Buddhism and Language: A Study of Indo-Tibetan Scholasticism by Jose Ignacio Cabezon

By Jose Ignacio Cabezon

Taking language as its basic subject, this e-book explores how the culture of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist philosophical hypothesis exemplifies the nature of scholasticism.Scholasticism, as an summary and basic class, is built as a invaluable theoretical software for knowing various highbrow hobbies within the historical past of philosophy of faith. The ebook investigates the Buddhist Scholastic thought and use of scripture, the character of doctrine and its transcendence in adventure, Mahayana Buddhist hermeneutics, the idea and perform of exegesis, and questions about the authority of sacred texts. It additionally offers with the Buddhist Scholastic concept of conceptual inspiration because the reflect of language, the Scholastic safeguard of good judgment and rationality as a style, in addition to the position of language within the idealist and nominalist ontologies of the Mahayana. eventually, the writer treats the query of ineffability and the silence of the Buddha from a brand new point of view. «Cabezon has made a cautious, constant case for scholasticism as an immense method of the area inside of Buddhism and as a cross-cultural classification beneficial of attention in the box of spiritual reviews, and he has performed so via being explicitly comparative. this can be, effectively, probably the most fascinating works of East-West comparability i've got visible in decades and, as a piece drawing in a comparative demeanour at the Buddhist culture, it's almost unique.»--Roger Jackson, Carleton university Jose Ignacio Cabezon is affiliate Professor of the Philosophy of faith, Iliff tuition of Theology. He used to be writer of A Dose of vacancy and editor of Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender, either released via SUNY Press.

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The Chassidic stance emphasizes the more transcendental side, the supramundane quality of scripture, claiming 32 BUDDHISM AND LANGUAGE that it is one with God but qualifying this by the statement that the Torah known to us is of a more gross material form that has descended from God, ironically, through the partial selfdeprivation of his divinity. 7 How can a being beyond the realm of matter interact with the physical world in such a way as to provide it with holy, yet material, guidance in the form of words?

The Latin West's preoccupation with incorporating Aristotle into religious scholarship is obviously one of the idiosyncratic features of European scholasticism. Likewise, many of the characteristics of the specifically Indo-Tibetan expression of scholasticism that the reader comes across in the following pages will, in the long run, be found to be uniquely Buddhist. Many, how- 26 BUDDHISM AND LANGUAGE ever, will be shared by other traditions. Only continued crosscultural investigation will allow us to map out the pattern of family resemblances that we expect to find if the category of "scholasticism" is a useful one.

Logic is the formal method of the scholastics, the framework that undergirds their rationalism. James A. Weisheipl has called logic "the chief instrument of scholastic training/'30 It is not surprising, therefore, that many scholastics should have been preoccupied with the workings of syllogistic reasoning and its role in philosophical discourse. But logical argumentation, and indeed philosophy itself, is expressed linguistically and understood conceptually. Concomitant with an interest in logic, therefore, is a general interest in the workings of language.

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