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Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition - Dhamma Wheel

Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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retrofuturist
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Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:57 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:13 am

i think the problem we face with academics who arent practicing buddhists is that they often just dont get it right, i'm not anti-academic in anyway, but i'm gonna trust my buddhist history lesson from someone like bhikkhu sujato over a purely academic one. i'm sure we've all read horrible intro to buddhist books this is what happens when one doesnt really understand the dhamma.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:19 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:31 am

i've never run across that problem with any of the monks who present buddhism from an acadenic POV. however i've seen buddhism presented in a couple philosphy courses and it was utter rubbish the job done.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:54 am



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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:27 am


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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby zavk » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:31 am

Hey, thanks for starting this thread Retro. :bow:

My opinion is (and I suspect others would share this view too) is that Buddhism should indeed have sovereignty over 'Buddhist' matters but this shouldn't be misconstrued as privileged access to or monopoly over the dhamma, which is really more than 'Buddhism' (although one might argue that Buddhism has articulated a path to the dhamma in a particularly incisive way).

I agree with what some of you have said about poor academic studies of Buddhism. The study of Buddhism in the discipline of Religious Studies can sometimes be problematic insofar as such an approach misperceives its methodology (modeled after the now passe idea that all modes of scholarship should follow that of the natural sciences) is more 'objective' than the scholarship of the practitioner which is seen as 'less objective' because of his/her commitment to tradition. Such an approach attempts only to analyse Buddhism descriptively, seeing no merit in concerning themselves with doctrinal claims and practices. What an impoverished approach, I say! But I think in this day and age, committed Buddhist scholarship is increasingly being accepted in secular academes, which in my view is a good thing as it opens up new avenues for enquiry.

For example, this anthology, , presents some interesting views from Buddhist commentators who are committed to both secular academic enquiry and dhamma practice. Most of them are Mahayanist though but their ideas are relevant to the study and development of the dhamma on the whole. If you can find the book in a library, some of the chapters are worth a read. There are two reviews of the book online: , and

All in all, to come back to my initial point about Buddhism vis-a-vis the dhamma: I'd like to think of the emancipatory possibility of the dhamma as a horizon. A horizon, by definition, cannot be conquered or owned for it is ever-receding. But a horizon can orientate us and set the distance for our pursuits. A horizon is what makes any journey (and by implication, any destination) possible, even if the horizon always recedes. A horizon can be seen and followed by anyone (not just 'Buddhism')--if they care to look and risk the journey.

:namaste:
Metta,
Zavk
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:03 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Bankei
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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby Bankei » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:17 pm

The Journal of Global Buddhism has a special issue out in 2008 with articles you may be interested in:

Special Issue: Blurred Genres
http://www.globalbuddhism.org/toc.html

Introduction: Buddhists and Scholars of Buddhism: Blurred Distinctions in Contemporary Buddhist Studies By Cristina Rocha and Martin Baumann
[view] [print] Page 81

Buddhism and the Perils of Advocacy By Ian Reader
[view] [print] Page 83

The Emergence of Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflection in the Academy as a Resource for Buddhist Communities and for the Contemporary World By John Makransky
[view] [print] Page 113

At Ease in Between: The Middle Position of a Scholar-Practicioner By Duncan Ryûken Williams
[view] [print] Page 155
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Bankei

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Re: Commentators/academics from outside the Buddhist tradition

Postby Bankei » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:24 pm

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Bankei


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