Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism
Author: Steven Collins
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book explains the Buddhist doctrine of annattá ("not-self"), which denies the existence of any self, soul, or enduring essence in man. The author relates this doctrine to its cultural and historical context, particularly to its Brahman background. He shows how the Theravada Buddhist tradition has constructed a philosophical and psychological account of personal identity on the apparently impossible basis of the denial of self. Although the emphasis of the book is firmly philosophical, Dr. Collins makes use of a number of academic disciplines, particularly those of anthropology, linguistics, sociology, and comparative religion, in an attempt to discover the "deep structure" of Buddhist culture and imagination, and to make these doctrines comprehensible in terms of the western history of ideas.
The Point of View
Author: Paul Fuller
The notion of 'view' or 'opinion' (ditthi) as an obstacle to 'seeing things as they are' is a central concept in Buddhist thought. This book considers the two ways in which the notion of views are usually understood. Are we to understand right-view as a correction of wrong-views (the opposition understanding) or is the aim of the Buddhist path the overcoming of all views, even right-view (the no-views understanding)? The author argues that neither approach is correct. Instead he suggests that the early texts do not understand right-view as a correction of wrong-view, but as a detached order of seeing, completely different from the attitude of holding to any view, wrong or right.
The Four Noble Truths in the Theravada Buddhist Canon
Author: Carol Anderson
Category: Social Science
Demonstrates how the four noble truths are used thorughout the Pali canon as a symbol of Buddha's enlightenment and as a doctrine within a larger network of Buddha's teachings. Their unique nature rests in their function as a proposition and as a symbol in the Theravada canon.
Author: David Webster
David Webster explores the notion of desire as found in the Buddhist Pali Canon. Beginning by addressing the idea of a 'paradox of desire', whereby we must desire to end desire, the varieties of desire that are articulated in the Pali texts are examined. A range of views of desire, as found in Western thought, are presented as well as Hindu and Jain approaches. An exploration of the concept of ditthi(view or opinion) is also provided, exploring the way in which 'holding views' can be seen as analogous to the process of desiring. Other subjects investigated include the mind-body relationship, the range of Pali terms for desire, and desire's positive spiritual value. A comparative exploration of the various approaches completes the work.
The Encounter Between Asian and Western Thought
Author: J.J. Clarke
What is the place of Eastern thought - Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism - in the Western intellectual tradition? Oriental Enlightenment shows how, despite current talk of 'globalization', there is still a reluctance to accept that the West could have borrowed anything of significance from the East, and explores a critique of the 'orientalist' view that we must regard any study of the East through the lens of Western colonialism and domination. Oriental Enlightenment provides a lucid introduction to the fascination Eastern thought has exerted on Western minds since the Renaissance.
Author: Steven Collins
Category: Foreign Language Study
"Presents an introductory sketch of Pali using both Euroean and South Asian grammatical categories." -- Back cover.
Seeing and Knowing in the Art of Indian Buddhism
Author: Jacob N. Kinnard
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
Category: Arte y simbolismo budista - India
On its broadest level, this book contributes to an ongoing expansion of both the history of religions and Buddhist studies by focusing on what is a far too frequently ignored aspect of religious experience: visual images. This is a study that is intended to speak to, and be relevant for, not only those interested specifically in Buddhism, but also scholars and students in the field of religion at large who are interested in the dialectical ways abstract, abstruse and even rarified textual discourses interact with devotional practices 'on the ground'. The specific focus of this book is on the Buddhist visual practices surrounding the visual representation of a single, central concept, prajna, or wisdom, in medieval north India. Prajna, however, was not only an intellectual state and spiritual goal to which to aspire. Rather, wisdom also becomes a quality to be visually represented and ritually responded to, and even an active presence to be venerated in much the same manner as the Buddha himself. This book explores the ways in which the production and use of artistic images involving prajna constituted a central, if not the central, component of Buddhist religious practice in Medieval India.
Author: William M. Johnston
First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
A Philosopher's Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness
Author: Malcolm David Eckel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Boston University Professor Malcolm David Eckel takes us on a contemporary quest to discover the essential meaning behind the Buddha's many representations. Eckel shows that the dimensions of early Indian Buddhism--popular art, conventional piety, and critical philosophy--all work together to express the same religious yearning for the fullness of emptiness that Buddha conveys.
Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy
Author: Evan Thompson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate—either in the waking state or in a lucid dream—we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self. Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.
Author: Markus Dressler,Arvind Mandair
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This book conceives of "religion-making" broadly as the multiple ways in which social and cultural phenomena are configured and reconfigured within the matrix of a world-religion discourse that is historically and semantically rooted in particular Western and predominantly Christian experiences, knowledges, and institutions. It investigates how religion is universalized and certain ideas, social formations, and practices rendered "religious" are thus integrated in and subordinated to very particular - mostly liberal-secular - assumptions about the relationship between history, politics, and religion. The individual contributions, written by a new generation of scholars with decisively interdisciplinary approaches, examine the processes of translation and globalization of historically specific concepts and practices of religion - and its dialectical counterpart, the secular - into new contexts. This volume contributes to the relatively new field of thought that aspires to unravel the thoroughly intertwined relationships between religion and secularism as modern concepts.
Jazz and American Religion
Author: Jason C. Bivins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In Spirits Rejoice! Jason Bivins explores the relationship between American religion and American music, and the places where religion and jazz have overlapped. Much writing about jazz tends toward glorified discographies or impressionistic descriptions of the actual sounds. Rather than providing a history, or series of biographical entries, Spirits Rejoice! takes to heart a central characteristic of jazz itself and improvises, generating a collection of themes, pursuits, reoccurring foci, and interpretations. Bivins riffs on interviews, liner notes, journals, audience reception, and critical commentary, producing a work that argues for the centrality of religious experiences to any legitimate understanding of jazz, while also suggesting that jazz opens up new interpretations of American religious history. Bivins examines themes such as musical creativity as related to specific religious traditions, jazz as a form of ritual and healing, and jazz cosmologies and metaphysics. Spirits Rejoice! connects Religious Studies to Jazz Studies through thematic portraits, and a vast number of interviews to propose a new, improvisationally fluid archive for thinking about religion, race, and sound in the United States. Bivins's conclusions explore how the sound of spirits rejoicing challenges not only prevailing understandings of race and music, but also the way we think about religion. Spirits Rejoice! is an essential volume for any student of jazz, American religion, or American culture.
analytische Untersuchungen zur buddhistisch-brahmanischen Ātmankontroverse
Author: Claus Oetke
Internationale Zeitschrift für Theologie
Author: Nalini Devdas
Category: Motivation (Psychology)
What do the scriptures of Thravada Buddhism have to say about the most basic psychological processes through which alternatives are assessed, purposes are developed, and goal-oriented acts are initiated? How can Theravada make volitional endeavour central to Buddhist practice, while denying the existence of a self who wills? How can the text emphasize ethical striving, and yet uphold the principle that all physical and mental acts arise through causes and conditions? This book adds another perspective to Theravada scholarship by exploring various subtle Pali terms that seek to display the nuances of human motivation. Cetana is shown to be the purposive impetus that links ethically good and bad attitudes of mind with corresponding acts of body, speech, and mind. The argument is made that Theravada does not posit a controlling will, but seek to establish the possibility of changing attitudes, purposes, and acts through holistic methods of training. Theravada maintains that changes in attitude are possible because the mind has the capacity to observe its own processes of conditioning, and is able to greatly diversify its responses to its own concepts and to factors in its environment.
Author: Steven Collins
Publisher: Columbia University Press
The Vessantara Jataka tells the story of Prince Vessantara, who attained the Perfection of Generosity by giving away his fortune, his children, and his wife. Vessantara was the penultimate rebirth as a human of the future Gotama Buddha, and his extreme charity has been represented and reinterpreted in texts, sermons, rituals, and art throughout South and Southeast Asia and beyond. This anthology features well-respected anthropologists, textual scholars in religious and Buddhist studies, and art historians, who engage in sophisticated readings of the text and its ethics of giving, understanding of attachment and nonattachment, depiction of the trickster, and unique performative qualities. They reveal the story to be as brilliantly layered as a Homeric epic or Shakespearean play, with aspects of tragedy, comedy, melodrama, and utopian fantasy intertwined to problematize and scrutinize Theravada Buddhism's cherished virtues.
Author: Michael Watts
Publisher: Oxford, England ; Santa Barbara, Calif. : Clio Press