THE VAGRANT LOTUS: An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy by Douglas A. Fox

THE VAGRANT LOTUS: An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy

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Vagrant,"" indeed, is the flower of Buddhism, which more or less left its native soil centuries ago to wander around the world, most recently to America, where perhaps its very resistance to traditional logical explanation is what enchants its followers. For the non-disciple, however, the endless proliferation of seemingly useless categories is maddeningly against Western man's reductivist tendencies. Also confusing -- the use of a single word (e.g. dharma) to mean anything from a Democritus-type building block to a tradition of teaching, etc. However, the author does a creditable job in attempting to explicate the metaphysics as well as the theology of the two major forms of Buddhism plus variants thereof, as well as shedding at least a minimum of light on concepts such as nirvana, karma, bodhisattva, the ways to enlightenment and right living, plus raising interesting parallels to Christianity. The difficulty lies, it seems, in the scope of this book: a philosophy so alien in concept and process seems to require either a western-styled critique or, conversely, a longer exposition than is given here.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1973
Publisher: Westminster