By Gregory Schopen
From the Preface "The present volume provides an essential foundation for a social history of Indian Buddhist monasticism. Challenging the popular stereotype that represented the accumulation of merit as the domain of the layperson while monks concerned themselves with more sophisticated realms of doctrine and meditation, Professor Schopen problematizes many assumptions about the lay-monastic distinction by demonstrating that monks and nuns, both the scholastic elites and the less learned, participated actively in a wide range of ritual practices and institutions that have heretofore been judged 'popular,' from the accumulation and transfer of merit; to the care of deceased relatives;.... Taken together, the studies contained in this volume represent the basis for a new historiography of Buddhism, not only for their critique of many of the idees recues of Buddhist Studies but for the compelling connections they draw between apparently disparate details." --Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
Gregory Schopen is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles
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