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Vishvapani

Harold Bloom: the Embattled Canon and the Experiential Critic

Sat, 19 Oct, 2019 - 20:26

Harold Bloom: the Embattled Canon and the Experiential Critic

Sat, 19 Oct, 2019 - 20:26

This is a guest post by Vishvapani, re-published here from an early issue of The Western Buddhist Review


***


The Western Canon
By Harold Bloom
Macmillan, London 1994, pp. 567


1. Introduction: contemporary criticism’s questions and answers
What should be our central question in approaching literature? The celebrated American literary critic Harold Bloom proposes one: What is literature for? This question may sound obvious, but it is not one with...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

‘Does It Float?’: Stephen Batchelor’s Secular Buddhism

Sat, 5 Oct, 2019 - 17:10

‘Does It Float?’: Stephen Batchelor’s Secular Buddhism

Sat, 5 Oct, 2019 - 17:10

Here we present a review of Stephen Batchelor’s two most recent books on his secular interpretation of the Dharma:

Stephen Batchelor, After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age, Yale University Press, 2015

Stephen Batchelor, Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, Yale University Press, 2017

Review by Dhivan

Yale University Press were kind enough to send me review copies of Stephen Batchelor’s books when they were published. But reviewing them is difficult, as they are polemical, in favour of a particular new...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Letting the Self Go Dark

Wed, 2 Oct, 2019 - 19:52

Letting the Self Go Dark

Wed, 2 Oct, 2019 - 19:52

Here we present another review – this one by Vidyapala, of a new book from Windhorse Publications by David Brazier, on the teaching of Dōgen, founder of Sōtō Zen:

David Brazier, Dark Side of the Mirror: forgetting the self in Dōgen’s Genjō Kōan, Cambridge: Windhorse Publications, 2019, 326 pp, £16 pb.

review by Vidyapāla

In this excellent and illuminating book by David Brazier, the author presents us with a new translation and commentary of Dōgen’s famously beautiful but elusive text, the Genjō Kōan, from...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Debating the Middle Way

Wed, 25 Sep, 2019 - 18:16

Debating the Middle Way

Wed, 25 Sep, 2019 - 18:16

Here we present a review by Arnold Tilley of a new book by Robert Ellis, founder of the Middle Way Society:

Robert Ellis 

The Buddha’s Middle Way, London: Equinox, 2019, 320pp., £23 pb

review by Arnold Tilley

Much of the content of Ellis’s book concerns the Buddha’s Middle Way, yet seen as an instance of a purported universal Middle Way ‘which springs from the structural needs of human beings (and possibly other organisms)’ (p.281). Ellis’s formula for this universal Middle Way is expressed by...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Scholarly and Philosophical events in Triratna

Mon, 15 Jul, 2019 - 09:41

Scholarly and Philosophical events in Triratna

Mon, 15 Jul, 2019 - 09:41

Some information on two scholarly and philosophical events coming up in our Triratna Buddhist community:

Triratna Scholars Network study retreat Sunday 15 Dec–Thursday 19 Dec 2019 at Adhisthana (ending after lunch on the Thursday), led by Sāgaramati, Dhīvan and Śraddhāpa. Please book through the Adhisthana website, or contact Dhivan (thomas [at] dhivan.net) with questions. Open to Order members and mitras. The theme will be:
Early Perfection of Wisdom. The Aṭṭhakavagga or Chapter of the Eights, from the Sutta Nipāta of the Pāli canon, presents an early version of...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Advanced Pali reading course

Fri, 21 Jun, 2019 - 12:56

Advanced Pali reading course

Fri, 21 Jun, 2019 - 12:56

(Posted on behalf of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies:)

This summer, Prof. Gombrich will run another Advanced Pali reading course in Oxford in August. The dates for this course are as follows: arrive Wednesday evening, 14th August, depart Friday morning 23rd August. There will be no class on Sunday 18th August. This course will be unlike the introductory course.  It will mainly consist of reading texts together in class.  This year that will include poetry and commentaries; some texts will be distributed in advance.

As in previous years,...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Precision Dharma

Sun, 19 May, 2019 - 12:22

Precision Dharma

Sun, 19 May, 2019 - 12:22

Vajratara reviews a first-class new book on early Buddhist doctrine:

Early Buddhist Teachings

by Y. Karunadasa

Boston: Wisdom Publications 2018, 240pp, hb £22.50, pb £11, ebook

review by Vajratara

In a book market saturated with books about Buddhism, one may not immediately choose a book about early Buddhist teachings written by a Pali and Buddhist studies Scholar. However, though Early Buddhist Teachings goes over some of the same ground as other books about basic Buddhism, it offers a fresh and comprehensive overview that leaves us with a deeper understanding. Professor Karunadasa explains...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Philosopher Strikes Gold

Mon, 15 Oct, 2018 - 13:19

Philosopher Strikes Gold

Mon, 15 Oct, 2018 - 13:19

Another review – this time by myself (Dhīvan) on an excellent new history of Buddhist philosophy in India:

The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy

by Jan Westerhoff

Oxford University Press, 2018, 326pp £30 hb

 review by Dhīvan

In a customary gesture in books like this one, [1] Jan Westerhoff asks in his introduction what the purpose might be in his writing another history of Buddhist philosophy, given that those already available were written by such eminent scholars. In this case, the eminent scholars are Volker Zotz (writing in...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Weighing the Evidence

Fri, 12 Oct, 2018 - 10:55

Weighing the Evidence

Fri, 12 Oct, 2018 - 10:55

We present a review by Nāgapriya of Anālayo’s recent study of the Buddhist teaching of rebirth and what evidence there might be for the truth of it:

Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research

by Bhikkhu Analayo

Wisdom Publications, Somerville MA, 279pp. hb. £22.50

review by Nāgapriya

Bhikkhu Anālayo has garnered a distinguished reputation as an authoritative scholar of the Pali Canon and early Buddhism. His mastery not only of Pāli sources but also of parallels in Chinese translation has enabled him to produce a growing corpus of...

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

Triratna Scholars' Network retreat

Sun, 23 Sep, 2018 - 15:12

Triratna Scholars' Network retreat

Sun, 23 Sep, 2018 - 15:12

About an event coming up at Adhiṣṭhāna that should be of interest to readers of the Western Buddhist Review:

‘From here to the beyond…’: Studying the ‘Spiral Path’ in Early Buddhist Discourses

Led by Dhīvan and Sāgaramati

9–16 Dec 2018

This study retreat marks the first led by the newly-initiated Triratna Scholars’ Network and will offer an opportunity to go behind the scenes, as it were, of Sangharakshita’s presentation of the Dharma, to look at the sources and texts connected with the ’Spiral Path’. We will examine closely the sources of...

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