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The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road
The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road recounts the magnificent history of the world of Maritime Buddhism from a diverse range of aspects – the various Buddhist traditions, pilgrims and monks, causes and conditions, norms and rituals, cross-cultural relations between East and West, as well as the intricacies of navigation technology, and migrations of the Austronesian peoples – all remarkable and crucial elements of the transmission of Buddhism brought to new heights of importance.
In this book, Dr. Lewis R. Lancaster innovatively shifts the focus to documenting the dynamic networks and systems of interchange in Eurasia, instead of the common approach of historical, event-structure analysis. The fascinating history of the spread of Buddhism begins in the early years of the Common Era, when animal caravans began treading across the inland routes between India and China, evolving as sea routes flourished over centuries. It emerges that Buddhism flowed and thrived along with the beating pulse of the trading networks. The northern overland and southern maritime trading routes converged, conjuring forth an iconic cycle described by Lancaster as “The Great Circle of Buddhism.”