Journal of Buddhist Ethics

An online journal of Buddhist scholarship related to ethics.


Review: The Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 20, 2013

Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice. B. Alan Wallace. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. xi+292 pages, ISBN-13: 9780231158343 (pbk), $27.95.

Reviewed by Eric Haynie

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Buddhist and Tantric Perspectives on Causality and Society

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 16, 2009

Buddhist and Tantric Perspectives on Causality and Society

Chris Kang
University of Queensland

This paper examines the articulation of causality from Buddhist and Indian Tantric perspectives, offering a potentially fresh look at this topic using epistemologies and insights outside the dominant Western paradigm. Reclaiming non-Western voices that analyze and intuit causality rooted in multidimensional modes of knowing reveals new possibilities about the nature of reality and enables integral transformative actions for emancipating human suffering. In particular, I examine the genealogy of early Buddhist, Buddhist Tantric, Sāṃkhya, and Hindu Tantric perspectives, with reference to relevant internal philosophical debates, to explicate alternative viewpoints on causality and their implications for society.

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Review: Epistemology in South Asian Philosophy of Religion

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 15, 2008

Buddhists, Brahmins, and Belief: Epistemology in South Asian Philosophy of Religion. By Dan Arnold. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005, vii + 318 pages, ISBN: 978-0-231-13281-7 (paperback), $24.50 / £14.50, ISBN 0-231-13280-8 (cloth), $52.00 / £30.50.

Reviewed by Roy Tzohar

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Zen Social Ethics: Zen, Ideology, and Prophetic Critique

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 13, 2006

Not Buying into Words and Letters: Zen, Ideology, and Prophetic Critique

Christopher Ives
Stonehill College

Judging from the active participation of Zen leaders and institutions in modern Japanese imperialism, one might conclude that by its very nature Zen succumbs easily to ideological co-optation. Several facets of Zen epistemology and institutional history support this conclusion. At the same time, a close examination of Zen theory and praxis indicates that the tradition does possess resources for resisting dominant ideologies and engaging in ideology critique.

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Zen Social Ethics in Japan

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 12, 2005

What’s Compassion Got to Do with It? Determinants of Zen Social Ethics in Japan

Christopher Ives
Stonehill College

Judging from pronouncements by contemporary Engaged Buddhists, one might conclude that historical expressions of Zen social ethics have rested on the foundation of compassion and the precepts. The de facto systems of social ethics in Japanese Zen, however, have been shaped largely by other epistemological, sociological, and historical factors, and compassion should best be understood as a “theological virtue” that historically has gained specificity from those other factors.

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Review Article: Reflexive Awareness

ISSN 1076–9005
Volume 7, 2000

We Are All Gzhan stong pas

Reflections on The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence. By Paul Williams. Surrey, England: Curzon Press, 1998, xix + 268 pp, ISBN: 0–7007–1030–2, $55.00.

Reviewed by Matthew T. Kapstein
The University of Chicago

The present review article discusses aspects of Paul Williams’s excellent and highly recommended book, which focuses on the question of “reflexive awareness” (Tib. rang rig, Skt. svasaṃvittiḥ, svasaṃvedana) in Tibetan Mādhyamika thought. In particular, I am concerned with his characterization of so so rang rig ye shes and its relation to Rdzogs-chen teaching, and his notions of the gzhan stong doctrine and its place in the intellectual life of Far-eastern Tibet. My critical remarks on these topics are in many respects tentative, and I would welcome correspondence about them.

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Review: Dharmakīrti in Tibet

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 7, 2000

Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti’s Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretation. By Georges B. J. Dreyfus. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997, xxi + 622 pages, ISBN 0–7914–3097–9 (hardcover), ISBN 0–7914–3098–7 (paperback), US $68.50 (hardcover), US $22.95 (paperback).

Reviewed by Pascale Hugon

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Review: Buddhism, Biology, and Consciousness

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 4 1997

The Evolving Mind: Buddhism, Biology, and Consciousness. By Robin Cooper. Birmingham: Windhorse, 1996, 266 pages, ISBN 0-904-76674-8 (paperback), $21.95.

Reviewed by Charles B. Jones

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