Pamela Winfield publishes book review

Pamela Winfield published a book review of Fabio Rambelli’s Buddhist Materiality: A Cultural History of Objects in Japanese Religion (Stanford University Press, 2007) in July, 2010. The book holds interest for students and scholars of Japanese religion, history, material culture, environmental studies and ritual studies.

An excerpt from the review appears below, and the link to the entire article appears to the right

“…In Buddhist Materiality, Rambelli specifically focuses on the tangible stuff of the material universe that so often gets overlooked by Buddhist discourses on meditation and intangible states of mind. He considers not only the obvious topics of ritual implements and icons but also some not so obvious topics that trigger methodological innovations and insights. These include the consideration of

1) scriptures as performance objects and not just subjects of hermeneutical exegesis;

2) trees as embodiments of Buddha-nature and not just Shinto animism with all its nativist and “vague environmental” associations; and

3) professional tools as religious commodities that along with other inanimate objects directly benefited temple economies through special deconsecration, disposal, and memorial rites (kuyo) (p. 3).”

Winfield’s book review was published on the Buddhist Scholars Information Network (H-Buddhism) after standard editorial review. H-Buddhism is a sub-list of the H-Net online discussion networks in the Humanities and Social Sciences that “serves as a medium for the exchange of information regarding academic resources, new research projects, scholarly publications and university job listings for specialists in Buddhist Studies who are currently affiliated with academic institutions” only.