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Malleable Mara
Transformations of a Buddhist Symbol of Evil
Malleable Mara
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Michael D. Nichols - Author
Price: $85.00 
Hardcover - 268 pages
Release Date: March 2019
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7321-5

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Summary

Analyzes the breadth of representations of the mythic figure of Māra in Buddhism to reveal how closely tied such narratives are to the social and historical concerns of Buddhist communities.

This is the first book to examine the development of the figure of Māra, who appears across Buddhist traditions as a personification of death and desire. Portrayed as a combination of god and demon, Māra serves as a key antagonist to the Buddha, his followers, and Buddhist teaching in general. From ancient India to later Buddhist thought in East Asia to more recent representations in Western culture and media, Māra has been used to satirize Hindu divinities, taken the form of wrathful Tibetan gods, communicated psychoanalytic tropes, and appeared as a villain in episodes of Doctor Who. Michael D. Nichols details and surveys the historical transformations of the Māra figure and demonstrates how different Buddhist communities at different times have used this symbol to react to changing social and historical circumstances. Employing literary and cultural theory, Nichols argues that the representation of Māra closely parallels and reflects the social concerns and anxieties of the particular Buddhist community producing it.

“This book is an original and engaging exploration of the various forms myths about Māra have taken across Buddhist history.” — Maria Heim, author of Voice of the Buddha: Buddhaghosa on the Immeasurable Words

Michael D. Nichols is Associate Professor of Philosophy/Religion at Saint Joseph’s College.


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Reprints
Note on Translations
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations

1. Mapping out Māra

2. Machinations of Māra: The Myriad Menaces of the Evil One

3. Māra the Demon: Asura Ancestry

4. Māra the God: Brahmanical Background

5. Māra’s Metamorphosis: The Rise of the Mahāyāna and its Impact on the Evil One

6. Māra Multiplied: The Evil One Across Asia

7. Go West, Evil God: Modernized Māra

8. And then Māra Disappeared: Concluding Thoughts

Notes
Bibliography
Index


Related Subjects
4-7321-5/4-7322-2(CA/DG/AV)




 
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