dunnettreader + buddhism   12

Kenneth Harl - The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes | The Great Courses
36 lectures - list price $320
- the video version is a must in order to follow the names of groups, locations and movements
A few bothered by mispronunciation and a lot of ahs - but most reviewers very enthusiastic - and replaying lectures to get all the info. Counters a few complaints that it's too superficial, or that it pays too much attention to the sedentary civilizations that were affected - the last complaint seems to miss the very purpose of the course.
Byzantium  Eastern_Europe  military_history  Central_Asia  empires  government-forms  medieval_history  military_tactics  Egypt  Persia  ancient_Rome  nomadic_invasions  cultural_history  Ghengis_Khan  trade  video  Eurasia  Roman_Empire  government-revenues  Ottomans  Iraq  Chinese_history  Black_Sea  Islamic_civilization  Atilla_the_Hun  ancient_history  India  Iran  China  late_antiquity  Sufis  Mamluks  cultural_exchange  military_technology  Golden_Horde  Turcic_tribes  Han_China  MENA  religious_history  Mongols  Tamerlane  Caliphate  courses  Buddhism  cultural_transmission  trade-policy  empires-tributary  barbarians  steppes 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Barry Allen, "Vanishing into Things: Knowledge in Chinese Tradition" (Harvard University Press, 2015)
Barry Allen's new book carefully considers the problem of knowledge in a range of Chinese philosophical discourses, creating a stimulating cross-disciplinary dialogue that's as much of a pleasure to read as it will be to teach with. Taking on the work of Confucians, Daoists, military theorists, Chan Buddhists, Neo-Confucian philosophers, and others, Vanishing into Things: Knowledge in Chinese Tradition (Harvard University Press, 2015) looks at the common threads and important differences in the ways that scholars have attempted to conceptualize and articulate what it is to be a knowing being in the world. Some of the major themes that recur throughout the work include the nature of non-action and emptiness, the relationship between knowledge and scholarship, the possibility of Chinese epistemologies and empiricisms, and the importance of artifice. Allen pays special attention to the ways that these scholars relate knowledge to a fluid conception of "things" that can be "completed" or "vanished into" by the knower, and to their understanding of things as parts of a collective economy of human and non-human relationships. The book does an excellent job of maintaining its focus on Chinese texts and contexts while making use of comparative cases from Anglophone and European-language philosophy that brings Chinese scholars into conversation with Nietzsche, Latour, Deleuze and Guattari, Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and beyond - 1 hour interview
books  interview  audio  intellectual_history  Chinese_philosophy  China  Chinese_history  Asian_philosophy  epistemology  Buddhism  Confucianism  empiricism  epistemology-social  ontology  human_nature  human-non-human_relations  military_theory  military_history  Neo-Confucian  Nietzsche  Deleuze  Aristotle  Machiavelli  Plato  Latour  consciousness  perception 
august 2015 by dunnettreader
Donald S. Lopez, Jr.- The evolution of a text: The Tibetan Book of the Dead | The Immanent Frame - March 2011
Excerpted from The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography published by Princeton University Press © 2011. -- In a footnote to his introduction, Evans-Wentz writes that he and Kazi Dawa Samdup felt, “that without such safeguarding as this Introduction is intended to afford, the Bardo Thodol translation would be peculiarly liable to misinterpretation and consequent misuse . . .” They could have had little idea of the myriad ways in which their collaboration would be read. Removing the Bardo Todol from the moorings of language and culture, of time and place, Evans-Wentz transformed it into The Tibetan Book of the Dead and set it afloat in space, touching down at various moments in various cultures over the course of the past century, providing in each case an occasion to imagine what it might mean to be dead. This biography tells the strange story of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It argues that the persistence of its popularity derives from three factors: The first is the human obsession with death. The second is the Western romance of Tibet. The third is Evans-Wentz’s way of making the Tibetan text into something that is somehow American. Evans-Wentz’s classic is not so much Tibetan as it is American, a product of American Spiritualism. Indeed, it might be counted among its classic texts. -- downloaded pdf to Note in folder " Biographies of Religious Texts - PUP series "
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  20thC  21stC  translation  religious_lit  religious_culture  religious_belief  sociology_of_religion  spirituality  readership  reader_response  cultural_exchange  cultural_transmission  esotericism  hermeticism  Buddhism  Tibet  orientalism  New_Age  death  downloaded 
august 2015 by dunnettreader
Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews - July 2015
This is a ground-breaking philosophical exploration of consciousness and the self as they occur across the states of waking, falling asleep, dreaming, lucid…
Instapaper  books  reviews  consciousness  self  dreaming  neuroscience  Buddhism  meditation  self-consciousness  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Gaëlle Desbordes et al - Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state (2012) | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Original Research ARTICLE - Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 01 November 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00292 -- Gaëlle Desbordes1,2*, Lobsang T. Negi3, Thaddeus W. W. Pace4, B. Alan Wallace5, Charles L. Raison6 and Eric L. Schwartz2,7 - authors in brain research, imaging, computational engineering, psychiatry, and religious studies from Mass General, Boston U, Emory, U of Arizona -- In this study, we investigated how 8 weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. Healthy adults with no prior meditation experience took part in 8 weeks of either Mindful Attention Training (MAT), Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT; a program based on Tibetan Buddhist compassion meditation practices), or an active control intervention. Before and after the intervention, participants underwent an fMRI experiment during which they were presented images with positive, negative, and neutral emotional valences from the IAPS database while remaining in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Using a region-of-interest analysis, we found a longitudinal decrease in right amygdala activation in the Mindful Attention group in response to positive images, and in response to images of all valences overall. In the CBCT group, we found a trend increase in right amygdala response to negative images, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in depression score. No effects or trends were observed in the control group. This finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function. -- didn't download
article  neuroscience  emotions  attention  meditation  Buddhism 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Catherine E. Kerr et al - Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation (2013) | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Review ARTICLE - Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 13 February 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00012 -- Catherine E. Kerr1*, Matthew D. Sacchet2,3, Sara W. Lazar4, Christopher I. Moore5 and Stephanie R. Jones4,5 - authors from Brown, Stanford and Mass General -- Using a common set of mindfulness exercises, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been shown to reduce distress in chronic pain and decrease risk of depression relapse. These standardized mindfulness (ST-Mindfulness) practices predominantly require attending to breath and body sensations. Here, we offer a novel view of ST-Mindfulness's somatic focus as a form of training for optimizing attentional modulation of 7–14 Hz alpha rhythms that play a key role in filtering inputs to primary sensory neocortex and organizing the flow of sensory information in the brain. (..) Our computational model predicts ST-Mindfulness enhances top-down modulation of alpha by facilitating precise alterations in timing and efficacy of SI thalamocortical inputs. We conclude by considering how the framework aligns with Buddhist teachings that mindfulness starts with “mindfulness of the body.” Translating this theory into neurophysiology, we hypothesize that with its somatic focus, mindfulness' top-down alpha rhythm modulation in SI enhances gain control which, in turn, sensitizes practitioners to better detect and regulate when the mind wanders from its somatic focus. This enhanced regulation of somatic mind-wandering may be an important early stage of mindfulness training that leads to enhanced cognitive regulation and metacognition. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  brain  perception  psychology  pain  Buddhism  meditation  physiology  health  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Robert Bellah - The renouncers « The Immanent Frame - August 2008
This post is a condensed version of a keynote delivered at a conference "The Axial Age and its Consequences for Subsequent History and the Present" sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation in cooperation with Robert Bellah and Hans Joas. -- After discussing Habermas' theory of a legitimation crisis in the axial civilizations and the critique - political, moral and religious - of the key axial age figures whom he calls "the renouncers" -- The great utopias served for the renouncers as stark contrasts to the actual world, and their vision of that other world could be called “theory” in Plato’s sense. But the very distance they felt from the world to which they returned made possible another kind of “theory,” another kind of seeing—that is, a distant, critical view of the actual world in which they lived. The renouncer sees the world with new eyes: as Plato says of the ones who have returned to the cave, they see the shadows for what they are, not naively as do those who have never left. One could say that the ideological illusion is gone. Once disengaged vision becomes possible then theory can take another turn: it can abandon any moral stance at all and look simply at what will be useful, what can make the powerful and exploitative even more so. -- The axial age gave us “theory” in two senses, and neither of them has been unproblematic ever since. The great utopian visions have motivated some of the noblest achievements of mankind; they have also motivated some of the worst actions of human beings. Theory in the sense of disengaged knowing, inquiry for the sake of understanding, with or without moral evaluation, has brought its own kind of astounding achievements but also given humans the power to destroy their environment and themselves. Both kinds of theoria have criticized but also justified the class society that first came into conscious view in the axial age. They have provided the intellectual tools for efforts to reform and efforts to repress. It is a great heritage. ... It has given us the great tool of criticism. How will we use it? -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
sociology_of_religion  intellectual_history  religious_history  axial_age  cultural_critique  political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  Buddhism  Old_Testament  prophets  China  India  ancient_Greece  ancient_philosophy  Indian_religion  Indian_philosophy  Confuscianism  ancient_religions  Chinese_history  Plato  Plato-Republic  Aristotle  phronesis  utopian  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Christopher Bartley, review - Matthew R. Dasti and Edwin F. Bryant (eds.), Free Will, Agency, and Selfhood in Indian Philosophy // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // September 16, 2014
Reviewed by Christopher Bartley, University of Liverpool -- This is a fine collection of learned essays replete with translations from primary sources, but a sense of frustration may be induced in the reader attracted by the book's title. Most of the contributors admit that the topics of free will, agency and selfhood as understood in the West today don't really have equivalents in the Indian traditions of thought and practice under consideration.
books  reviews  Indian_religion  Indian_philosophy  Hinduism  Buddhism  Sanskrit  free_will  self  ontology  metaphysics  reincarnation  metempsychosis  emotions  desire  agency 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Gary Gutting - What Does Buddhism Require? | NYT April 2014
This is the fifth in a series of interviews about religion that I am conducting for The Stone. The interviewee for this installment is Jay L. Garfield, who has taught philosophy at several universities and is currently the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor of Humanities, Yale-NUS College in Singapore. He is at work on a book called “Engaging Buddhism: Why Buddhism Matters to Contemporary Philosophy.”
philosophy_of_religion  Buddhism  God-existence 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
John Philip Jenkins: The Lost History of Christianity | Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Publishers Weekly - Revisionist history is always great fun, and never more so than when it is persuasively and cogently argued. Jenkins, the Penn State history professor whose book The Next Christendom made waves several years ago, argues that it's not exactly a new thing that Christianity is making terrific inroads in Asia and Africa. A thousand years ago, those continents were more Christian than Europe, and Asian Christianity in particular was the locus of tremendous innovations in mysticism, monasticism, theology and secular knowledge. The little-told story of Christianity's decline in those two continents—hastened by Mongol invasions, the rise of Islam and Buddhism, and internecine quarrels—is sensitively and imaginatively rendered. Jenkins sometimes challenges the assertions of other scholars, including Karen Armstrong and Elaine Pagels, but provides compelling evidence for his views. The book is marvelously accessible for the lay reader and replete with fascinating details to help personalize the ambitious sweep of global history Jenkins undertakes. This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.
books  amazon.com  kindle-available  religious_history  Early_Christian  late_antiquity  medieval_history  church_history  religious_culture  MENA  Africa  Asia  Islam  Islamic_civilization  Buddhism  mysticism  monasticism  science-and-religion  Mongols  Eurasia  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Eric Reinders - The Iconoclasm of Obeisance: Protestant Images of Chinese Religion and the Catholic Church | JSTOR: Numen, Vol. 44, Fasc. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 296-322
Western studies of Buddhism emphasize doctrine and meditation, but almost completely ignore devotional practice. Yet, obeisance to Buddha is the primary religious practice of the majority of Asian Buddhists. To account for this disparity, I explore the history of Protestant attitudes towards bowing. In English and German anti-Catholic polemics (and Catholic responses), Chinese and Catholic obeisance are conflated, the lowness of their prostrations emphasized, in contrast to the erectness of Protestant posture in worship. I survey two important encyclopedias of religion (Hastings' of 1914 and Eliade's of 1987), and the work of one of the founders of Sociology, Herbert Spencer, to show the persistance of these perspectives on obeisance. Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Protestants worked to challenge the Jesuit representation of China as enlightened and originally monotheistic. Chinese religiosity was depicted as passive, lazy, infantile, and mindless, lacking any coherent doctrinal system. At times, the Protestant narrative of Christian history (from original pure community to institutional degeneration into idolatry) was superimposed on Chinese history. Obeisance itself was taken as sufficient proof of idolatry, the deceptive "holy mummeries" of Chinese/Catholic ritual. These tensions came to a head when King George III of England sent Lord Macartney to have an audience with Emperor Qianlong of China, and Macartney refused to bow. A brief analysis of this well-documented mission reveals the confluence of religious, political, bodily, and gender dimensions. Recent treatments of that mission have missed the Protestant/Catholic dimensions of the issue. Finally I suggest possible extentions of the theoretical concerns of this paper. -- didn't download
article  jstor  religious_history  religious_culture  18thC  19thC  China  Jesuits  anti-Catholic  Buddhism  ritual  idolatry  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
The state of religion in China [series] « The Immanent Frame
Series of posts - starts October 2013

October 1st, 2013
Opiate of the masses with Chinese characteristics
posted by Thomas DuBois

October 4th, 2013
The Communist Party and the future of religion in China
posted by André Laliberté

October 8th, 2013
The “good” and the “bad” Muslims of China
posted by Yuting Wang

October 10th, 2013
Secular belief, religious belonging
posted by Richard Madsen
China  religious_history  religious_culture  politics-and-religion  Islam  Buddhism  Confuscianism  Christianity  securitization  secularism  modernization  Communist_Party  sociology_of_religion  community  identity  EF-add 
october 2013 by dunnettreader

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