Buddhist representations of the cosmos across nearly two thousand years of history in Tibet, Nepal, and India show that cosmology is a rich language for the expression of diverse religious ideas, with cosmological thinking at the center of Buddhist thought, art, and practice.
In Creating the Universe, Eric Huntington presents examples of visual art and architecture, primary texts, ritual ideologies, and material practices—accompanied by extensive explanatory diagrams—to reveal the immense complexity of cosmological thinking in Himalayan Buddhism. Employing comparisons across function, medium, culture, and history, he exposes cosmology as a fundamental mode of engagement with numerous aspects of religion, from preliminary lessons to the highest rituals for enlightenment. This wide-ranging work will interest scholars and students of many fields, including Buddhist studies, religious studies, art history, and area studies.
Eric Huntington is a postdoctoral scholar in religious studies at the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, Stanford University.