Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in by Sally McAra

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By Sally McAra

Land of lovely imaginative and prescient is the 1st book-length ethnography to handle the function of fabric tradition in modern variations of Buddhism and the 1st to target convert Buddhists in New Zealand. Sally McAra takes as her topic a desirable example of an ongoing inventive technique wherein an international faith is made in the community significant during the building of a Buddhist sacred position. She makes use of an in-depth case examine of a small spiritual constitution, a stupa, in rural New Zealand to discover greater matters concerning the modern surge in curiosity in Buddhism and spiritual globalization. Her learn extends past the extent of public discourse on Buddhism to enquire narratives of contributors of the chums of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) approximately their courting with the land, examining those and the FWBO's transformative undertaking via a thematic specialise in key symbolic landmarks at their website, Sudarshanaloka.

In contemplating cross-cultural interactions leading to syncretism or indigenization of alien religions, many anthropological reports be aware of the unequal strength family members among colonizing and colonized peoples. McAra extrapolates from this literature to examine a scenario the place the underlying energy family members are rather various. She specializes in contributors in a company whose contributors search to acceptable wisdom from an ''Eastern'' culture to remake their very own society--one formed via its unresolved colonizing previous.

In its exploration of the position of 3 key symbolic markers of dating among the group, its motivating beliefs, and the land it occupies, Land of gorgeous imaginative and prescient brings jointly the various subject matters of land, colonization, surroundings, and the connection among Buddhism and indigenous non secular entities. It contributes to fabric tradition experiences, panorama reviews, non secular experiences, and anthropology of faith. In exploring the domestication of Buddhism in a brand new cultural surroundings, it will likely be of curiosity to a person eager to comprehend the increase of Buddhism in new sociocultural settings. it is going to even be of curiosity to students and scholars of cross-cultural spiritual translation and settler societies.

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Extra info for Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand

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As it has grown in size, the FWBO has undergone many changes, sometimes in response to criticism. org. These issues are similar to those that have shaken several other large Buddhist organizations (S. Bell 1998, 2002). ) and in an article titled ‘‘The Dark Side of Enlightenment’’ in The Guardian (Bunting 1997). One of the allegations in the FWBO Files involves coercive ‘‘conversion’’ of heterosexuals to homosexuality. The FWBO published a response on the Internet, to which the anonymous authors of the Files then published their own counter-response.

In the very process of analytical writing, there are pieces that fit and other parts that unsettle the model. Nonetheless, the analysis of any ‘‘association of individuals’’ (a term that FWBO publicity favors over the word ‘‘group’’) involves discerning the commonalities, patterns of practice and discourse, as well as internal diversity. Further, if the FWBO does not operate, in some ways, as a single body, on what grounds does Sangharakshita defend ‘‘it’’ against misrepresentation? Many, if not most, contemporary anthropologists would wholeheartedly agree with Sangharakshita that one should declare one’s interest, and indeed I would recommend that anyone using ethnographic research techniques into such a complex field as that of religious beliefs and practices should consider doing just this.

Introducing a concept that more or less describes how syncretism can operate, Howell suggests that this Western hunger for spiritual knowledge arises out of cultural absences, or ‘‘lacunae,’’ in Western society that become apparent when we are exposed to other ways of being. She explores the diffusion of ideas resulting from the encounter with new and alien knowledge. Rather than there being a prior sense of a gap in local knowledge, a lacuna (in Howell’s usage) is an opening or interval (180, n.

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