Images in Asian Religions: Text and Contexts
UBC Press is pleased to announce a new series in Asian religions. Pilgrims, Patrons, and Place, a Buddha Dharma Kyokai Foundation Book on Buddhism and Comparative Literature, is the first book in this series. Click here to see other titles in this series.
The study of images in Asian religions has tended to emphasize the centrality of image worship in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Images in Asian Religions offers a challenge to any simple understanding of the role of images by looking at aspects of the reception of image worship that have only begun to be studied, including the many hesitations that Asian religious traditions expressed about image worship.
Written by eminent scholars of anthropology, art history, and religion with interests in different regions (India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia), this volume takes a fresh look at the many ways in which images were defined and received in Asian religions. Areas addressed include the complex, fluid, and contested nature of the religious image; the reception of images within the intellectual culture of Hinduism and Buddhism; and the importance of historical and cultural context in the study of religious images.
This compelling collection, demonstrating the range of debate over practices of image worship, will expand our appreciation of the objects that serve, for many, as supports of divine presence. Of primary interest to scholars of Asian religions, it will also appeal to art historians, anthropologists, semioticians, and students of religion who concern themselves with images, icons, and material culture.