List of modern writers on Eastern religions

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Distribution of Eastern religions (yellow), as opposed to Abrahamic religions (purple).

Eastern religions refers to religions originating in the Eastern worldIndia, China, Japan and Southeast Asia—and thus having dissimilarities with Western religions. This includes the Indian and East Asian religious traditions, as well as animistic indigenous religions.


This East-West religious distinction, just as with the East-West culture distinction, and the implications that arise from it, are broad and not precise. Furthermore, the geographical distinction has less meaning in the current context of global transculturation.

While many Western observers attempt to distinguish between Eastern philosophies and religions, this is a distinction that does not exist in some Eastern traditions.[1]

According to Adams, Indian religions

[include] early Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, and sometimes also Theravāda Buddhism and the Hindu- and Buddhist-inspired religions of South and Southeast Asia.[web 1]

According to Adams, Far Eastern religions

[comprise] the religious communities of China, Japan, and Korea, and consisting of Confucianism, Taoism, Mahāyāna (“Greater Vehicle”) Buddhism, and Shintō.[web 1]


Modern machine


Modernisation refers to a model of an evolutionary transition from a 'pre-modern' or 'traditional' to a 'modern' society. The teleology of modernization is described in social evolutionism theories, existing as a template that has been generally followed by societies that have achieved modernity.[2][3] While it may theoretically be possible for some societies to make the transition in entirely different ways, there have been no counterexamples provided by reliable sources.

Historians link modernization to the processes of urbanization and industrialisation, as well as to the spread of education. As Kendall notes, "Urbanization accompanied modernization and the rapid process of industrialization."[4] In sociological critical theory, modernization is linked to an overarching process of rationalisation. When modernization increases within a society, the individual becomes that much more important, eventually replacing the family or community as the fundamental unit of society.[web 2]

Mutual cultural exchange

Since the late 18th century, an intensive exchange of cultural and religious ideas has been taking place between Asian and western cultures, changing and shaping both cultural hemispheres.[5][6][7][8][9] In 1785 appeared the first western translation of a Sanskrit-text.[10] Since then, modernisation movements appeared in eastern countries and cultures, such as the Brahmo Samaj and Neo-Vedanta in India, Dharmapala's Maha Bodhi Society, and Buddhist modernism in Japan. In the west, as early as the 19th century the Transcendentalists were influenced by Eastern religions, followed by the Theosophical Society, New Thought, Western Buddhism, the Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley, New Age and Nondualism.


See also



See also




See also




See also


Sant Mat (India)





Western influences

A broad range of western movements have been influenced by, or influenced, eastern cultures and religions.[11] Among them are Transcendentalism,[11] the Theosophical Society,[11] New Thought,[11] Western Buddhism,[11][5] the Perennial Philosophy,[11] New Age and Nondualism.[citation needed] Notable examples include:

See also



Printed sources

  • Brugger, Bill (1983), Modernization and revolution, Routledge, ISBN 0-7099-0695-1 Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Dixon, Simon M. (1999), The modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-37961-X<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Gombrich, Richard F. (1996), Theravada Buddhism. A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo, London and New York: Routledge<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kendall, Diana (2007), Sociology in Our Times<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • King, Richard (2002), Orientalism and Religion: Post-Colonial Theory, India and "The Mystic East", Routledge<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • McMahan, David L. (2008), The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195183276<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism. Past and present, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Morgan, Diane (2001), The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion, St. Martin's Griffin, ISBN 1-58063-197-5<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sharf, Robert H. (1993), "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism", History of Religions, Vol. 33, No. 1. (Aug., 1993), pp. 1-43.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sharf, Robert H. (1995-A), Whose Zen? Zen Nationalism Revisited (PDF) Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sharf, Robert H. (1995-B), "Buddhist Modernism and the Rhetoric of Meditative Experience" (PDF), NUMEN, vol.42 (1995) Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sharf, Robert H. (1995-C), "Sanbokyodan. Zen and the Way of the New Religions" (PDF), Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1995 22/3-4 Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sharf, Robert H. (2000), The Rhetoric of Experience and the Study of Religion. In: Journal of Consciousness Studies, 7, No. 11-12, 2000, pp. 267-87 (PDF)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Web sources

Further reading

  • Nakamura, Hajime (1991), Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet, Japan, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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