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Religion Eastern

Readings in Eastern Religions

2nd edition

by (author) Harold Coward, Ronald Neufeldt & Eva K. Neumaier

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2006
Eastern, Comparative Religion, Sacred Writings
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2006
    List Price

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Originally developed for use in introductory courses on Eastern religious traditions, this popular anthology offers a selection of readings from primary texts of India, China, and Japan.


The selections are arranged both chronologically and thematically within religious traditions and include readings from Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism (including Tibetan Buddhism), Sikhism, Early Chinese thought, Confuciansiim, Taoism, Mao Tse Tung, Shintoism, and Japan’s new religions (Tenrikyo and Sokka Gakkai). Throughout the anthology, an effort has been made to present more than the usual short excerpts. As much as possible larger excerpts have been included to give students a better sense of significant developments within traditions. As well, doctrinal elements have been combined with story to make these traditions more than museum pieces for students.

For the second edition, the editors have added excerpts and have written introductions that provide a more comprehensive context for the readings. A section on Chan / Zen and excerpts from the writings of Ge Hong, representing the central concerns of Daoism, are included. A section on modern China includes a poem written by Mao, exhibiting his Daoist sensibilities. A revised chapter on Buddhism presents the voices of modern Buddhist writers, including the Dalai Lama. Throughtout the volume, reflections on the role of women in Eastern religions, as well as women’s voices themselves, are added. /p

About the authors

Harold Coward is a scholar of international reputation with distinguished contributions to both the University of Victoria and University of Calgary throughout his extensive career. After retiring from the University of Victoria as director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, he continues to be involved as a research fellow. He is currently a member of the Genome BC Board of Directors, where he serves as a specialist on ethics and biotechnology. In June 2002, Dr. Coward was also selected as one of the twenty-five power thinkers in British Columbia by BC Business Magazine.

Leslie S. Kawamura is an Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary, Alberta. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, in Far Eastern Studies (1974). He has studied at the Kyoto University (Japan) and has taught at the Nyingma Institute (Berkeley), Institute of Buddhist Studies (Berkeley), and the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon). His publications include Mind in Buddhist Psychology (with H.V. Guenther, Dharma Press, 1975) and Golden Zephyr (Dharma Press, 1975). He was a founding member of the Honpa Buddhist Church of Alberta and the Canada-Mongolia Society.

Harold Coward's profile page

Ronald Neufeldt is a professor of Eastern religions at the University of Calgary, Alberta.

Ronald Neufeldt's profile page

Eva K. Neumaier is Professor Emerita of comparative literature, religion, and film/media studies at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Eva K. Neumaier's profile page

Editorial Reviews

''I liked Readings in Eastern Religions and would recommend it for uses in classes.... Readings in Eastern Religions is largely successful in what it sets out to do. The longer readings give a more vivid sense of the various scriptures. The selections from the Bhagavad Gita and the Laws of Manu, for example, are strikingly elegant. Similarly, the greater length helps convey the depth of the scriptures. The readings from Xunxi, the proponent of realistic Confucianism, give a much stronger flavour of his logical style and argument than those I have read elsewhere. The same is true for the more narrative style of the Taoist, Zhuangzi. At the same time, the readings convey important aspects of the various traditions. The extracts from the Vedas and the Laws of Manu gave me a much better appreciation of Vedic orthodoxy.... In addition to this, Readings in Eastern Religions give a good variety of readings. The inclusion of both women's voices and modern voices gives a fuller, richer sense of the different traditions.''

Journal of Religion and Culture, Vol. 20, 2008

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