This important text analyzes the moral theory of the seventh century Indian Mahayana master, Santideva, author of the well-known religious poem, the Bodhicaryavatara (Entering the Path of Enlightenment) as well as the significant, but relatively overlooked, Siksasamuccaya (Compendium of Teachings).
With particular focus on the Siksasamuccaya, this book uses original translations and critical analysis in order to answer the question: How would Santideva’s ethics be understood in terms of Western moral theory? Santideva’s ethical presuppositions and moral reasoning are illuminated by analyzing his key moral terms and comparing them to other Buddhist principles.
By focusing on a neglected Buddhist Sanskrit text by a major Mahayana figure, Barbra R. Clayton helps to redress a significant imbalance in the scholarship on Buddhist ethics, which has - up to now - focused primarily on the ethics of the Pali literature as interpreted in the Theravada tradition.
'This study, through its de-tailed description of an important Indian Mahayana text, adds necessary nuance to the growing body of literature on Buddhist ethics, and doub-tlessly will remain a useful introduction to Santideva’s ethical thinking for some time to come. '- Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 2008
1. Explanation of the Scope and Rationale for the Book, and the Questions to be Addressed 2. Discussion of the Author and his Work. Outline of the Structure of the Siksasamuccaya 3. Description of Santideva's Ethics Using Textual Analysis of the Siksasamuccaya 4. A Meta-Ethical Analysis of the Meanings and Rationale Associated with Key Moral Concepts, viz., Virtuous Conduct, Skillfulness, and Karmic Fruitfulness 5. Assessment of Santideva's Moral Theory and Comparison with Available Scholarship on Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist Ethics, and Comparison with Western Moral Theories 6. Response to the Question: Are Buddhist Ethics Homogeneous? Discussion of the Value of Comparative Ethics
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