Sacred Books of the East Pre-pub

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Apr 12 2011 4:01 PM

Very interesting pre-pub. Has anyone any experience using these volumes?

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 5:11 PM

Mark A. Smith:
Has anyone any experience using these volumes?

MJ, I would imagine. Isn't this supposed to be her area of expertise?

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 6:03 PM

This set is heavy on the Vedic religions. (They are so prolific it would be nearly impossible to create an exhaustive collection.)
The Chinese-specific is fairly represented but incomplete. (They have such a long literary heritage)
The Japan-specific sacred texts are not included (Kojiki, Nihongi, Yengishiki, Jingiryo Kogoshui, and various genealogies.) This means their homogenous religions of the Ainu, Shinto, Emperor worship, Ancestor worship (and yes, some still practice this) are not addressed. But their imported religions are covered in the Buddhist texts (though they have been adapted somewhat with Nichiren and the associated Soka Gakkai) I believe there are many Buddhist texts omitted but MJ can weigh in on that.Star

Although this set is dated I think it can definitely give insight to a major population group in the Indian sub-continent. We are talking about approximately 1/6th of the world's population. edit: It is a third of the world's people if you count China.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 6:20 PM

Thanks, Matthew.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 8:09 PM

I reorganized this wonderful set grouping them by religion, and listing them alphabetically.  I left in the set volume numbers and marked typos on the product page in red ink and my assumed corrections in blue. If you find error in my list you are encouraged to butcher it. Big Smile Copy & paste to notepad or WORD so you don't go blind.

  Reference The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 50: A General Index to the Names and Subject-Matter of The Sacred Books of the East
====================================================================
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 49: Buddhist Mahayana Texts
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 11: Buddhist-Suttas
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 10: The Dhammapada
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 19: The Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King
    Buddhist  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 35: The Questions of King Milinda
    Buddhist  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 36: The Questions of King Milinda, Part 2
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 21: The Saddharma-Pundarika
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 13: Vinaya Texts, Part 1
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 17: Vinaya Texts, Part 2
    Buddhist The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 20: Vinaya Texts, Part 3
    
    Chinese Philosophy & Ethics (Confucian) The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 3: The Sacred Books of China, Part 1
    Chinese Philosophy & Ethics (Confucian) The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 16: The Sacred Books of China, Part 2
    Chinese Philosophy & Ethics (Rituals)   The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 27: The Sacred Books of China, Part 3 —The Lî Kî, I–X
    Chinese Philosophy & Ethics (Rituals)   The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 28: The Sacred Books of China, Part 4—The Lî Kî, XI–XLVI
    Chinese Philosophy & Ethics (Tao-ist)   The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 39: The Sacred Books of China, Part 5—The Writings of  Kwang-tze, books I-XVII
    Chinese Philosophy & Ethics (Tao-ist)   The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 40: The Sacred Books of China, Part 2 6—The Writings of Kwang-tze, books XVIII-XXXIII

    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 8: The Bhagavadgita
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 29: The Grihya-Sutras, Part 1
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 30: The Grihya-Sutras, Part 2
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 42: Hymns of The Atharva-Veda
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 7: The Institutes of Vishnu
    Hindu The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 25: The Laws of Manu
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 33: The Minor Law-Books,Part 1
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 2: The Sacred Laws of the Aryas, Part 1
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 14: The Sacred Laws of the Aryas, Part 2
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 12: The Satapatha-Brahmana, Part 1
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 26: The Satapatha-Brahmana, Part 2
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 41: The Satapatha-Brahmana, Part 3
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 43: The Satapatha-Brahmana, Part 4
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 44: The Satapatha-Brahmana, Part 5
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 1: The Upanishads, Part 1
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 15: The Upanishads, Part 2
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 34: The Vedanta-Sutras, Part 1
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 38: The Vedanta-Sutras, Part 2
    Hindu  The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 48: The Vedanta-Sutras, Part 3
    Hindu The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 32: Vedic Hymns, Part 1
    Hindu The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 46: Vedic Hymns, Part 2

    Islam The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 6: The Qur'an (Chapters I to XVI), Part 1
    Islam The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 9: The Qur'an (Chapters XVII to CXIV), Part 2

    Jainism The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 22: Jaina Sutras, Part 1
    Jainism The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 45: Jaina Sutras  Part 2

    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 5: Pahlavi Texts, Part 1
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 18: Pahlavi Texts, Part 2
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 24: Pahlavi Texts, Part 3
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 37: Pahlavi Texts, Part 4
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 47: Pahlavi Texts, Part V 5
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 4: The Zend-Avesta, Part 1
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 23: The Zend-Avesta, Part 2
    Zoroastrian The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 31: The Zend-Avesta, Part 3

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 9:06 PM

fgh:
MJ, I would imagine. Isn't this supposed to be her area of expertise?

Yes, and they are much better in the originalBig Smile [Do I get extra post points, George?] Seriously, the translations are old making them sometimes a bit hard to read and sometimes loosing the poetic aspects of the original. However, in most cases the scholarship of the translators has stood up very well - on the whole the translations are accurate. The choice of texts is quite well balanced among the major religious groups/subgroups. They won't make you love the literature but they will give you a very solid understanding.

You will note, however, a direct bias in texts towards areas within English colonies with a bit of German philology thrown in - hence the weaker level of Chinese material and the absence of Japanese material. Note also these are translations by men who loved the language, literature and culture - their love shines through. (And yes, I have read some of all the languages involved except the Arabic - but my Chinese is very weak.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 9:48 PM

MJ. Smith:

fgh:
MJ, I would imagine. Isn't this supposed to be her area of expertise?

Yes, and they are much better in the originalBig Smile Seriously, the translations are old making them sometimes a bit hard to read and sometimes loosing the poetic aspects of the original. However, in most cases the scholarship of the translators has stood up very well - on the whole the translations are accurate. The choice of texts is quite well balanced among the major religious groups/subgroups. They won't make you love the literature but they will give you a very solid understanding.

You will note, however, a direct bias in texts towards areas within English colonies with a bit of German philology thrown in - hence the weaker level of Chinese material and the absence of Japanese material. Note also these are translations by men who loved the language, literature and culture - their love shines through. (And yes, I have read some of all the languages involved except the Arabic - but my Chinese is very weak.

I'm in.

george
gfsomsel

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 12 2011 9:59 PM

Matthew C Jones:
I believe there are many Buddhist texts omitted but MJ can weigh in on that.Star

On the Buddhist texts, there is no attempt to include the entire Pali Tripitaka (the canon of the Southern branch of Buddhism (Theravadan)). If this is your interest you want to go with the Pali Text Society translations. Or online see http://www.metta.lk/  - they'll even teach you a bit of Pali. Smile For Tibetan Buddhism you'd need the Tengyur and Kangyur. Some can be found in Tibetan at http://www.tbrc.org/#home.To the best of my knowledge large portions of these have never been translated into English - you can find them in Chinese, Japanese, Mongoloian, Manchu ...for many of these there is a lost Sanskrit text; for a few we have the Sanskrit. In short the percent of classic Buddhist "scripture" of South Asia is not as high as the Vedic/Hindu percentage. In many ways the Vedic texts are closer to the Avestan texts than to the later Hindu texts. The Sikhs are completely omitted.

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Jonathan Pitts | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 5:25 AM

MJ. Smith:
Seriously, the translations are old making them sometimes a bit hard to read and sometimes loosing the poetic aspects of the original.

Is there any equivalent collection available with more modern translations?

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Jonathan Pitts | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 5:25 AM

MJ. Smith:
Seriously, the translations are old making them sometimes a bit hard to read and sometimes loosing the poetic aspects of the original.

Is there any equivalent collection available with more modern translations?

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 11:38 AM

Jonathan Pitts:
Is there any equivalent collection available with more modern translations?

Short answer: "No."

Longer answer: There is no collection I know of that contains this much material. The set dates from a wonderful time in publishing history when scholarship and affluence converged to give us The Harvard Classics,   Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical LiteratureStoddard's Lectures, and  Beacon Lights of History.. Today there is limited demand so publishers are not printing new collections. There are newer individual translations being published regularly. But you will not find this collection anywhere else. And certainly not at $4 per volume.

There have been many changes in Western religions since 1900 (when this set was published.) You can imagine there must also have been some changes in the practice of Eastern religions. The Hindu religion has so many swamis/yogis/gurus that they have as many differences as Christianity has denominations. So what you won't learn from this or any other resource is what they all believe. You will get a better understanding of their philosophies, sociology and anthropology. That could be of great practical benefit for missionaries. For everybody else it makes the Tower of Babel even more fascinating. Genesis 11:5-8

 

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