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Depicting the Buddha, Teaching the Dharma

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The person of the Buddha and his teachings have profoundly influenced Eastern thought for twenty-five hundred years. As a metaphysical system, the essential qualities of Buddhism have been communicated throughout the centuries in story and image. One of the methods of transmitting the teachings has been through anecdotal narratives, such as the stories about Mileropa or the Bokuden fables, recorded for occidentals by Suzuki. These didactic tales generally illustrate confused or enlightened states of mind. Another mode, common to the transmission of other religious traditions as well, is through the visual imagery of ceremony and the fine arts.
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Keywords: Buddha; Dharma; anecdotal narratives; fine arts; religious traditions; visual imagery

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 1998

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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