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The vast majority of books on Buddhism describe the Buddha using the word enlightened, rather than awakened. This bias prevails in extraordinary manner, and Buddhism has become generally perceived as being the eponymous religion of enlightenment. This book is a sophisticated study of some of the assumptions underlying and ramifications involved in the study of "Buddhism" (especially, but not exclusively, in the West), and of the tendency of most scholars to ground their study of "Buddhism" in 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 particular emphasis on Indian Buddhism, Richard Cohen adeptly creates a work that is of interest to buddhologists, indologists, scholars of comparative religion, and intellectual historians.
|1||A benign introduciton||1|
|2||A place of exceptional universal value||35|
|3||A tale of two histories||69|
|4||The anthropology of enlightenment||108|
|5||What do gods have to do with enlightenment?||149|
|6||A baroque conclusion||181|