Creating the Universe
Depictions of the Cosmos in Himalayan Buddhism
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
304 pages, 178.00 x 254.00 mm, 153 illus., 118 in color, 1 map
- ISBN: 9780295744063
- Published: January 2019
Winner, 2018 Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities
Buddhist representations of the cosmos across nearly two thousand years of history in Tibet, Nepal, and India show that cosmology is a rich language for the expression of diverse religious ideas, with cosmological thinking at the center of Buddhist thought, art, and practice.
In Creating the Universe, Eric Huntington presents examples of visual art and architecture, primary texts, ritual ideologies, and material practices—accompanied by extensive explanatory diagrams—to reveal the immense complexity of cosmological thinking in Himalayan Buddhism. Employing comparisons across function, medium, culture, and history, he exposes cosmology as a fundamental mode of engagement with numerous aspects of religion, from preliminary lessons to the highest rituals for enlightenment. This wide-ranging work will interest scholars and students of many fields, including Buddhist studies, religious studies, art history, and area studies.
Art History Publication Initiative. For more information, visit http://arthistorypi.org/books/creating-the-universe
Creating the Universe will reveal to readers how much they have been missing. . . . Carefully marked diagrams, clear summaries, and exceptionally clean prose combine to make this long-overdue resource valuable for those interested in Buddhism, comparative religion, and art history.~Choice
“[A] masterful book on Buddhist cosmology. . . . Huntington's work excels in the range, precision, and depth of his understanding. His book is lavishly illustrated with artistic versions of the Buddhist universe and with stunning photographs of ritual models of it created from colored sand and stone. . . . [A] lucid study of the cosmograms that South Asian cosmographers, architects, ritualists, and artists produced over many centuries.”~New York Review of Books
Creating the Universe, then, is an especially notable achievement, and I look forward to future work based upon Huntington’s innovative and importantapproach to the study of Buddhist cosmology and Buddhist practise.~IIAS Newsletter (International Institute for Asian Studies)