Korea has one of the most diverse religious cultures in the world today, with a range and breadth of religious practice virtually unrivaled by any other country. This volume in the Princeton Readings in Religions series is the first anthology in any language, including Korean, to bring together a comprehensive set of original sources covering the whole gamut of religious practice in both premodern and contemporary Korea. The book's thirty-two chapters help redress the dearth of source materials on Korean religions in Western languages. Coverage includes shamanic rituals for the dead and songs to quiet fussy newborns; Buddhist meditative practices and exorcisms; Confucian geomancy and ancestor rites; contemporary Catholic liturgy; Protestant devotional practices; internal alchemy training in new Korean religions; and North Korean Juche ("self-reliance") ideology, an amalgam of Marxism and Neo-Confucian filial piety focused on worship of the "father," Kim Il Sung. Religions of Korea in Practice provides substantial coverage of contemporary Korean religious practice, especially the various Christian denominations and new indigenous religions. Each chapter includes an extensive translation of original sources on Korean religious practice, accompanied by an introduction that frames the significance of the selections and offers suggestions for further reading. This book will help any reader gain a better appreciation of the rich complexity of Korea's religious culture.
Asian American Religions brings together some of the most current research on Asian American religions from a social science perspective. The volume focuses on religion in Asian American communities in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and the Silicon Valley/Bay Area, and it includes a current demographic overview of the various Asian populations across the United States. It also provides information on current trends, such as that Filipino and Korean Americans are the most religiously observant people in America, that over 60 percent of Asian Americans who have a religious identification are Christian, and that one-third of Muslims in the United States are Asian Americans. Rather than organizing the book around particular ethnic groups or religions, Asian American Religions centers on thematic issues, like symbols and rituals, political boundaries, and generation gaps, in order to highlight the role of Asian American religions in negotiating, accepting, redefining, changing, and creating boundaries in the communities' social life.
Approximately thirteen million people around the world define themselves as Jews, with the majority residing in the United States and Israel. This collection portrays the diversity of Jewish experience as it is practiced and lived in contemporary societies. The book's attention to material culture offers a much-needed addition to more traditional views advanced in the study of Judaism. Through ethnographic and autobiographical perspectives, the essays provide an appreciation of Judaism in daily activities, from domestic food preparation to worshipping; Jewish attachment to the cultures of specific communities, be they in Russia or Morocco; the impact of the Holocaust; the place of the State of Israel in Jewish life; and the role of women. Harvey E. Goldberg, a leading scholar in the anthropology of Judaism, provides an introduction to each chapter that demonstrates the links among the various themes. Ease of communication and travel has resulted in frequent contact--and at times, conflict--between Jews of similar and diverging backgrounds around the world. Visiting distinctive Jewish spaces has become a way of cultivating specific identities and senses of a Jewish past. As ritual, prayers, and attitudes toward authority undergo new constructions and interpretation, Judaism of "the book" also takes on new forms. These essays go a long way in helping us understand a contemporary and multifaceted Judaism, along with its history and texts.
The Life of Hinduism brings together a series of essays--many recognized as classics in the field--that present Hinduism as a vibrant, truly "lived” religion. Celebrating the diversity for which Hinduism is known, this volume begins its journey in the "new India” of Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, where global connections and local traditions rub shoulders daily. Readers are then offered a glimpse into the multifaceted world of Hindu worship, life-cycle rites, festivals, performances, gurus, and castes. The book’s final sections deal with the Hinduism that is emerging in diasporic North America and with issues of identity that face Hindus in India and around the world: militancy versus tolerance and the struggle between owning one’s own religion and sharing it with others. Contributors: Andrew Abbott, Michael Burawoy, Patricia Hill Collins, Barbara Ehrenreich, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Sharon Hays, Douglas Massey, Joya Misra, Orlando Patterson, Frances Fox Piven, Lynn Smith-Lovin, Judith Stacey, Arthur Stinchcombe, Alain Touraine, Immanuel Wallerstein, William Julius Wilson, Robert Zussman
This anthology reflects a range of Japanese religions in their complex, sometimes conflicting, diversity. In the tradition of the Princeton Readings in Religions series, the collection presents documents (legends and miracle tales, hagiographies, ritual prayers and ceremonies, sermons, reform treatises, doctrinal tracts, historical and ethnographic writings), most of which have been translated for the first time here, that serve to illuminate the mosaic of Japanese religions in practice. George Tanabe provides a lucid introduction to the "patterned confusion" of Japan's religious practices. He has ordered the anthology's forty-five readings under the categories of "Ethical Practices," "Ritual Practices," and "Institutional Practices," moving beyond the traditional classifications of chronology, religious traditions (Shinto, Confucianism, Buddhism, etc.), and sects, and illuminating the actual orientation of people who engage in religious practices. Within the anthology's three broad categories, subdivisions address the topics of social values, clerical and lay precepts, gods, spirits, rituals of realization, faith, court and emperor, sectarian founders, wizards, and heroes, orthopraxis and orthodoxy, and special places. Dating from the eighth through the twentieth centuries, the documents are revealed to be open to various and evolving interpretations, their meanings dependent not only on how they are placed in context but also on how individual researchers read them. Each text is preceded by an introductory explanation of the text's essence, written by its translator. Instructors and students will find these explications useful starting points for their encounters with the varied worlds of practice within which the texts interact with readers and changing contexts. Religions of Japan in Practice is a compendium of relationships between great minds and ordinary people, abstruse theories and mundane acts, natural and supernatural powers, altruism and self-interest, disappointment and hope, quiescence and war. It is an indispensable sourcebook for scholars, students, and general readers seeking engagement with the fertile "ordered disorder" of religious practice in Japan.
An examination of the contemporary practices, beliefs, and issues of one of the world's oldest and most enduring religions, both within its Indian homeland and throughout the world. * Ten essays explore the history, modern practice, and contemporary issues of Hinduism * Maps including ancient and contemporary India and the Hindu diaspora, as well as illustrations within individual essays * The book includes a glossary of terms and a guide to pronouncing words from Indian languages * A comprehensive introductory essay provides a basic historical overview and addresses the development of the definition and study of Hinduism
Bringing together fifteen essays by outstanding Buddhist scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America, this book offers a distinctive portrayal of the "life of Buddhism." The contributors focus on a number of religious practices across the Buddhist world, from Sri Lanka to New York, Japan to Tibet. The essays highlight not so much Buddhist doctrine or sacred texts, but rather the actual behavior and lived experience of Buddhist adherents. A general introduction by Frank E. Reynolds and Jason A. Carbine provides a historical overview and briefly characterizes the three major variants of Buddhist tradition--the Hinayana/Theravada branch practiced in Sri Lanka and much of Southeast Asia; the Mahayana branch located most notably in East Asia; and the Vajrayana/Esoteric branch established in Tibet and Japan. It also takes note of a distinctive form of Buddhism that is now emerging among non-Asian practitioners in the West. The editors introduce each essay with a brief commentary that situates its contents within the Buddhist tradition as a whole. The pieces offer concise depictions and analyses of particular aspects of Buddhist life, including temple architecture and iconography, the consecration of sacred objects, meditative practices, devotional expressions, exorcisms, and pilgrimage journeys. Topics discussed also include the construction of religio-political and religio-social hierarchies, gender roles, the management of asocial behavior, and confrontations with dying and death.
African immigration to North America has been rapidly increasing. Yet, little has been written about this significant group of immigrants and the particular religious traditions that they are transplanting on our shores, as scholars continue largely to focus instead on immigrants from Europe and Asia. African Immigrant Religions in America focuses on new understandings and insights concerning the presence and relevance of African immigrant religious communities in the United States. It explores the profound significance of religion in the lives of immigrants and the relevance of these growing communities for U.S. social life. It describes key social and historical aspects of African immigrant religion in the U.S. and builds a conceptual framework for theory and analysis. The volume broadens our understandings of the ways in which new immigration is changing the face of Christianity in the U.S. and adds needed breadth to the study of the black church, incorporating the experiences of African immigrant religious communities in America.
This volume of Princeton Readings in Religions brings together the work of more than thirty scholars of Islam and Muslim societies in South Asia to create a rich anthology of primary texts that contributes to a new appreciation of the lived religious and cultural experiences of the world's largest population of Muslims. The thirty-four selections--translated from Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindavi, Dakhani, and other languages--highlight a wide variety of genres, many rarely found in standard accounts of Islamic practice, from oral narratives to elite guidance manuals, from devotional songs to secular judicial decisions arbitrating Islamic law, and from political posters to a discussion among college women affiliated with an "Islamist" organization. Drawn from premodern texts, modern pamphlets, government and organizational archives, new media, and contemporary fieldwork, the selections reflect the rich diversity of Islamic belief and practice in South Asia. Each reading is introduced with a brief contextual note from its scholar-translator, and Barbara Metcalf introduces the whole volume with a substantial historical overview.
This collection of essays explores the significance of practice in understanding American Protestant life. The authors are historians of American religion, practical theologians, and pastors and were the twelve principal researchers in a three-year collaborative project sponsored by the Lilly Endowment. Profiling practices that range from Puritan devotional writing to twentieth-century prayer, from missionary tactics to African American ritual performance, these essays provide a unique historical perspective on how Protestants have lived their faith within and outside of the church and how practice has formed their identities and beliefs. Each chapter focuses on a different practice within a particular social and cultural context. The essays explore transformations in American religious culture from Puritan to Evangelical and Enlightenment sensibilities in New England, issues of mission, nationalism, and American empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, devotional practices in the flux of modern intellectual predicaments, and the claims of late-twentieth-century liberal Protestant pluralism. Breaking new ground in ritual studies and cultural history, Practicing Protestants offers a distinctive history of American Protestant practice.
The acclaimed volumes of Princeton Readings in Religions present the remarkable range of all that is encompassed in the practice of religions, across the centuries and across the world. Religions of Asia in Practice: An Anthology brings together into a single volume the most important and fascinating selections from the volumes on Buddhism, India, China, Tibet, and Japan to give an overview of how religions have been lived by both ordinary and extraordinary people throughout the continent of Asia. These materials--many of which had never before been translated into any Western language--include ritual manuals, hagiographical and autobiographical writings, popular commentaries, instructions to children, poetry, and folktales. Each is preceded by a substantial introduction in which the translator discusses the text's history and influence and guides the reader through points of potential difficulty and particular interest. The volume includes, in addition, clear and compelling introductions to each of the major traditions. Religions of Asia in Practice: An Anthology offers a fascinating look at the spectrum of religious practices in Asia over almost three millennia. As such, it is ideally suited for use as a textbook in courses on world or Eastern religions as well as for the general reader.
Religions of Tibet in Practice is a landmark work, the first major anthology on the topic ever produced. It presents a stunning array of works (hagiographies, pilgrimage guides, prayers, accounts of visits to hell, epics, consecration manuals, sermons, and exorcism texts) that together offer an unparalleled view of the realities of those who have inhabited the Tibetan cultural domain over the centuries. The volume provides a wealth of voices that together lead to a new and more nuanced understanding of the religions of Tibet. The thirty-six chapters are testimony to the vast scope of religious practice in the Tibetan world, past and present, offering works heretofore unknown. The chapters are organized thematically under five headings: Accounts of Time and Place, Remarkable Lives, Rites and Techniques, Prayers and Sermons, and Dealing with Death and Other Demons. They juxtapose materials from different sects, historical periods, and geographical regions in an attempt to broaden the range of what we understand the religious practices of Tibet to encompass. Each chapter contains a translation and a substantial yet accessible introduction by a leading scholar of Tibetan religions. Religions of Tibet in Practice represents the largest sourcebook on Tibetan religions ever assembled, a work of great value to scholars, students, and general readers.
This third volume of Princeton Readings in Religions demonstrates that the "three religions" of China--Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism (with a fourth, folk religion, sometimes added)--are not mutually exclusive: they overlap and interact with each other in a rich variety of ways. The volume also illustrates some of the many interactions between Han culture and the cultures designated by the current government as "minorities." Selections from minority cultures here, for instance, are the folktale of Ny Dan the Manchu Shamaness and a funeral chant of the Yi nationality collected by local researchers in the early 1980s. Each of the forty unusual selections, from ancient oracle bones to stirring accounts of mystic visions, is preceded by a substantial introduction. As with the other volumes, most of the selections here have never been translated before. Stephen Teiser provides a general introduction in which the major themes and categories of the religions of China are analyzed. The book represents an attempt to move from one conception of the "Chinese spirit" to a picture of many spirits, including a Laozi who acquires magical powers and eventually ascends to heaven in broad daylight; the white-robed Guanyin, one of the most beloved Buddhist deities in China; and the burning-mouth hungry ghost. The book concludes with a section on "earthly conduct."
The inaugural volume of Princeton Readings in Religions brings together the work of thirty scholars of the religions of India in a new anthology designed to reshape the ways in which the religious traditions of India are understood. The book contains translations of forty-five works, most of which have never before been available in a Western language. Many of these highlight types of discourse (especially ritual manuals, folktales, and oral narratives) and voices (vernacular, esoteric, domestic, and female) that have not been sufficiently represented in previous anthologies and standard accounts of Indian religions. The selections are drawn from ancient texts, medieval manuscripts, modern pamphlets, and contemporary fieldwork in rural and urban India. They represent every region in South Asia and include Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, and Muslim materials. Some are written texts reflecting elite concerns, while others are transcriptions of oral narratives told by nonliterate peasants. Some texts are addressed to a public and pan-Indian audience, others to a limited coterie of initiates in an esoteric sect, and still others are intended for a few women gathered in the courtyard for a household ceremony. The editor has reinforced this diversity by arranging the selections within several overarching themes and categories of discourse (hymns, rituals, narratives, and religious interactions), and encourages us to make our own connections.
This anthology illustrates the vast scope of Buddhist practice in Asia, past and present, by presenting a selection of forty-eight translated texts including hagiographies, monastic rules, pilgrimage songs, apocryphal sutras, and didactic tales from India, China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma. Most of these pieces have never before been translated into a Western language, and each is preceded by a substantial introduction by its translator. Together they are designed to do nothing less than reshape the way in which Buddhism is understood. These unusual sources provide the reader with a sense of the remarkable diversity of the practices of persons who over the course of 2,500 years have been identified, by themselves or by others, as Buddhists. In this rich variety there are often contradictions, such that the practices of one Buddhist community might seem strange or unfamiliar to another. At the same time, however, there is evidence here of many continuities among the practices of Buddhist cultures widely separated by both history and topography. From "A Hymn of Praise to the Buddha's Good Qualities" through "On Becoming a Buddhist Wizard" to "Death-Bed Testimonials of the Pure Land Faithful," the selections here are an ideal introduction to Buddhism and a source of new insights for scholars.
This landmark collection of newly commissioned essays explores how diverse women of African descent have practiced religion as part of the work of their ordinary and sometimes extraordinary lives. By examining women from North America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Africa, the contributors identify the patterns that emerge as women, religion, and diaspora intersect, mapping fresh approaches to this emergent field of inquiry. The volume focuses on issues of history, tradition, and the authenticity of African-derived spiritual practices in a variety of contexts, including those where memories of suffering remain fresh and powerful. The contributors discuss matters of power and leadership and of religious expressions outside of institutional settings. The essays study women of Christian denominations, African and Afro-Caribbean traditions, and Islam, addressing their roles as spiritual leaders, artists and musicians, preachers, and participants in bible-study groups. This volume's transnational mixture, along with its use of creative analytical approaches, challenges existing paradigms and summons new models for studying women, religions, and diasporic shiftings across time and space.