Stefan wrote:I just came across a sutta (SN 12.17) that says that Dependent Origination is the Middle Way, avoiding eternalism and annihilationism.
I didn't know that. I thought only the Noble Eightfold Path was the Middle Way.
Does the 'Middle Way' mean anything else besides these?
To be kind of nit-picky, it actually says "ubho ante anupagamma majjhena tathāgato dhammaṃ deseti" = "not going to two extremes, the tathagata teaches the dhamma through the middle", it does not use the term "way" = paṭipadā.
The more common reference you are probably referring to has "ubho ante anupagamma majjhimā paṭipadā tathāgatena abhisambuddhā cakkhukaraṇī ñāṇakaraṇī upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati" = "without going to two extremes, the tathagata has awakened to the middle way ..."
I have heard Prof Karunadasa state that the eightfold path is the "middle way" = majjhimā paṭipadā, and dependent origination is the "middle teaching" = majjhimā desana. This is an interesting perspective.
But, if we are going to focus on the meaning of "middle" majjhimā, then yes, there are several different uses of the term. Look in particular throughout the Nidanasamyutta, which shows a range of extremes, either two-fold or four-fold in presentation. Dep orig is then used to explain things without going to these extremes.