Read e-book online Beyond Enlightenment, Buddhism, Religion, Modernity PDF

By Richard Cohen

The majority of books on Buddhism describe the Buddha utilizing the be aware enlightened, instead of woke up. This bias has led to Buddhism turning into in general perceived because the eponymous faith of enlightenment.

Beyond Enlightenment is a worldly research of a few of the underlying assumptions occupied with the examine of Buddhism (especially, yet now not solely, within the West). It investigates the tendency of such a lot students to floor their examine of Buddhism in those specific assumptions in regards to the Buddha’s enlightenment and a specific realizing of faith, that is traced again via Western orientalists to the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation.

Placing a special emphasis on Indian Buddhism, Richard Cohen adeptly creates a piece that might entice people with an curiosity in Buddhism and India and in addition students of faith and historical past.

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109 Spink alludes here to his own project of interweaving in situ epigraphs with an analysis of the site’s motifs to reconstruct the social and political history of the place. Spink’s highflown phrases are not unique. ”110 These others revel in observations, such as, “It is the Faërie which, ultimately, lingers in memory after a visit to the Ajajta caves,” and “The heart discovers [at Ajanta] its strength, its unfathomed powers. ”111 Certainly Ajanta is beautiful. Perhaps the best preserved site from ancient India, Ajanta hints at treasures sadly lost.

They bowed before his image; memorized his recollected sayings; left their wives, sons, and parents just as he was supposed to have; and gave material support to such renunciants. When speaking of our contemporaries, we would not hesitate to call such people Buddhists. Buddhist is now a fully attested index of identity. Why not use this same name for their premodern brethren? What is gained by investing, intellectually and emotionally, in the term Buddhism? Why should Almond, or I, want to prevent the growth of that intellectual and emotional capital?

Not just for Fakyamuni, for anybody? The idea of Buddhism produced by post-Enlightenment social scientists might well be contingent, nominal, and externally stabilized. But BR suggests that the religion of Buddhism produced in the enlightenment event might be just the opposite. By representing enlightenment as an event—not contingent, not nominal, internally stable—BR naturalizes as fact that a man conceived certain truths in the fifth or sixth century BCE at Bodh Gaya, and that he taught what he (rightly or wrongly) considered to be timeless truth, albeit in historically conditioned forms.

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Beyond Enlightenment, Buddhism, Religion, Modernity by Richard Cohen


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