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"Heaven and Hell: Salvation and Retribution in Pure Land Buddhism"

Pure Land Buddhism is an ancient spiritual practice based on the belief in the Buddha of Western Paradise, Amitabha, who grants entrance to heaven to those who call out to him. Offering simple salvation, Pure Land Buddhism appealed to the masses, spreading through Asia like wildfire — igniting spiritual awakening and resulting in stunning relics and artworks. The San Antonio Museum of Art’s “Heaven and Hell” exhibition is a collection of 75 sculptures, paintings and other works that epitomize the lasting beliefs of Pure Land Buddhism in countries like Japan, India, China, Korea and Tibet. The majority of displayed works are rooted in the Japanese culture of Pure Land Buddhism depicting salvation through Amitabha’s journey to Earth to claim dying souls, bringing them up to his heavenly paradise. The relics illustrate the many divine beings of Pure Land Buddhism who roam the earth helping the faithful and the fallen.

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