of morally legitimate government from a maximally enlightened conceptualization of the universal human condition. Because these efforts depend on a vocabulary embodying culturally inherited premises, textual analysis uncovering these premises and debate about how they should be revised are crucial for the improvement of political philosophy.

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A Jesuit Garden in Beijing and Early Modern Chinese Culture

by Hui Zou

In this volume, Hui Zou analyzes historical, architectural, visual, literary, and philosophical perspectives on the Western-styled garden that formed part of the great Yuanming Yuan complex in Beijing, constructed during the Qing dynasty.

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Journal of Buddhist Philosophy

Vol. 1 (2015) through current issue

The Journal of Buddhist Philosophy provides a forum for the academic discussion of Buddhist philosophy, which emerges as an independent discipline. Articles engage with buddhology, comparative philosophy, and Buddhist critical reflection, while discussions of concepts and arguments are highlighted. The Journal of Buddhist Philosophy considers thought expounded in a variety of languages, developed by a wide range of schools and thinkers, and studied using diverse philosophical approaches. In this way, the journal facilitates the investigation of Buddhist philosophy as it has developed over 2,500 years and its application to the questions and challenges of the contemporary age.

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