Burning for the Buddha: Self-Immolation in Chinese Buddhism

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University of Hawaii Press, Feb 28, 2007 - Religion - 376 pages
Burning for the Buddha is the first book-length study of the theory and practice of "abandoning the body"(self-immolation) in Chinese Buddhism. It examines the hagiographical accounts of all those who made offerings of their own bodies and places them in historical, social, cultural, and doctrinal context. Rather than privilege the doctrinal and exegetical interpretations of the tradition, which assume the central importance of the mind and its cultivation, James Benn focuses on the ways in which the heroic ideals of the bodhisattva present in scriptural materials such as the Lotus Sutra played out in the realm of religious practice on the ground.
 

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Contents

SelfImmolation in Early Medieval China
19
The Lotus Sūtra AutoCremation
54
of SelfImmolation
78
Conclusion
195
Appendix 1
203
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About the author (2007)

James A. Benn is professor of Buddhism and East Asian religions at McMaster University.

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