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Other titles in the Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism series:
Omniscience and the Rhetoric of Reason: Santaraksita and Kamalasila on Rationality, Argumentation, and Religious Authority (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism)by Sara L. Mcclintock
Synopses & Reviews
The great Buddhist scholars Santaraksita (725 - 88 CE.) and his disciple Kamalasila were among the most influential thinkers in classical India. They debated ideas not only within the Buddhist tradition but also with exegetes of other Indian religions, and they both traveled to Tibet during Buddhism's infancy there. Their views, however, have been notoriously hard to classify. The present volume examines Santaraksita's Tattvasamgraha and Kamalasila's extensive commentary on it, works that cover all conceivable problems in Buddhist thought and portray Buddhism as a supremely rational faith.
One hotly debated topic of their time was omniscience - whether it is possible and whether a rational person may justifiably claim it as a quality of the Buddha. Santaraksita and Kamalasila affirm both claims, but in their argumentation they employ divergent rhetorical strategies in different passages, advancing what appear to be contradictory positions. McClintock's investigation of the complex strategies these authors use in defense of omniscience sheds light on the rhetorical nature of their enterprise, one that shadows their own personal views as they advance the arguments they deem most effective to convince the audiences at hand.
The great Buddhist writer Santaraksita (725-88) was central to the Buddhist traditions spread into Tibet. He and his disciple Kamalasila were among the most influential thinkers in classical India. They debated ideas not only within the Buddhist tradition but also with exegetes of other Indian religions, and they both traveled and nurtured Buddhism in Tibet during its infancy there. Their views, however, have been notoriously hard to classify. The present volume examines Santaraksitas encyclopedic Tattvasamgraha and Kamalasilas detailed commentary on that text in his Pañjika, two works that have historically been presented together. The works cover all conceivable problems in Buddhist thought and portray Buddhism as a supremely rational faith. One hotly debated topic of their time was omniscience — infinite, all-compassing knowledge — whether it was possible and whether one could defensibly claim it as a quality of the Buddha.
About the Author
Sara L. McClintock is an assistant professor of religion at Emory University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. She obtained her bachelor's degree in fine arts from Bryn Mawr College, her master's in world religions from Harvard Divinity School, and her doctorate in religion from Harvard University. She has spent time as a researcher at the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath and the University of Lausanne, and has taught at Carleton College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interests include both narrative and philosophical traditions in South Asian Buddhism, with particular focus on issues of metaphysics, hermeneutics, and rhetoric.
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