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Anarchy in the Pure LandReinventing the Cult of Maitreya in Modern Chinese Buddhism$
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Justin Ritzinger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491161

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190491161.001.0001

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maitreya?

(p.1) Introduction
Anarchy in the Pure Land

Justin R. Ritzinger

Oxford University Press

The introduction presents the anomaly at the heart of the study: namely, that the “reform faction” of modern Chinese Buddhism, which is generally portrayed as demythologized, promoted devotion to the bodhisattva Maitreya and rebirth in his heavenly pure land. It frames this anomaly in the context of scholarship on modern Buddhism and Chinese religions and lays out a “pull” model of religious modernization derived from the thought of Charles Taylor as a counterbalance to the prevailing “push” models derived from Weberian and postmodernist models. It also introduces the four key aspects of the earlier Maitreyan tradition and offers a discussion of the sources, structure, and significance of the work.

Keywords:   Maitreya, Taixu, alternative modernities, modernization, Charles Taylor

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