Beyond Enlightenment: Buddhism, Religion, Modernity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Beyond Enlightenment

Buddhism, Religion, Modernity, 1st Edition

By Richard Cohen

Routledge

240 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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Description

The vast majority of books on Buddhism describe the Buddha using the word enlightened, rather than awakened. This bias has resulted in Buddhism becoming generally perceived as the eponymous religion of enlightenment.

Beyond Enlightenment is a sophisticated study of some of the underlying assumptions involved in the study of Buddhism (especially, but not exclusively, in the West). It investigates the tendency of most scholars to ground their study of Buddhism in these particular assumptions about the Buddha’s enlightenment and a particular understanding of religion, which is traced back through Western orientalists to the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation.

Placing a distinct emphasis on Indian Buddhism, Richard Cohen adeptly creates a work that will appeal to those with an interest in Buddhism and India and also scholars of religion and history.

Reviews

'This book has ambitious scope, it explores and critiques Western notions of enlightenment that have structured the study of Buddhism.'

- Nayanjot Lahiri, Professor of History, Delhi University, India

Table of Contents

Preface 1. A Benign Introduction 2. A Place of Exceptional Universal Value 3. A Tale of Two Histories 4. The Anthropology of Enlightenment 5. What Do Gods Have to Do With Enlightenment? 6. A Baroque. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Richard S. Cohen is Associate Professor of South Asian Religious Literatures at the University of California, San Diego. This is his first book, though he has published numerous articles in such venues as the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and History of Religions. He is now working on a study of Buddhism and counterculture.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series explores this complex and extensive tradition from a variety of perspectives, using a range of different methodologies. The series is diverse in its focus, including historical, philological, cultural, and sociological investigations into the manifold features and expressions of Buddhism worldwide. It also presents works of constructive and reflective analysis, including the role of Buddhist thought and scholarship in a contemporary, critical context and in the light of current social issues. The series is expansive and imaginative in scope, spanning more than two and a half millennia of Buddhist history. It is receptive to all research works that are of significance and interest to the broader field of Buddhist Studies.

Some of the titles in the series are published in association with the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, which conducts and promotes rigorous teaching and research into all forms of the Buddhist tradition.

Editorial Advisory Board:
James A. Benn, McMaster University, Canada

Jinhua Chen, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Rupert Gethin, University of Bristol, UK

Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland, UK

Sallie King, James Madison University, USA

Anne Klein, Rice University, USA

Lori Meeks, University of Southern California, USA;

Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

John Powers, Australian National University, Australia;

Juliane Schober, Arizona State University, USA

Vesna A. Wallace, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Michael Zimmermann, University of Hamburg, Germany

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL000000
RELIGION / General
REL068000
RELIGION / Theosophy
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General