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By Alan Sponberg, Helen Hardacre

Initially released in 1988, this publication is a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural research of the legend that has advanced round the determine of Maitreya, which fans of the Buddha Siddh?rtha Gautama had agreed often is the destiny Buddha, and the gigantic impression of this legend on Buddhist tradition. coming up out of a world convention held at Princeton collage, this choice of twelve essays by means of experts in textual experiences, artwork background and cultural anthropology examines the origins of the Maitreya culture in South Asia in addition to quite a few culturally particular expressions of the culture because it constructed in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. The essays discover a number of the expectancies Buddhist practitioners have had of Maitreya and consider the iconographic and ritualistic symbols linked to this messianic and millenarian determine. a number of essays additionally research the debate relating to situations less than which the determine has occasionally taken on apocalyptic and eschatological features.

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Of the Buddhist natian of the world took place under Asoka, who established the sasana (Buddhism) as an institution in his cauntry. "Like a canqueror and a ruler who would establish governments in countries politically conquered by him, so Asoka probably thought of establishing the sasana in countries spiritually conquered (dharma-vijita) by him .... of the baundaries or the sima. of the Three Treasures, as it were. often caalesced, especially in the SoiIth and Southeast Asian Buddhist traditians.

New York, 1951), 14. For a characterization of the "collegium pietatis" and so on, see Joachim Wach, Sociology of Religion (Chicago, 1944), 174-81. , 1962), plates 15-a, 31-1, 60-d, and 66; H. F. E. Visser, Asiatic Art in Private Collections of Holland and Belgium (New York, 1952), plates 76, no. 149; 80, no. 156; and 83, no. 159. See also Choi Sunu, 5000 22 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Joseph M. Kitagawa Years of Korean Art (Seoul, 1979), plates 211,216,217,218,219,220,221, and 232. The half-seated Maitreya sta·tue was very popular in China, Korea, and Japan before the seventh century.

Assuming that Maitreya is an eschatological figure, how crucial is eschatology to Buddhist soteriology? What is the relationship between eschatology and Buddhist ethics? 3. )? Did the "prophecy" about Maitreya have millenarian connotations? Or did millenarian movements "discover" Maitreya as an appropriate symbol? 4. What is the range of attitudes that the Buddhist community holds towards Maitreya? Is he one of many interchangeable objects of adoration and/or adherence? What features of Maitreya are venerated by monks?

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