By Richard Cohen
Nearly all of books on Buddhism describe the Buddha utilizing the notice enlightened, instead of woke up. This bias has ended in Buddhism changing into in general perceived because the eponymous faith of enlightenment. past Enlightenment is a worldly examine of a few of the underlying assumptions interested by the learn of Buddhism (especially, yet no longer solely, within the West). It investigates the tendency of such a lot students to flooring their research of Buddhism in those specific assumptions concerning the Buddha’s enlightenment and a specific realizing of faith, that is traced again via Western orientalists to the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation. putting a unique emphasis on Indian Buddhism, Richard Cohen adeptly creates a piece that might attract people with an curiosity in Buddhism and India and likewise students of faith and heritage.
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Extra resources for Beyond Enlightenment: Buddhism, Religion, Modernity (Routledgecurzon Critical Studies in Buddhism)
All due respect to governesses—but hasn’t the time come for philosophy to renounce the faith of governesses? Not all readers are thus inclined. Consider, for instance, Jonathan Silk’s critique, or rather one of his many critical notes. Silk is especially perturbed by the fact that Almond’s examination of Buddhism as an object of discourse does not consider the objective truth-value of that discourse. ”105 By denying this must, Almond threatens to undercut the disciplinary basis for Silk’s own field, Buddhist Studies.
84 The underlying point is simple enough: a game, a religion, a society, a system will have an identity to the extent that a barrier delimits the inside from outside. The barrier itself is hardly as simple. It provides an identity only insofar as it creates an equivalence among everything on the inside, but excludes, devalues, and thus makes a potential antagonist of everything that does not participate in that order. Thus abstract bases for identity, like theist, Christian, and enlightened mark intrinsic claims of normativity.
To the degree that X is perceived as having a stable identity, the constructionist attributes that stability to factors external (rather than internal) to X. In sum, X is not an autonomous phenomenon. As a crude example, the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters/second. For the strong constructionist this is a fact, not because light really moves at that speed (an internal factor), but for complex human reasons: because scientists developed the technological means for measuring light’s speed; because they needed tangible results in order to justify the cost of developing that technology; because they hoped to win personal satisfaction and professional prestige; because they had the curiosity to know.