HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the…
Loading...

From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha (Buddhism and…

by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
271402,159 (5)None

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

My favourite book so far of 2013; a remarkable piece of engaged and engaging scholarship. Lopez is perhaps previously best known for his excellent Prisoners of Shangri-La—a fascinating deconstruction of the Western romance with Tibetan Buddhism—but here he goes an adventurous step beyond to delineate how it is that the West, a century and a half ago or so, took a hand in defining the true nature of the Buddha himself. "The Buddha that we know was not born in India in the fifth century BCE," writes Lopez. "He was born in Paris in 1844."

If that sounds bit overstated be prepared to be surprised by the degree to which Lopez carefully documents this provocative assertion. It is often commented that Buddhism is the most intellectual of the faiths—but it had never occurred to me to suspect precisely that this might be because intellectuals, and Western ones at that, and one in particular at that, created our contemporary understanding of what Buddhism is.

Thanks to Lopez' natural gift for narrative, history of religions and history of scholarship are combined here in the most engaging way—and on Lopez' brilliantly argued model, the two histories really cannot be separated. The "new Buddha," he tells us—the one that the West has known since the mid 19th cent.—"emerged fully formed from the brow of a single scholar." How that came to be makes for a rare breed of text—a truly scholarly page-turner. ( )
  jrcovey | Oct 5, 2013 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226493202, Hardcover)

We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today?
 
Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry.
 
Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:14 -0400)

We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today?… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (5)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 126,544,083 books! | Top bar: Always visible