Buddhist Transformations and Interactions: Essays in Honor of Antonino Forte

by Victor H. Mair

Reviews

“This book is marked by very high levels of technical Buddhological knowledge and critical research. The list of its contributors reads like a 'who’s who' in the fields of Buddhist and Asian Studies. The volume effectively covers large areas of eastern and southern Asian history, while pursuing pointed interest in Buddhist-informed cultures which interacted with each other over millennia and exchanged a multitude of ideas, images, scriptures, and rituals. Due to Victor Mair’s formidable editorial work, the result is a uniquely encompassing cultural map of Asia’s dynamic history whose complexity and multileveled nature is only now being properly understood. A well-deserved celebration of the memory of Antonino Forte, a great scholar and person, this book is an outstanding contribution to our knowledge of Buddhist and Asian culture in many of its previously uncovered aspects and nuances." —Tanya Storch, Professor of Religious Studies, University of the Pacific

“This study holds substantial and innovative contributions that explore little known but important topics in Buddhist studies and Chinese religious studies. It is an important homage to Antonino Forte, one of the protagonists of these fields and a great teacher to three generations of scholars. Forte was like a detective looking for clues in history, people, and places now almost completely erased from cultural memory, but which played an important role in shaping Buddhism in East Asia. It is his relentless interest in cultural oblivion, and in the richness of cultural exchanges in the past, in addition of course to his erudition and scholarly acumen, that makes Forte’s research particularly powerful and continuously relevant. This book is much more than a series of papers exploring topics related to Forte’s own work and/or written by scholars who were close to him. In fact, this is a remarkably well-constructed and organized collection—and in a sense astonishingly so, especially when we consider the breadth and depth of Forte’s own scholarship and his lasting influence on scholarship. Each chapter reads like a node in a vast and ongoing network of themes, and promises to become the starting point for new and exciting lines of research. This book is a most valuable resource for scholars in Buddhist studies and Chinese religious studies.” —Fabio Rambelli, Professor of Religious Studies & East Asian Languages and International Shinto Foundation Chair in Shinto Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

“This volume is a fitting tribute to Antonino (“Nino”) Forte, whom the field of East Asian Buddhist studies lost prematurely a decade ago. It assembles some of the finest scholars currently working in East Asian Buddhisms today, and their contributions demonstrate how actively Buddhist ideas and ideologies intersected with transregional polities and politics. We see in the studies here the importance of the multidirectional transmissions of Buddhist traditions: the usual route of India to China to Japan is here problematized by the recognition that at particular moments the influences were substantially interactive and bilateral. Nino would be very pleased by these border crossings, as his own work did so much to make the cosmopolitanism of Tang Buddhism so vividly real for us.” —Daniel Boucher, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, Cornell University

“The work of Antonino Forte was a unique combination of tremendous intellectual creativity and profoundly rigorous scholarship that spanned the geographical and chronological boundaries of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese Buddhism. The impressive originality, depth, and range of the global scholarship in this volume honors, celebrates, and reflects the very qualities that define Forte’s legacy.” —D. Max Moerman, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University

“A remarkable collection of essays by eminent Buddhist scholars and sinologists who have, in one way or another, been strongly influenced by Antonino Forte's methods, ideas, and personality.” —Bernard R. Faure, Kao Professor of Japanese Religions, Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University


 

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