By Jeffrey Franklin
Buddhism is for sure gaining prominence within the West, as is evidenced by means of the expansion of Buddhist perform inside of many traditions and prepared curiosity in meditation and mindfulness. In The Lotus and the Lion, J. Jeffrey Franklin lines the historic and cultural origins of Western Buddhism, displaying that the British Empire was once a main engine for interest approximately after which engagement with the Buddhisms that the British encountered in India and in different places in Asia. consequently, Victorian and Edwardian England witnessed the emergence of comparative spiritual scholarship with a spotlight on Buddhism, the looks of Buddhist characters and ideas in literary works, the ebook of countless numbers of articles on Buddhism in renowned and highbrow periodicals, and the dawning of syncretic religions that integrated parts derived from Buddhism.
In this interesting publication, Franklin analyzes responses to and buildings of Buddhism through well known novelists and poets, early students of faith, inventors of recent religions, social theorists and philosophers, and a bunch of social and non secular commentators. reading the paintings of figures starting from Rudyard Kipling and D. H. Lawrence to H. P. Blavatsky, Thomas Henry Huxley, and F. Max Müller, Franklin offers perception into cultural upheavals that proceed to reverberate into our personal time. these contain the violent intermixing of cultures led to through imperialism and colonial career, the trauma and self-reflection that take place while a Christian tradition comes face-to-face with one other faith, and the controversy among spiritualism and materialism. The Lotus and the Lion demonstrates that the nineteenth-century come upon with Buddhism subtly yet profoundly replaced Western civilization forever.
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Additional resources for The Lotus and the Lion: Buddhism and the British Empire
This explains why there were an estimated 63,000 non-denominationally-affiliated worshipers in “isolated Congregations” in England in 1851(groups like the Church of Christ or the Brethren, as vividly portrayed in Edmond Gosse’s 1907 memoir Father and Son [Parsons, “Dissenters” 102]). Congregationalists and Baptists were so wary of hierarchical institutional control that they placed the first-order of authority over theology and practice with each congregation of individual worshipers. For such reasons, Max Weber in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) forwarded a theory of the parallel historical development of Protestant individualism and the self-satisfying individual of laissez-faire capitalism.
114). Here, then, is a conflict that is reproduced throughout the poem: the Buddha’s compassion is good, but it is deluded. 115). Whose side is the narrator on? There seems to be a genuinely conflicted dialogical exchange here about the merits of resisting the “natural order” of violence, domination, and, yes, imperial conquest. 16 From its opening page, the poem reflects an uneasy consciousness about the violent relationship of West to East, which it expresses through the logic of paradox by inverting that relationship and making the Orient into the imperial invader: “I sing not of great heroes who have warr’d, / And reapt the harvest of the bitter sword: / And yet I mean to tell a wondrous tale / Of Asian conquest, .
113). After the monk explains the precept against taking any life, the narrator then turns directly to the reader, or the addressee of the poem, with this admonition: “Be not too lavish of thy scorn on these / Deluded heathen and their practices; / Nor slow to read herein the evidence—/ . . 114). Here, then, is a conflict that is reproduced throughout the poem: the Buddha’s compassion is good, but it is deluded. 115). Whose side is the narrator on? There seems to be a genuinely conflicted dialogical exchange here about the merits of resisting the “natural order” of violence, domination, and, yes, imperial conquest.