"At last an anthology that fills the need for a set of informed, authoritative descriptions of Buddhism as it is lived and practiced in the world today! Textbooks focussing on Buddhist ritual are few; this is easily the best and most usable of them. Carbine and Reynolds have done us all a great service. Their selection of significant excerpts from the writings of a variety of anthropologists and historians of religion covers the gamut of Buddhist practice. The examples come from a diversity of Buddhist traditions. While each piece is grounded in a concrete and culturally specific situation, taken together they act as effective springboards to a more general consideration of the reality of Buddhist ritual life. I look forward to using this reader in the classroom." John Strong, author of The Experience of Buddhism
"Spanning many Buddhist cultures, the reader gets an exciting tour of Buddhist practices, rituals, and life experiences, focusing on both the monastic and lay traditions. This book will prove to be valuable reading for the classroom and beyond."Charles S. Prebish, author of Luminous Passage
"Whereas traditional scholarship has focused on voices of elite groups, philosophies of different sects, and textual ideals, The Life of Buddhism presents a wide range of Buddhist practice in relatively contemporary contexts. The book represents a step forward by emphasizing the iconography, individualized and communal rituals, in addition to diverse practices and devotional expressions of both monastic and lay communities, and will make a significant contribution to the field of both religious studies and Buddhist studies. "Bernard Faure, author of The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality, The Rhetoric of Immediacy: A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism, and Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism.
"This volume is a treasure-trove of issues currently being debated in Buddhist studies. Carbine and Reynolds's compilation breaks through the belief-centered, artificially purified world apparent in other anthologies. The Life of Buddhism will help redirect pedagogical attention to the many ways in which the historical and cultural setting help to make sense of Buddhist beliefs."Stephen F. Teiser, D.T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies, Princeton University