Originally published in 1988, this book is a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural study of the legend that has evolved around the figure of Maitreya, which followers of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama had agreed would be the future Buddha, and the substantial influence of this legend on Buddhist culture. Arising out of an international conference held at Princeton University, this collection of twelve essays by specialists in textual studies, art history and cultural anthropology examines the origins of the Maitreya tradition in South Asia as well as a variety of culturally specific expressions of the tradition as it developed in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. The essays explore the various expectations Buddhist practitioners have had of Maitreya and examine the iconographic and ritualistic symbols associated with this messianic and millenarian figure. Several essays also examine the controversy regarding circumstances under which the figure has sometimes taken on apocalyptic and eschatological characteristics.
Maitreya, the Future Buddha
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