Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Buddhist Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka

1st Edition

David Geary, Matthew R. Sayers, Abhishek Singh Amar

Routledge
Published September 12, 2014
Reference - 210 Pages - 20 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138844728 - CAT# Y175560
Series: Routledge South Asian Religion Series

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Summary

Bodh Gaya in the North Indian state of Bihar has long been recognized as the place where the Buddha achieved enlightenment. This book brings together the recent work of twelve scholars from a variety of disciplines - anthropology, art history, history, and religion – to highlight their various findings and perspectives on different facets of Bodh Gaya’s past and present.

Through an engaging and critical overview of the place of Buddha’s enlightenment, the book discusses the dynamic and contested nature of this site, and looks at the tensions with the on-going efforts to define the place according to particular histories or identities. It addresses many aspects of Bodh Gaya, from speculation about why the Buddha chose to sit beneath a tree in Bodh Gaya, to the contemporary struggles over tourism development, education and non-government organizations, to bring to the foreground the site's longevity, reinvention and current complexity as a UNESCO World Heritage monument. The book is a useful contribution for students and scholars of Buddhism and South Asian Studies.

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