Early Buddhist Metaphysics provides a philosophical account of the major doctrinal shift in the history of early Theravada tradition in India: the transition from the earliest stratum of Buddhist thought to the systematic and allegedly scholastic philosophy of the Pali Abhidhamma movement. Entwining comparative philosophy and Buddhology, the author probes the Abhidhamma's metaphysical transition in terms of the Aristotelian tradition and vis-à-vis modern philosophy, exploits Western philosophical literature from Plato to contemporary texts in the fields of philosophy of mind (...) and cultural criticism. (shrink)
By illustrating the presence and scope of the bodhisattva ideal in Theravāda Buddhist theory and practice, this article shows that some of the distinctions used to separate Mahāyāna Buddhism from Hīnayāna Buddhism are problematic, and, in particular, calls into question the commonly held theoretical model that postulates that the goal of Mahāyāna practitioners is to become buddhas by following the path of the bodhisattva (bodhisattva-yāna), whereas the goal of Hīnayāna practitioners is to become arahants by following the path (...) of the hearers of Buddha's disciples (śrāvaka-yāna). (shrink)
Centesimus Annus raises the issue of the relationship of religion to practical conduct. This paper constructs the issue; illustrates the construction with materials from Theravada Buddhist cultures; and applies the construction toCentesimus Annus. This is an exercise in social history.
Bradley S. Clough’s Early Indian and Theravāda Buddhism seeks to retrieve the soteriological diversity of early Buddhism that has been masked by the systematizing efforts of the Theravāda commentarial tradition. Deliberately breaking from the custom of reading the Pali Canon through the systematizing lens of the great fifth-century CE commentator Buddhaghosa, his monumental Visuddhimagga in particular, Clough points to evidence in the canonical texts for a variety of paths to liberation that resist efforts at harmonization and integration. Chapter (...) 1 examines evidence in the Canon for two paths in particular: the path of concentration and the path of wisdom or insight . These two paths correspond to two forms of meditative practice, namely, the cultivation of tranquility and the cultivation of insight . In the Visuddhimagga, Buddhaghosa will integrate these into a single path, specifically a three-stage sequence—morality, concentrati .. (shrink)
This study explores and assesses the nature and practice of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) from the perspective of Therav?da Buddhism. It is particularly concerned with how both models of training understand and apply ?mindfulness?. The approach here is, firstly, to examine how the Therav?da understands and employs mindfulness and, secondly, to explore, and more accurately contextualize, the work of MBCT. The evaluation of MBCT in terms of the Therav?da suggests the former has both a strong affinity with, as well (...) as some significant distinctions from, its dominant Therav?din influences. (shrink)
In Buddhism the idea of a transcendental or eternal self is denied as non-substantial and impermanent: a non-verifiable metaphysical entity that leads to grasping, craving and suffering. Buddhism posits that things continually change, are continually reducible and recyclable, and that no inherent existence or metaphysical “self” exists but rather a series of aggregates give rise to the experience so that consciousness itself is causally conditioned. As applied to the notion of no- self the one who is reborn and (...) the one who dies and the one who follows the path and the one who realizes enlightenment are neither the same nor different selves. With the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence an analysis of the notion of the “self” breaks down into layers to discover that the self does not exist independently at all. Because of simultaneous arising and falling of each moment the self exists as essentially empty. (shrink)
The intent of this article is to explore the extent to which we can apply to Buddhist ethics Martha Nussbaum's statement that "[l]iterary form is not separable from philosophical content, but is itself, a part of content - an integral part, then, of the search for and the statement of truth". We explore the transformative impact that narratives can have on moral life, using examples from the story literature of Theravāda Buddhist traditions in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Focusing on (...) what Geoffrey Harpham has called "sub- ethics," the conditions that center moral life, we trace the ways in which narratives prefigure, configure, and refigure these conditions for human flourishing. (shrink)