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Buddhism

Cook, J; Diemberger, H; (2021) Buddhism. Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology pp. 1-20. 10.29164/21buddhism. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Buddhism has existed for around two and half millennia, and is practiced by over 500 million people in the world today. The anthropology of Buddhism spans the breadth of the Buddhist world and provides rich ethnographic accounts of the religion as lived in diverse social contexts. Anthropological studies have evolved from early taxonomic work to the study of continuities and reinterpretations of socially embedded Buddhist traditions. Today, they encompass broad considerations of politics, economics, ethics, and belief. This entry considers the biography of the Buddha before examining the tenets, organisation, and spread of Buddhism. It then provides an overview of the development of the anthropology of Buddhism and key areas of focus, paying particular attention to processes of religious reform and reconstruction, political and economic relationships, and transformations in social and ethical life.

Type: Article
Title: Buddhism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.29164/21buddhism
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.29164/21buddhism
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology. This text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132458
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