Buddhist Discursive Formations - Keywords, Emotions, Ethics

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“Buddhism” is very complex: doctrine, schools, stories, symbols, cultures, deeds. One aim of this study is to elucidate this complexity and reflect on mainstream Theravaadin perspectives, beginning with an analysis of keywords, problems of translation, use of terms, and the dominance of English keywords. It goes on to examine methodological questions, comparative analysis, critical questions about rebirth, no-self, kamma, concluding with chapters on comparative ethics, and extensive indices and bibliography.


“He interrogates the primary texts, probes the earliest traditions related to Theravaada Buddhism, returning time and again to key questions. While doing so he reminds us that words matter, and that their meaning is to be discerned in a particular language, in a particular historical context. He leads us to reflect on etymologies, and on the range of meaning held by key English and Paali words….That journey takes us through dictionaries and modern scholarship, East and West.” – Michael Desjardins, Professor, Dept of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword
1. Keywords. Terminological Problems
2. Concept and Methods, Comparative Analysis
3. Critical Questions
4. Authority and Canon. Re-cognitions
5. Paali Buddhist perspectives on emotion, grief in Canonical literature, emotion and cognition
6. Comparative Notes. Ethics
7. Ethics
Readings, Perspectives, Comments, Background readings, Comparative studies
Appendices: Excursus on plurality; Canonical Paali texts; The Dhammapada; Suggested basic-to-advanced readings, with annotations; Readings related to Engaged Buddhism; General Studies on gender and religion, feminism and religion

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