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Buddhadharma : Summer 2017
summer 2017 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 75 the life of the lotus sutra how does one write a “biography” of a classical text? Such an undertaking suggests that the text, over time and across cultures, grows and changes, that it has its own life. In The Lotus Sutra: A Biography, Donald Lopez promises to trace the various roles of the Lotus Sutra as it has traversed the globe—and he delivers. Lopez opens the book with a succinct overview of the content of the Lotus Sutra, skillfully setting the stage for the following chapters on the Lotus Sutra in India, China, Japan, “across the Atlantic” (though actually from India and Nepal to Europe and then to Boston), and finally on the Lotus Sutra in the twentieth century and its journey “across the Pacific” from Japan to the Americas. ➤ review by paul swanson PAUl l. sWAnson is a research fellow at nanzan University in nagoya, Japan, and the editor of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 14 frontispiece in ink and gold; the daughter of the Dragon King presents a precious jewel to the Buddha. Japan, ca 1667. METROPOLITANMUSEUMOFART,MARygRIggSBURkECOLLECTION,gIFTOFTHEMARyANDJACkSONBURkEFOUNDATION,2015 revieWs