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Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhismby Stephen Batchelor
Synopses & Reviews
Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha started teaching, his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. But what does it mean to adapt religious practices to secular contexts?
Stephen Batchelor, an internationally known author and teacher, is committed to a secularized version of the Buddha's teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his attempt to set the record straight about who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach. Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative accounts of five of the Buddha’s inner circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening, its long survival due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with each society it encounters.
This original and provocative book presents a new framework for understanding the remarkable spread of Buddhism in today’s globalized world. It also reminds us of what was so startling about the Buddha’s vision of human flourishing.
Alone with Others is a uniquely contemporary guide to understanding the timeless message of Buddhism, and in particular its relevance in actual human relations. It was inspired by Shantideva& #8217; s Guide to the Bodhisattava& #8217; s Way of Life, the oral instructions of living Buddhist masters, Martin Heidegger& #8217; s classic Being and Time, and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.
A renowned Buddhist teacher’s magnum opus, based on his fresh reading of the tradition’s earliest texts
This uniquely contemporary guide to understanding the timeless message of Buddhism, and in particular its relevance in actual human relations, was inspired by Shantideva's 'Guide To The Bodhisattva's Way Of Life', which the author translated into English, the oral instructions of living Buddhist masters, Heidegger's classic 'Being and Time', and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.
About the Author
Stephen Batchelor is known worldwide for his work as author, teacher, and scholar of Buddhism. He has been a teacher at the Gaia House meditation center in Devon, England, for twenty-five years and is a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. His previous books include Buddhism without Beliefs and Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. He lives in southwest France.
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