Nanzan Studies in Asian Religions

A series of volumes dedicated to the study of religions in Asia, old and new. Six volumes have appeared to date. The series is published by Asian Humanities Press (a division of Jain Publishing Company); please order through your bookseller or directly from:

Jain Publishing Company
PO Box 3523,
Fremont, CA 94539 USA
FAX 510-659-0501

All volumes may be ordered from the Nanzan Institute if they are not available in your home country.

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The Collection

  • Jan Nattier

    Once Upon A Future Time

    Winner of the Gustave O. Arlt Award in Religious Studies for 1993, Once Upon a Future Time is an in-depth study of Buddhist theories of the decline and disappearance of Buddhism, and the implications of this idea for the understanding of time and history in Buddhist consciousness. Nattier’s work challenges previous assumptions on this topic, usually approached from and colored by the perspective of Chinese and Japanese ideas concerning the age of the “latter Dharma” (Chin. mo-fa, Jpn. mappō).

    The work centers on a critical study of the “Kaushambi Story,” a Buddhist prophecy of decline, in its Tibetan, Central Asian, and Chinese variants.

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  • David Reid

    New Wine

    How does a religion change as it moves from one culture to another? What values and traditions in the receiving culture mold the new religion into a shape that people can recognize as "natural" and "human." With questions like these in mind, this book focuses on an often-neglected area of study: Japanese Christianity. Beginning with a bird's-eye view of Japanese religion as a whole, it continues with some of the larger issues of cultural context and method, then turns to specific issues important for understanding Christianity in contemporary Japan. It concludes with an examination of the role of "ancestor worship" in Japanese Christianity today.

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  • Herbert Guenther

    Ecstatic Spontaneity

    As is so often the case with major religious figures in the history of India, almost nothing factual is known of the sage Saraha. Yet to judge by the frequency with which his work is cited and the extent to which his style has been imitated, there is no denying that he was of immense importance for the mystic philosophers and poets of Tibet as well as for certain thinkers in India. For Saraha, the spontaneity that marks lived experience, which in turn is inseparable from the living body, is felt as an ecstasy that draws us beyond the confines of the mental and the material.

    In this volume, Saraha's Doha; trilogy is presented with a contemporary interpretation, along with a complete, annotated translation.

    Herbert Guenther is a scholar and translator of the first order, one who is a master not only of the syntactic aspects of his subject, but also of the semantic ground from which it flows.
    Allan Combs

    Herbert GUENTHER was Professor Emeritus of Far Eastern Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

  • Minor L. & Ann T. Rogers

    Rennyo

    A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

    Selected as one of Choice magazine's "Outstanding Academic Titles, 1994," and the first book-length study of Rennyo (1415-1499), the Jodo Shinshu priest who transformed the Honganji religious order into the most powerful Buddhist organization in Japan. This work examines Rennyo's thought and his continuing influence today. It includes an annotated translation of Rennyo's major letters, the source of much of his influence.

    This richly detailed study of Rennyo's life and work will serve as a valuable reference as well as inform both the specialist and the general reader about this important figure in Japanese Buddhism.

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  • M. Mullins, S. Shimazono, and P. Swanson, eds.

    Religion and Society in Modern Japan

    For centuries, diversity of belief has been one of the hallmarks of Japanese religiosity. Religion and Society in Modern Japan is designed to provide the serious student of Japan with a broad look at this traditional diversity and a penetrating analysis of the contemporary reshaping of Japan's religious landscape. The essays in this anthology, combining the best of current Japanese and Western scholarship, are aimed at giving students a variety of perspectives on the significance of religion in modern Japan, with an emphasis on the sociocultural expressions of religion in everyday life.

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  • Hee-Sung Keel

    Understanding Shinran

    Understanding Shinran offers a sensitive and balanced examination of the life and teachings of Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), the founder of True Pure Land Buddhism and one of the greatest religious teachers of all time. Throughout the centuries, the story of his anguished ascent to faith in Amida has lost none of its power to inspire and challenge.

    Probing the implications of Shinran's thought for the interreligious, intercultural world in which we find ourselves today, the author shows how the ongoing drama of salvation through the grace of Amida—a mutual engagement of form and the formless, of ignorant humans and the awakened Buddha—can be read as a message of hope by Buddhists and Christians alike.

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