Buddhism : A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation book cover
1st Edition

A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation

ISBN 9780415789158
Published March 9, 2017 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Buddhism, in its diverse forms and throughout its long history, has had a profound influence on Asian cultures and the lives of countless individuals. In recent times, it has also attracted great interest among people in other parts of the world, including philosophers. Buddhist traditions often deal with ideas and concerns that are central to philosophy. A distinctively Buddhist philosophy of religion can be developed which focuses on Buddhist responses to issues such as the problem of suffering, the purpose and potential of human existence, life after death, freedom and moral responsibility, appearance and reality, the nature of religious language, attitudes to religious diversity and the relationship between Buddhism and science.

Buddhism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation examines some of the central questions that such ideas raise, drawing on ancient and more recent sources from a variety of Buddhist traditions, as viewed from a contemporary philosophical standpoint.

Table of Contents


1. The Problem of Suffering

2. Karma and Rebirth

3. Evil, Freedom and Other Ethical Issues

4. Concepts of Buddha

5. The Varieties of Emptiness

6. Language and Reality

7. Religious Diversity




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David Burton is Senior Lecturer in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in the School of Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.


"David Burton offers a vital and welcome corrective to the narrowness of Western philosophy of religion by confronting it with the Buddhist traditions. He brings an assured scholarship to a sympathetic but critical examination of major Buddhist doctrines and philosophical debates, and he does so with economy, lucidity and eloquence."

- Michael McGhee, University of Liverpool, UK.

"Since Burton’s Buddhism breaks new ground insofar as it frames a Buddhist philosophy of religion and challenges the Christocentric paradigm, it makes for worthwhile reading for everyone interested in Buddhism and/or philosophy of religion and can function as a textbook for courses in these field of study. It commences a conversation that is sorely needed."

- Gereon Kopf, Luther College, USA