NEW BOOKS> "Pure Land: History, Tradition, and Practice" and "When You Greet Me I Bow: Notes and Reflections from a Life in Zen"

Nikko Odiseos's picture

Dear Friends,

Before presenting these two new books, I wanted to share that we recently partnered with the American Theological Library Association to email their members to highlight some recent releases and key collections that should be in any higher-ed library.  As this may well be of interest to many on this list, you can view the notice here:

I am pleased to share two books released this Tuesday, May 18th.

1. Pure Land: History, Tradition, and Practice
by Charles B. Jones (Catholic University of America)

Rather than the standard description, I am sharing Kenneth Tanaka's overview:

"This is the first book in English that covers the essential elements of the overall development of Pure Land Buddhism—from India to its spread in China and East Asia. This impressive work by Professor Jones is based on the latest scholarship but is presented to be accessible to ordinary readers who are not specialists. Pure Land dispels the stereotypical image of Pure Land Buddhism as being 'merely' a devotional and popular belief. Instead, we learn that its beginnings are reflected in the Sanskrit texts and were nurtured through the two millennia of orthodox tradition practiced by not only laypersons but also by monastics. The Pure Land tradition probably offers the most egalitarian path to enlightenment, which partly accounts for its ubiquitous presence throughout the Mahayana Buddhist world. This book is certain to expand the readers’ knowledge of the scope of what Buddhism offers to the contemporary world." 
—Kenneth K. Tanaka, past president of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies and Professor Emeritus at Musashino University, Tokyo

1. The Story of Amitābha and His Pure Land 
2. Early Indian Developments 
3. Pure Land Origins in China 
4. Shandao’s Breakthrough 
5. Further Developments in China 
6. The Synthesis of Yunqi Zhuhong 
7. The Modern Period in China 
8. Pure Land Goes to Japan 
9. Ryōnin and the Yūzū Nenbutsushū 
10. Hōnen and the Jōdo Shū 
11. Shinran and the Jōdo Shinshū 
12. Ippen and the Jishū

13. The Primary Practice: Nianfo/Nenbutsu 
14. Self-Power and Other-Power 
15. Group Practice and Ritual 
16. Women in Pure Land Thought and Practice 
17. Conclusion 

PAGES: 264
ISBN: 9781611808902

Pure Land is the second volume in Shambhala Publications' Buddhist Foundations series, joining Sarah Shaw's Mindfulness: Where It Comes From and What It Means (  These and the forthcoming volumes in the series consist of short introductions to the traditions, essential ideas, and contemplative techniques across the spectrum of Buddhist history, geography, thought, and practice. Written by leading teachers and scholars, these overviews give readers direct access to the richness, variety, and depth of Buddhism, and suggest why it remains as relevant today to millions of people as ever.  For more, see

2. When You Greet Me I Bow: Notes and Reflections from a Life in Zen
by Norman Fischer

While not an academic work per se, Fischer's importance in American Zen and interfaith dialogues and his perspectives on them may be of interest to some on this list.  

Norman Fischer is a Zen priest, poet, and translator whose writings, teachings, and commitment to interfaith dialogue have supported and inspired Buddhist, Jewish, and other spiritual practitioners for decades. When You Greet Me I Bow spans the entirety of Norman Fischer's career and is the first collection of his writings on Buddhist philosophy and practice. Broken into four sections—the joy and catastrophe of relationship; thinking, writing, and emptiness; cultural encounters; and social engagement—this book allows us to see the fascinating development of the mind and interests of a gifted writer and profoundly committed practitioner.

PAGES: 336
ISBN: 9781611808216

There are many more recent releases on our website,,  as well.

Desk and Exam copies can be requested from our worldwide distributor, Penguin Random House, at

Best Wishes,
Nikko Odiseos, Shambhala Publications