ISBN 9788121512060,The Lotus And The Lion: Buddhism And The British Empire

The Lotus And The Lion: Buddhism And The British Empire



Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd

Publication Year 2009

ISBN 9788121512060

ISBN-10 8121512069

Hard Back

Number of Pages 285 Pages
Language (English)


Buddhism is indisputably gaining prominence in the west, as is evidenced by the growth of Buddhist practice within many traditions and keen interest in meditation and mindfulness. In the Lotus and the Lion, the author traces the historical and cultural origins of Western Buddhism, showing that the British empire was a primary engine for curiosity about and then engagement with the Buddhisms that the British encountered in India and elsewhere in Asia. Victoria and Edwardian England witnessed the emergence of comparative religious scholarship with a focus on Buddhism, the appearance of Buddhist characters and concepts in literacy works, the publication of hundreds of articles on Buddhism in popular and intellectual periodicals, and the dawning of Syncretic Religions that incorporated elements derived from Buddhism. In this fascinating book, the author analyzes responses to and constructions of Buddhism by popular novelists and poets, early scholars of religion, inventors of new religions, social theorists and philosophers and a host of social and religious commentators. The Lotus and the Lion demonstrates that the nineteenth-century encounter with Buddhism subtly but profoundly changed western civilization forever. Contents Preface Introduction 1. The Life of the Buddha in Victorian Britain 2. Buddhism and the Emergence of Late-Victorian Hybrid Religions 3. Romances of Reincarnation, Karma and Desire 4. Buddhism and the Empire of the Self in Kipling's Kim Conclusion : The Afterlife of Nirvana