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About this product
- DescriptionWritten by one of the leading scholars of Japanese religion, Protectors and Predators is the second installment of a multivolume project that promises to be a milestone in our understanding of the mythico-ritual system of esoteric Buddhism-specifically the nature and roles of deities in the religious world of medieval Japan and beyond. Bernard Faure introduces readers to medieval Japanese religiosity and shows the centrality of the gods in religious discourse and ritual. Throughout he engages theoretical insights drawn from structuralism, post-structuralism, and Actor-Network Theory to retrieve the implicit pantheon (as opposed to the explicit orthodox pantheon ) of esoteric Japanese Buddhism (Mikky?). His work is particularly significant given its focus on the deities' multiple and shifting representations, overlappings, and modes of actions rather than on individual characters and functions. In Protectors and Predators Faure argues that the wild gods of Japan were at the center of the medieval religious landscape and came together in complex webs of association t divisible into the categories of Buddhist, indigeus, or Shinto. Furthermore, among the most important medieval gods, certain ones had roots in Hinduism, others in Daoism and Yin-Yang thought. He displays vast kwledge of his subject and presents his research-much of it in largely unstudied material-with theoretical sophistication. His arguments and analyses assume the centrality of the icographic record as a complement to the textual record, and so he has brought together a rich and rare collection of more than 170 color and black-and-white images. This emphasis on icography and the ways in which it complements, supplements, or deconstructs textual orthodoxy is critical to a fuller comprehension of a set of medieval Japanese beliefs and practices and offers a corrective to the traditional division of the field into religious studies, which typically igres the images, and art history, which oftentimes overlooks their ritual and religious meaning. Protectors and Predators and its companion volumes should persuade readers that the gods constituted a central part of medieval Japanese religion and that the latter cant be reduced to a simplistic confrontation, parallelism, or complementarity between some molithic teachings kwn as Buddhism and Shinto. Once these reductionist labels and categories are discarded, a new and fascinating religious landscape begins to unfold.
- Author BiographyBernard Faure is Kao Professor in Japanese Religion at Columbia University, USA.
- Author(s)Bernard Faure
- PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Date of Publication30/11/2015
- SubjectNon-Christian Religions
- Place of PublicationHonolulu, HI
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Content Note172 illustrations
- Weight525 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
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