Buddhist Hagiography in Early Japan
Images of Compassion in the Gyoki Tradition
By (author) Jonathan Morris Augustine
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Buddhist Hagiography in Early Japan by Jonathan Morris Augustine
Book DescriptionHagiographies or idealized biographies which recount the lives of saints, bodhisattvas and other charismatic figures have been the meeting place for myth and experience. In medieval Europe, the 'lives of saints' were read during liturgical celebrations and the texts themselves were treated as sacred objects. In Japan, it was believed that those who read the biographies of lofty monks would acquire merit. Since hagiographies were written or compiled by 'believers', the line between fantasy and reality was often obscured. This study of the bodhisattva Gyoki - regarded as the monk who started the largest social welfare movement in Japan - illustrates how Japanese Buddhist hagiographers chose to regard a single monk's charitable activities as a miraculous achievement that shaped the course of Japanese history.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780415322454
(216mm x 138mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 28-Oct-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Jonathan Morris Augustine
Buddhist Hagiography in Early Japan, Paperback (July 2012)» View all books by Jonathan Morris Augustine
Readership of this text will be scholars of Japanese history and religion but the text will also appeal to a wider audience interested in social issues, charitable institutes and hagiography in general.
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Author Biography - Jonathan Morris Augustine
Jonathan Morris Augustine is an Associate Professor of International Communication at the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan. Since 1973 he has spent most of his life in Asia with the exception of a decade at Princeton University where he obtained his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.
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