Relics of the Buddha

Author: John Strong
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishe
ISBN: 812083139X
Release Date: 2007-01-01
Genre: Buddhismus

Buddhism is popularly seen as a religion stressing the truth of impermanence. How, then, to account for the long-standing veneration, in Asian Buddhist communities, of bone fragments, hair, teeth and other bodily bits said to come from the historic Buddha? Early European and American scholars of religion, influenced by a characteristic Protestant bias against relic worship, declared such practices to be superstitious and fraudulent, and far from the true essence of Buddhism. John Strong`s Book, by contrast, argues that relic veneration has played a serious and integral role in Buddhist traditions in south and Southeast Asia and that it is in no way foreign to Buddhism. The book is structured around the life story of the Buddha, starting with traditions about relics of previous buddhas and relics from the past lives of the Buddha Sakyamuni. It then considers the death of the Buddha, the collection of his bodily relics after his cremation, and stories of their spread to different parts of Asia. The Book ends with a consideration of the legend of the future parinirvana (extinction) of the relics prior to the advent of the next Buddha, Maitreya. Throughout, the author does not hesitate to explore the many versions of these legends and to relate them to their ritual, doctrinal, artistic, and social contexts. In 1561, an interesting ceremony ing a military operation in Sri Lanka, Portuguese troops had captured what local idolaters (i.e., Buddhists) claimed was the tooth of the Buddha, and had delivered it as a prize to their viceroy, Don Constantino da Braganca. The viceroy had hoped to hold it for ransom, but now the archbishop of Goa, Don Gaspar, was insisting that it be destroyed. On a porch overlooking the river, in the presence of a great crowd of Christians and pagans, he called for the tooth and placed it in a mortar, and with his own hand reduced it to powder, and cast the pieces into a brazier which stood ready for the purpose; after which the ashes and the charcoal together were cast into the river, in sight of all those who were crowding the verandahs and windows which looked upon the water (Tennent 1859, 2:215. See also chapter 7 in this book). As benighted as such an action may seem to us today, it can at least be said that the Portuguese archbishop appreciated the nature of relics. Conscious of the power of holy objects from his own tradition, he felt that the tooth had to be utterly and permanently eradicated. In his mind, this was not just a piece of bone that he was destroying but a relic of the devil (reliquia do demonio) something alive that had to be killed (Tennent 1859, 2:214; text in De Couto 1783, 17:429) Rather different were the attitudes of some of Don Gaspar`s Protestant contemporaries in Europe. John Calvin, to my knowledge, never said anything about Buddhist relics, but in 1543 he wrote a whole treatise on Roman Catholic ones (Calvin 1970). And although he too, given the chance, would probably have crushed the Buddha`s tooth to bits, he would have done so for different reasons. For him, relics embodied no sacred or even demonic presence, and it was wrong and exploitative to pretend that they did. Relics were nothing but material things, as he pointed out when he got rid of what had been two of Geneva`s prized relics-the arm of Saint Anthony and the brain of Saint peter; the one, he proclaimed, was but the bone of a stag, and the other a piece of pumice (Calvin 1970:53) Contents List of Tables, Preface, Note and Abbreviations, Introduction: Relics of the Buddha, Relics and the Biographical process, Types of Buddha Relics, Bones and Books, Bones and Beads, Relics, Bones, and Burial Practices in India and Beyond, Bones and Bodies, Relics and images, Limitations of this study, outline, 1. Relics of previous buddhas, 2. Relics of the Bodhisattva, 3. Relics of the Still-Living Buddha: Hairs and Rootprints, 4. The Parinirvana of the Buddha, 5. Asoka and the Buddha Relics, 6. Predestined Relics: The extension of the Buddha's life story in some sri lankan traditions, 7. Further Extensions of the Buddha's Life Story: Some Tooth Relic Traditions, 8. Relics and Eschatology, Conclusions, Bibliography, index.

Relics Prayer and Politics in Medieval Venetia

Author: Thomas E. A. Dale
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691011753
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Art

Against a historical backdrop of relic theft and propaganda campaigns waged by two cities vying for patriarchal authority in medieval Venetia, Thomas Dale shows how Romanesque mural painting shaped sacred space and institutional identity. His focus is on the late twelfth-century murals in the crypt of Aquileia Cathedral. The crypt, which contains the relics of Aquileia's founding bishop, Saint Hermagoras, has a historical significance rooted in a legend identifying the saint as a direct disciple of Saint Mark the Evangelist. On this basis, the Carolingians promoted the city's status as patriarchal see of Venetia--a claim that prompted Venice to steal Mark's relics from Alexandria, Egypt, and appropriate Aquileia's history. This book, the first English-language study of the crypt, explores how the paintings complement the relics of Hermagoras in their distinct devotional and political roles. Hermagoras's intercessory power is activated by his orant image displayed over the central aisle within a larger hierarchy of apostles, martyrs, and bishops. The surrounding hagiographic cycle justifies in legalistic fashion Aquileia's patriarchal title and the consecration of the city as locus sanctus of Venetia by the blood of its martyrs. The iconic images in the eastern lunettes present the Virgin's compassio as a pictorial model for the vicarious experience of Christ's Passion. Finally, a fictive curtain over the socle presents allegories of spiritual warfare in the form of exempla from crusades, pilgrimage, and the epic poem Psychomachia, which Dale analyzes as a gloss on the main program.


Author: Mary Anna Evans
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press Inc
ISBN: 9781590581193
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Fiction

Archeologist Faye Longchamp and her Cherokee assistant, Joe, hope to uncover the mystery of the Sujosa, an ethnic group of mysterious origins that possesses healing powers, but she soon finds herself in a much more dangerous investigation.

Medieval Piety from Relics to the Eucharist

Author: Godefridus J. C. Snoek
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004102639
Release Date: 1995
Genre: History

qVeneration of the Host and of saintly relics can only be understood as closely interrelated aspects of medieval piety. This book offers a rich account of one of the most revealing dimensions of medieval belief and practice.


Author: Piotr Naskrecki
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226568706
Release Date: 2011-10-31
Genre: Nature

Combines text with colorful photographs to chronicle the species of animals and plants that are biological relics of a bygone era.

Relics Ritual and Representation in Buddhism

Author: Kevin Trainor
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521582806
Release Date: 1997-06-13
Genre: Religion

This study examines the place of relic veneration in the history of South Asian Buddhism.

Images and Relics

Author: John Dillenberger
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195121724
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Art

Enth.: "Hans Holbein the Younger: The Cult of the Portrait" (S. 149-156).

Relics Apocalypse and the Deceits of History

Author: Richard Landes
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674755308
Release Date: 1995
Genre: History

Landes traces the life and career of Ademar of Chabannes--a monk, historian, liturgist, and hagiographer who lived at the turn of the first Christian millennium. Using over 1,000 folios of autograph manuscript that Ademar left behind, Landes has been able to reconstruct in great detail the development of Ademar's career and the events of his day.


Author: Joan Carroll Cruz
Publisher: TAN Books
ISBN: 9780895558503
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Religion

Scripture speaks of miracles wrought through relics: a dead man was raised when Elisha’s bones touched him, and the clothing of Jesus and His apostles healed the sick. In the early Church, Masses were celebrated over the bones of the martyrs, and phials of their blood have effected countless miracles. Direct successors of the Apostles themselves speak of venerating relics; Church Fathers encourage it; throughout the ages of Catholic legacy, relics of the saints are always present. The Church takes diligent care in preserving and documenting the authenticity of her relics. Best-selling author Joan Carroll Cruz takes full advantage of these resources. With painstaking research, she exposes the details behind hundreds of the Church’s most famous and beloved relics. She covers 38 second-class relicsof our Lord and Lady, such as the Holy Grail and Our Lady’s Veil, and relics of all sorts from 75 favorite saints, such as St. Mary Magdalene, St. Agnes, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Maria Goretti, and many more! Relics is a unique collection of years of dedicated research about the lives of the saints and the mementos they left behind, to remind us of their presence and intercession for us.

Relics of Ancient Exegesis

Author: David Willoughby Gooding
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521207002
Release Date: 1976-01
Genre: Bible

The fourth book in this established series of monographs on aspects of Old Testament studies is a detailed analysis of two passages that may well hold the key to the major textual problems raised by the ancient Greek translation of 1 Kings (3 Reigns in the Septuagint). The existence of these two extended passages, standing in 3 Reigns 2 at verses 35 and 46, has long been noticed and partial studies have been made by some scholars. In the present study Dr Gooding not only offers a detailed analysis of all the diverse elements that go to make up these passages but also demonstrates that these originally diverse elements, many of which were themselves either variant readings or alternative translations and interpretations of the Hebrew, have been carefully edited and arranged by some ancient scholar-exegete to form a discourse or midrash on two aspects of Soloman's reign. This monograph will therefore be of interest not only to Septuagintal experts but also to all who are interested in the history of Biblical interpretation and canon.

Hitler s Holy Relics

Author: Sidney Kirkpatrick
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781849832083
Release Date: 2011-05-26
Genre: History

From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasure they looted were the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. This is the true-life Indiana Jones story of a college professor turned Army sleuth who foils a Nazi plot to preserve these cherished symbols of Hitler's Thousand Year Reich. Author Sidney Kirkpatrick draws on recently discovered and previously unpublished documents, including interrogation and intelligence reports, diaries and correspondence, as well as on interviews with all remaining living participants involved with the case, to re-create this thrilling true-life story.


Author: John J. Desjarlais
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 0840767358
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Religion

When Jean-Michel sets out across Europe and the Holy Land on a quest to rescue sacred relics, he does not know what treachery follows him or that the love of a lifetime waits ahead. Will this Medieval knight find the faith he seeks, or will the intrigue of the Crusades of French King Louis IX destroy all that he believes?