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Readings of the <i>Lotus Sutra</i> (Columbia Readings of Buddhist Literature) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Columbia Readings of Buddhist Literature
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (July 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231142889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231142885
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,116,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Provides an ideal introduction to East Asian Buddhist traditions, premodern and modern.

(Buddhadharma 1900-01-00)

The essays are all of high standard...written in a clear style that are a pleasure to read...required reading for everyone interested in Buddhism.

(Robert F. Rhodes The Eastern Buddhist 1900-01-00)

This impressive collection of essays has been carefully edited for consistency in terminology and structure, and includes a number of supplements that enhance the usefulness of the volume in a classroom setting

(Natalie Gummer Journal of the American Academy of Religion 1900-01-00)

an extremely useful overview of key teachings, associated religious movements, and textual and commentarial traditions that...introduces students to the Lotus....

(Religious Studies Review 1900-01-00)

Review

Readings of the Lotus Sutra is well conceived and balanced, and all of the major areas and issues are covered. I would not hesitate to use this volume for classroom teaching. Indeed, I would structure my undergraduate teaching around it. We need more volumes like this.

(Robert Sharf, University of California, Berkeley)

Customer Reviews

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I recommend this reading to anyone who has more than a casual interest in the subject.
Vagabond
The Lotus Sutra and Self-Immolation - James A. Benn This essay looks at chapter 23 of the Lotus Sutra as the "locus classicus" of auto-cremation in Asia.
E. Godfrey
Everything came just on time and with great care, there was nothing wrong with the book, it looked just like new!
PDiddy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Godfrey on August 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Upon first approach, the Lotus Sutra may strike many as quite odd, especially if they are more familiar with Buddhism in the capacity of philosophy or with the original teachings of the Buddha from the Pali. It would be easy for such a person to simply abandon further research on this text if it were not for its extraordinary popularity in East Asian Buddhism. In order to gain insight in to the sutra's popularity, "...it is necessary to be familiar with not only the sutra text itself but also the stura's history of interpretation and the circumstances that have shaped that process over time." The closing lines of this collection of essays articulate exactly what they attempt to accomplish. These eight essays unpack and contextualize the Lotus Sutra. For those interested in the sutra, especially those who are approaching it out of curiosity (as compared to those who approach it out of veneration), this is easily the best source available.

1.) Interpreting the Lotus Sutra - Stephen F. Teiser & Jacqueline I. Stone
This essay introduces the main themes of the sutra as an overview and looks into some of its unique aspects, such as its self-referential or circular quality. It also presents a valuable section on the history of the sutra's translation as well as an overview of the Lotus-centered schools of thought.

2.) Expedient Devices, The One Vehicle, and the Life Span of the Buddha - Carl Bielefeldt
This invaluable essay presents an easy and to the point explanation of the various sections of the Lotus Sutra, emphasizing skillful means (upaya).

3.) Gender and Hierarchy in the Lotus Sutra - Jan Nattier
This essay looks at Mahayana views on women around the time when the Lotus Sutra was written in Sanskrit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vagabond on August 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read several books about Buddhism, and it seems any book Jackie Stone has a hand in turns to gold. This volume is well written, well edited and provides a comprehensive view of the Lotus' history and influence. I recommend this reading to anyone who has more than a casual interest in the subject. The selection of articles reflects a thoughtful approach and deep understanding of this wonderful sutra.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One reads in the writings of proselytizers of various Buddhist sects claims about the history of the Lotus Sutra, its centrality to Buddhist thought, and its relationship to other sutras. Because these works are directed to a popular audience, the claims are often unsupported. "Readings . . . " contains a solid history of the text's development, a discussion of the context in which it achieved the pre-eminence it enjoys in East Asian Buddhism, and an examination of the various questions surrounding the work. The Lotus Sutra is a difficult work: in my first read-through I found myself wondering if it said anything at all beyond the repeated claims that it was the definitive statement of the Buddha's teachings. Obviously, it has much more to say than that and it rewards repeated readings. I have benefited from guides such as this one. If you are a newcomer, I strongly recommend Ryusho Jeffus' "Lotus Sutra Practice Guide." It takes you through the book from the perspective of a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. In working through that guide, you will read some of the most important sections of the text. Following that, read through the entire text at your leisure and then try "Readings of the Lotus Sutra." After putting in this work, the claims that are made for the Lotus Sutra will make more sense and the the work's importance will become obvious.

My one disappointment concerning "Readings . . . " is that the index in the kindle version is merely a list of topics: no page or location numbers are given and none of the items in the list are "hot," so tapping on them does not take you to any mentions of them in the text but simply brings you to the preceding or following page of the index, depending where you have tapped. If the kindle version is updated (unlikely, I know) "hot" location numbers should be included in the index to make it usable.
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By swimtime on March 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As something of a devotee of the Lotus Sutra I welcome the careful scholarship on the text, history and lore on this great classic of Buddhism. Some of the pieces, however, were a bit dry and had the awkwardness of academic shcholarship.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PDiddy on June 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything came just on time and with great care, there was nothing wrong with the book, it looked just like new!
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