Buddhism Goes to the Movies : Introduction to Buddhist Thought and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Buddhism Goes to the Movies
Introduction to Buddhist Thought and Practice

ISBN 9780415841481
Published December 16, 2013 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Buddhism Goes to the Movies: Introduction to Buddhist Thought and Practice explains the basics of Buddhist philosophy and practice through a number of dramatic films from around the world. This book introduces readers in a dynamic way to the major traditions of Buddhism: the Theravāda, and various interrelated Mahāyāna divisions including Zen, Pure Land and Tantric Buddhism. Students can use Ronald Green’s book to gain insights into classic Buddhist themes, including Buddhist awakening, the importance of the theory of dependent origination, the notion of no-self, and Buddhist ideas about life, death and why we are here. Contemporary developments are also explored, including the Socially Engaged Buddhism demonstrated by such figures as the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other Buddhist activists. Finally, comparisons between filmic expressions of Buddhism and more traditional artistic expressions of Buddhism—such as mandala drawings—are also drawn.

An important addition to any introduction to Buddhist philosophy and practice, Buddhism Goes to the Movies is an excellent way to bring Buddhist thought, history, and activity to the uninitiated and interested reader.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Early Representations of Buddhism in Films: Broken Blossoms and Lost Horizon

Chapter 2. The Four Noble Truths and Fight Club

Chapter 3. Buddhist Awakening and Waking Life

Chapter 4. Dependant Origination and I Heart Huckabees

Chapter 5. Korean Seon Buddhism and Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?

Chapter 6. Theravāda Buddhism, Socially Engaged Buddhism and The Burmese Harp

Chapter 7. Tibetan Buddhism and The Cup

Chapter 8. Japanese Shin Buddhism and Departures

Chapter 9. The Buddhist Order of Nuns and Windhorse

Chapter 10. Thai Buddhism in Horror Films: Nang Nak and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

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Ronald S. Green is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Coastal Carolina University. He studied Buddhism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the editor of four books on Buddhism, peace and justice.


"Green's book offers a lucid overview of major Buddhist ideas, figures, texts, and practices through an impressive survey of films that belong to various periods and genres. Combining facts about the films with his own insightful interpretations, Green has written several accessible and entertaining narrative vignettes that both students and teachers will find useful in the classroom." -- Juhn Ahn, The University of Michigan

"Ronald Green has filled an important and long-overdue need for educators in Buddhist Studies. Through a well-designed exploration of international films concerned with Buddhist themes, Green employs visual narrative to present the essential concepts of traditional Buddhism in an accessible and engaging manner.  Both students and educators of Buddhism, Asian culture, and global film studies will find Buddhism Goes to the Movies a welcome contribution." -- Victor Forte, Albright College

"A wonderful introduction for students interested in Buddhism, this volume also holds a space academically for film and media studies students interested in a religious analysis of several modem films...Highly recommended." -- N. A.  Weiss, Naropa University, in CHOICE