Buddhist Ethics

Overview

"For more than a quarter of a century, those in search of an introduction to Buddhist moral thought have turned and returned to this little volume..." Thus notes Charles Hallisey of Harvard University in his introduction. Starting with an examination of classical Greek notions of ethics, Venerable Saddhatissa goes on to explain the development of Buddhist moral codes and their practical application. In this work, Venerable Saddhatissa starts with an examination of Western notions of ethics, beginning with the early Greek philosophers and moving ...

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Overview

"For more than a quarter of a century, those in search of an introduction to Buddhist moral thought have turned and returned to this little volume..." Thus notes Charles Hallisey of Harvard University in his introduction. Starting with an examination of classical Greek notions of ethics, Venerable Saddhatissa goes on to explain the development of Buddhist moral codes and their practical application. In this work, Venerable Saddhatissa starts with an examination of Western notions of ethics, beginning with the early Greek philosophers and moving on to show us how the study of morality is crucial to a clear understanding of the Buddhist tradition. Drawing on a vast array of Buddhist scriptures, Venerable Saddhatissa explains the development and position of Buddhist precepts from a traditional perspective, while simultaneously offering clear and practical advice on how best to live the moral life of a lay Buddhist practitioner. Throughout Buddhist Ethics, Venerable Saddhatissa always keeps us in touch with the pragmatic uses of Buddhist moral practices, not only as a way to live in harmony with the world, but as an indispensable aspect of the path to the Buddhist's highest spiritual goal.

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Editorial Reviews

Tricycle
"A guide for Westerners to the contemporary moral implications of traditional Buddhist precepts. This classic text, by the late Ven. Dr. Saddhatissa, a revered Sri Lankan monk and scholar, examines notions of ethics in both Eastern and Western traditions and includes advice on how best to follow the Buddha way."
Philosophy East & West
"This work on Buddhist ethics is really an analysis of the fundamental principles of Buddhism. It is a work of solid scholarship that carefully considers the most basic teachings of Buddhism... In summary, this is a book that can be recommended to all students of Buddhism and ethics, both beginning and advanced, because of its accessibility, timeliness, and sound scholarship."
The Beacon
"This classic volume of Buddhist commentary...stands out for its depth, clarity, and compassionate intent... offers clear and practical advice on how best to live the moral life of a lay Buddhist practitoner in harmony with the world."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861711246
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Venerable Hammalawa Saddhatissa was born in Sri Lanka in 1914 and ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of twelve. The author of and translator of a number of scholarly works on Buddhism, he was also the president of the Mahabodhi Society. Recognized as a Mahathera, the highest rank in the Theravada monastic tradition, Venerable Saddhatissa traveled widely throughout his long career. He died in 1990.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction
1 Definitions and Historical Background 1
2 Origin and Source of Knowledge of the Highest State 15
3 The Significance of the Refuges 31
4 Sanctions of Moral Conduct: The Precepts 59
5 The Underlying Ideals of the Moralities 81
6 The Layman's Duties to His Associates 97
7 The Layman's Relation to the State 113
8 The Ultimate Goal 127
Abbreviations 151
Notes 152
Index 169
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