The author of successful popular adaptations of the Ramayana (KR, 1969) and the Mahabharata (The Five Sons of King Pandu,...

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EASTERN RELIGIONS

The author of successful popular adaptations of the Ramayana (KR, 1969) and the Mahabharata (The Five Sons of King Pandu, KR, 1967) concentrates here on what she does best -- retelling legends of Asia's major religions. In addition to the best known stories of Vishnu and Siva, the life of Buddha and a few apocryphal tales, Seeger surveys Taoism and Confucianism and includes an unusually extensive sampling of Shinto myths, after which each religion is then placed in a general historical context. Seeger's enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of her, resulting in vast generalizations (as ""Faithful and happy marriage is honored in Hindu legend and rarely found in those of other countries"") and this simpler treatment lacks both Haskins' sociological perspective (KR, p. 127, J-47) and Rice's grasp of doctrinal subtleties (KR, p. 129, J-49). The author's evident familiarity with the basic texts enables her to reduce many-layered epics to plain virtues, plainly expressed, and readers who need to be filled in on the background of such secular developments as the opening of Japan to the west and the communist takeover in China will be grateful for the carefully developed framework which assumes little prior knowledge of oriental countries. Unfortunately the extensive suggestions for further reading will be beyond the capabilities of the audience for which this is tailored.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: T. Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973