By Alan Sponberg, Helen Hardacre

ISBN-10: 0521343445

ISBN-13: 9780521343442

Initially released in 1988, this booklet is a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural research of the legend that has developed round the determine of Maitreya, which fans of the Buddha Siddh?rtha Gautama had agreed will be the destiny Buddha, and the enormous impression of this legend on Buddhist tradition. bobbing up out of a global convention held at Princeton collage, this number of twelve essays by means of experts in textual experiences, artwork historical past and cultural anthropology examines the origins of the Maitreya culture in South Asia in addition to numerous culturally particular expressions of the culture because it built in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. The essays discover many of the expectancies Buddhist practitioners have had of Maitreya and view the iconographic and ritualistic symbols linked to this messianic and millenarian determine. a number of essays additionally study the talk relating to conditions below which the determine has occasionally taken on apocalyptic and eschatological features.

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New York, 1951), 14. For a characterization of the "collegium pietatis" and so on, see Joachim Wach, Sociology of Religion (Chicago, 1944), 174-81. , 1962), plates 15-a, 31-1, 60-d, and 66; H. F. E. Visser, Asiatic Art in Private Collections of Holland and Belgium (New York, 1952), plates 76, no. 149; 80, no. 156; and 83, no. 159. See also Choi Sunu, 5000 22 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Joseph M. Kitagawa Years of Korean Art (Seoul, 1979), plates 211,216,217,218,219,220,221, and 232. The half-seated Maitreya sta·tue was very popular in China, Korea, and Japan before the seventh century.

Moreover, the study of Maitreya requires some knowledge of the historic interaction between Buddhism and Zoroastrian, Manichean, and other religions in Central Asia, between Buddhism and Hinduism in India, and between Buddhism and other religious traditions of Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. Historians of religions must also be concerned with theoretical, thematic, and methodological issues pertaining to the general history of religions, su<;h as religious cosmology, spiritual geography, sacred biography, sacred history, religious anthropology, narratology, symbols, myth, and ritual.

In what manner does the study 'of Maitreya illuminate our understanding of the nature of the Buddha and bodhisattvas? Are they saviors (Conze), "Docetic'" phenomena (Anesaki), or the "hypostasization" of Dharmic principles? , compassiori and wisdom)? Quite apart from their "historicity," what is their "ontological" status? Are we to assume that they have been preordained in the cosmological schema? Or do they come into being by means of the devotee's "visualization" or the adept's magical power?

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Maitreya, the Future Buddha by Alan Sponberg, Helen Hardacre


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