Download e-book for iPad: From Comrades to Bodhisattvas: Moral Dimensions of Lay by Gareth Fisher

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By Gareth Fisher

From Comrades to Bodhisattvas is the 1st book-length research of Han chinese language Buddhism in post-Mao China. utilizing an ethnographic strategy supported via over a decade of box study, it offers an intimate portrait of lay Buddhist practitioners in Beijing who've lately embraced a faith that they have been as soon as socialized to determine as damaging superstition. The publication specializes in the energetic discourses and debates that ensue between those new practitioners in an unused courtyard of a Beijing temple. during this non-monastic area, which shrinks every year because the temple professionals extend their advertisement actions, laypersons assemble to distribute and alternate Buddhist-themed media, hearken to the fiery sermons of charismatic preachers, and search strategies to non-public ethical crises. employing contemporary theories within the anthropology of morality and ethics, Gareth Fisher argues that the practitioners are interested in the courtyard as a spot the place they could locate moral assets to re-make either themselves and others in a quickly altering state that they think lacks a coherent ethical path. Spurred on by way of the teachings of the preachers and the tales within the media they percentage, those courtyard practitioners inventively mix ethical components from China’s fresh Maoist prior with Buddhist teachings at the workings of karma and the significance of common compassion. Their target is to articulate an ethical antidote to what they see as blind obsession with intake and wealth accumulation between twenty-first century chinese language. usually socially marginalized and sidelined from significant roles in China’s new economic climate, those former communist comrades glance to their new ethical roles alongside a bodhisattva route to rebuild their self-worth.

Each bankruptcy makes a speciality of a relevant trope within the courtyard practitioners’ initiatives to shape new ethical identities. The chinese language government’s regulations at the unfold of spiritual teachings in city parts curtail those practitioners' skill to insert their ethical visions into an rising public sphere. however, they be successful, at the very least in part, Fisher argues, in developing their very own discursive house characterised via a morality of shock for fellow people and animals and a popularity of the organizational skills and pedagogical abilities of its contributors which are unacknowledged in society at huge. additionally, because the later chapters of the e-book talk about, by way of writing, copying, and allotting Buddhist-themed fabrics, the practitioners perform making a non secular community of fellow-Buddhists around the nation, thereby forming a counter-cultural neighborhood inside of modern city China.

Highly readable and entire of attractive descriptions of the true lives of working towards lay Buddhists in modern China, From Comrades to Bodhisattvas will curiosity experts in chinese language Buddhism, anthropologists of latest Asia, and all students attracted to the connection among faith and cultural change.

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From Comrades to Bodhisattvas: Moral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China (Topics in Contemporary Buddhism) by Gareth Fisher

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