International Journal of Dharma Studies

http://link.springer.com/journal/40613

List of Papers (Total 61)

The diaspora of borders: Hindu-Sikh transnationals in the diaspora

This paper offers a set of nuanced narratives and a theoretically-informed report on what is the driving force and motivation behind the movement of Hindus and Sikhs from one continent to another (apart from their earlier movement out of the subcontinent to distant shores). What leads them to leave one diasporic location for another location? In this sense they are also ...

Religious change and experimentation in Indonesian Hinduism

This paper examines change and experimentation in Agama Hindu Dharma, a form of Hinduism which has adapted to the modern Muslim influence in Indonesia by emphasizing a monotheistic deity unique to the country and an ethical system and prayer rituals with many similarities to Muslim practices. This is a new form of Hinduism developed by scholars, psychologists and priests. The paper ...

Ritual space as borderland: building and breaching ritual borders in eastern central Gujarat

This essay discusses the fundamental structure of ritual practice among the Rathvas, an adivasi group in Chhotaudepur district, Gujarat. It examines in some detail various sites of ritual practice to show how Rathvas imaginatively construct borders at these sites. At times Rathvas elaborate upon pre-existing natural or artificial borders, while at other times they construct a ...

The modern monastic Santmat movement of Bihar: building bridges between Sanātana Dharma and Sant-Mat

This article analyzes how the modern movement of Santmat, literally “the views of sants,” primarily popular in the rural areas of northern India, uniquely situates itself within the context of “Vedic Dharma.” Through the monastic leadership’s redefinition of the categories of Vedic Dharma and Sanātana Dharma, the Santmat tradition creates a space where vernacular Hindu practices ...

“Dharm is technology”: the theologizing of technology in the experimental Hinduism of renouncers in contemporary North India

This article advances a conceptual shift in the ways that scholars think and teach about the established categories of religion, renunciation, and the modern in religious studies, anthropology, and Asian studies through the use of the concept of “experimental Hinduism.” Drawing on an analytical model of “experimental religion” developed by the anthropologist John Nelson, a ...

An Experimental Approach to Buddhism and Religion

Adaptations, modifications, and realignments of religious doctrine and practice can be found in any period of social history. It can be official and highly orchestrated (as in Vatican II) but more often it takes a subjective and reactionary form (as in the Hindutva movement). This paper promotes the idea of “experimental religion” as both an analytical concept and an observable set ...

Transposing tirtha: Understanding religious reforms and locative piety in early modern Hinduism

The paper deals with a historical and hitherto obscure case of de-commercialisation of sacred geography of India. Sahajanand Swami, an eighteenth century religious leader from Gujarat who became popular as Bhagwan Swaminarayan took an initiative to eliminate corruption in Dwarka, one of the most sacred destination in Hindu imagination. He also attempted to transpose the piety of ...

Buddhist-Catholic relations in Ho Chi Minh City

Relations between Buddhism and Catholicism began to take place in Vietnam in the sixteenth century and in Ho Chi Minh City in the seventeenth century. There have been conversions of Buddhists to Catholicism and a very few reconversions of Catholics to Buddhism. Dialogue and tension/conflict between Buddhists and Catholics have been also sometimes found. The article first examines ...

A departure for returning to sabha: a study of koan practice of silence

This paper deals with koan practice of silence through analyzing the Korean Zen Buddhist film, Why Has Boddhidharma Left for the East? (Bae, Yong-Kyun, Why Has Bodhidharma Left for the East? 1989). This paper follows Kibong's path along with the Buddha's journey of 1) departure, 2) journey in the middle way, and 3) returning with a particular focus on koan practice of silence as ...

Vedantic variations in the presence of Europe: establishing the Hindu dharma in late nineteenth century Bengal

We will offer in this essay an analytic overview of four texts from the second half of the nineteenth century which elaborated different variations on the Hindu dharma. These are Rajnarayan Basu’s Hindu Dharmera Sresthata (‘The Superiority of the Hindu dharma’, 1879), Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Dharmatattva (1888, ‘Principles of Dharma’), Bhudeb Mukhopadhyay’s Sāmājika Prabandha ...

Rights, centers, and peripheries: experimental moves in Japanese Buddhism

In this paper I examine how the Japanese True Pure Land Buddhist school (Jōdo Shinshū or Shin Buddhism) has attempted to come to terms with the position of temple wife (bōmori), which has historically been a local position based solely on marriage ties to the resident priest of a temple, in a way that accommodates the modern principles of individual rights and freedom of religion. ...

Women Buddhist Masters

The aim of this paper is to two fold—first, to set forth a definition of "mastery" as it is understood across diverse Buddhist traditions. Secondly, using verses from the Therigatha, I argue that the first female monastics meet the criteria of Buddhist masters. My claim is based on evidence from the teachings of the historical Buddha and by citing examples from the elder female ...

Contemplative pedagogy: a descriptive account of two approaches to student engagement at Loyola Marymount University

In this article the alternating voices of colleagues and collaborators Jane Brucker and Christopher Chapple describe their way of using contemplative pedagogies to bring Engaged Learning to their students at Loyola Marymount University. A requirement of the curriculum for all undergraduate students, these courses integrate study and reflection beyond the classroom. As a professor ...

Illustrating the Way: The Life and Times of Bhikṣuṇī Shig Hiu Wan

Bhikṣuṇī Shig Hiu Wan was a Buddhist master in more than one sense of the word. She was not only a highly accomplished practitioner, teacher, artist, and poet, but she was also a feminist pioneer in higher education. When she arrived in Taiwan in 1966 and began teaching at the Chinese Cultural University, she was the first Buddhist nun to teach at the university level in Taiwan. At ...

Imagining the body in tantric contemplative practice

This paper addresses imagination, focusing on two words, bhāvana and vikalpa, both frequently translated as "imagination," and addresses the connections imagination has with the body, specifically within the context of contemplative practices. Drawing primarily from the 10th and 11th century philosophical school of the Pratyabhijñā of Abhinavagupta and Utpaladeva, this paper ...

Body, Self and Consciousness according to Tirumūlar’s Tirumandiram: A comparative study with Kashmir Śaivism

Tirumular’s Tirumandiram is the earliest known Tamil treatise on yoga. This text is considered to be both, a devotional work as well as a tantric text. Unlike other major Siddha compositions, Tirumandiram does not contain any section on medicinal preparations or alchemy. It is the only Tamil text where the sections are named tanṭiram. In contrast to the popular pluralistic Śaiva ...

Every breath you take: physiology and the ecology of knowing in meditative practice

As a physiologist interested in contemplative practice and meditation I have enjoyed the opportunity of lecturing to students engaged in the study of contemplation. My pedagogic role was to expose them to some of what we know of the biological phenomena that are or may be taking place during various meditative states — explicating for them the details of how the human body actually ...

Sri Chinmoy on the nature and goals of contemplative practice

Sri Chinmoy (1931–2007) has written extensively on the concrete details of contemplative practice as well as its purpose in the wider context of yoga as a system of spiritual disciplines leading to God-realization. The paper summarizes his teachings with an emphasis on how contemplative practice is done and how it works in attaining its goals. Sri Chinmoy distinguishes between ...

The Buddha and the numen: postmodern spirituality and the problem of transcendence in Buddhism

The Western world has seen a significant shift in the epistemic values of spiritual seekers in the past quarter of a century; many have referred to the new epistemic approach as postmodern spirituality. Among the attributes unique to this growing cultural force are the prominence of mystery, enchantment, and the prehension of a numinous other (which need not be a theistic other) as ...

Creating contemplative studies in the Southwest: theory and practice

In this article, I offer a brief history of the Contemplative Studies initiative at Texas Christian University, then discuss some of the theoretical underpinning for our program, indicating the value of contemplative pedagogy in academia and Religious Studies in particular. I argue that such pedagogy addresses central concerns of liberal arts education, that is, enhancing insight ...