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Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol: An Anthology of Early European Portrayals of the Buddha - Buddhism and Modernity (Paperback)
  • Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol: An Anthology of Early European Portrayals of the Buddha - Buddhism and Modernity (Paperback)
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Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol: An Anthology of Early European Portrayals of the Buddha - Buddhism and Modernity (Paperback)

(editor)
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Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 04/11/2016
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We tend to think that the Buddha has always been seen as the compassionate sage admired around the world today, but until the nineteenth century, Europeans often regarded him as a nefarious figure, an idol worshipped by the pagans of the Orient. Donald S. Lopez Jr. offers here a rich sourcebook of European fantasies about the Buddha drawn from the works of dozens of authors over fifteen hundred years, including Clement of Alexandria, Marco Polo, St. Francis Xavier, Voltaire, and Sir William Jones. Featuring writings by soldiers, adventurers, merchants, missionaries, theologians, and colonial officers, this volume contains a wide range of portraits of the Buddha. The descriptions are rarely flattering, as all manner of reports some accurate, some inaccurate, and some garbled came to circulate among European savants and eccentrics, many of whom were famous in their day but are long forgotten in ours. Taken together, these accounts present a fascinating picture, not only of the Buddha as he was understood and misunderstood for centuries, but also of his portrayers.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226391236
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is an amazing repository of research on Western writings on Buddhism from the earliest times to the mid-nineteenth century. Beautifully written, Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol will be a sourcebook for further research among scholars of Buddhism and of East-West interaction, as well as for those interested in Western intellectual history more generally. --Judith Snodgrass, Western Sydney University"
Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol presents English translations of a wide variety of early writings produced by travelers, Christian missionaries, soldiers, civil servants, and armchair and professional scholars. These sources are very important indeed, and the work that Lopez has done to assemble them is truly impressive. I can think of nothing that rivals this book. --Jacob Kinnard, Iliff School of Theology"
"This is an amazing repository of research on Western writings on Buddhism from the earliest times to the mid-nineteenth century. Beautifully written, Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol will be a sourcebook for further research among scholars of Buddhism and of East-West interaction, as well as for those interested in Western intellectual history more generally."--Judith Snodgrass, Western Sydney University
"Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol presents English translations of a wide variety of early writings produced by travelers, Christian missionaries, soldiers, civil servants, and armchair and professional scholars. These sources are very important indeed, and the work that Lopez has done to assemble them is truly impressive. I can think of nothing that rivals this book." --Jacob Kinnard, Iliff School of Theology

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