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Buddhism and Monotheism

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Part of Elements in Religion and Monotheism

  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108731379

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About the Authors
  • Buddhism is a religion lacking the idea of a unique creator God. It is a kind of trans-polytheism that accepts many long-lived gods, but sees ultimate reality, Nirvana, as beyond these. It does, though, see Dhamma/Dharma as a Basic Pattern encompassing everything, with karma as a law-like principle ensuring that good and bad actions have appropriate natural results. This Element explores these ideas, along with overlaps in Buddhist and monotheist ideas and practices, the development of more theist-like ideas in Mahāyāna Buddhism, Buddhist critiques of the idea of a creator God, and some contemporary Buddhist views and appreciations of monotheisms.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108731379
    • dimensions: 220 x 152 x 4 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Indian religious context of the arising and development of Buddhism
    2. The different traditions of Buddhism
    3. The historical Buddha, and past Buddhas
    4. Rebirth
    5. Karma
    6. Suffering, its causes and its transcending
    7. Pessimistic?
    8. Buddhist ethics
    9. Buddhist practices
    10. Buddhist meditation and Christian contemplation
    11. The cosmos at large
    12. The realms of rebirth
    13. Māra, the Satan-like deadly one
    14. How Buddhists see and relate to the Gods
    15. Comparisons to monotheistic views on the Heavens
    16. The Buddhist 'creation' and 'fall' story
    17. Buddhism on the supposed Creator-God Great Brahmā
    18. The lovingkindness and compassion Of Great Brahmā
    19. The Dhamma as the basic pattern structuring the world
    20. Dhamma … and God
    21. A person as a flowing dance of conditioned, impermanent, self-less processes
    22. God as 'I am who I am'
    23. Nirvana … and God
    24. The nature of the Buddha in the Theravāda
    25. Faith and prayer in Theravāda Buddhism
    26. Bodhisattvas in the Mahāyāna
    27. Buddhas in the Mahāyāna
    28. The Mahāyāna Pantheon
    29. The three-body doctrine
    30. Amitābha Buddha
    31. Key Bodhisattvas: the all-compassionate Avalokiteśvara and the wisdom-embodying Mañjuśrī
    32. Revelation, faith and prayer in the Mahāyāna
    33. The Ādibuddha – a God-like figure?
    34. The Buddha-nature and the problem of evil
    35. Critical reflections on the idea of a God as creating living beings and the Universe
    36. Buddhist general attitudes to other religions
    37. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland
    Peter Harvey is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Sunderland. He co-founded, with Ian Harris, the UK Association for Buddhist Studies, has acted as its Secretary and President, and now edits its journal, Buddhist Studies Review. His books include An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (Cambridge, 2nd edition, 2012), An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues (Cambridge, 2000), and The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism (1995), and he has published many papers on early Buddhist thought and practice and on Buddhist ethics. Most recently, he edited an extensive integrated anthology of Buddhist texts, Common Buddhist Text: Guidance and Insight from the Buddha (2017).

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