Buddhist Scriptures as Literature: Sacred Rhetoric and the Uses of Theory

Buddhist Scriptures as Literature: Sacred Rhetoric and the Uses of Theory

by Ralph Flores
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791473392

ISBN-13: 9780791473399

Pub. Date: 02/07/2008

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Buddhist Scriptures as Literature explores the drama, lyricism, and compelling storylines in Buddhist sacred writings, while illustrating how rhetoric and ideology are at work in shaping readers' reactions. Ralph Flores argues that the Buddha's life story itself follows an archetypal quest-romance pattern: regal surroundings are abandoned and the ensuing feats are…  See more details below

Overview

Buddhist Scriptures as Literature explores the drama, lyricism, and compelling storylines in Buddhist sacred writings, while illustrating how rhetoric and ideology are at work in shaping readers' reactions. Ralph Flores argues that the Buddha's life story itself follows an archetypal quest-romance pattern: regal surroundings are abandoned and the ensuing feats are heroic. The story can be read as an epic, but it also has a comic plot: confusions and trials until the Prince becomes utterly selfless, having found his true element-nirvana. Making use of contemporary literary theory, Flores offers new readings of texts such as the Nikayas, the Dhammapada, the Heart Sutra, Zen koans, Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Understanding these works as literature deepens our sense of the unfolding of their teachings, of their exuberant histories, and of their relevance for contemporary life.

About the Author:
Ralph Flores teaches literature at Thammasat University in Thailand and is the author of A Study of Allegory in Its Historical Context and Relationship to Contemporary Theory

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791473399
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
02/07/2008
Pages:
231
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Fictions of Reading: Westerners and Buddhist Texts     1
A Prince Transformed: The Nikayas, the Nidanakatha, Asvaghosa's Acts of the Buddha     17
The Buddha Awakening: The Nikayas     35
Winning Conversions: The Nikayas     51
Passing on: The Nikayas     67
Figures of Right Speech: The Dhammapada     87
Joyous Negations: The Heart Sutra     103
Masters of Emptiness: The Gatless Barrier and Zen Folktales     119
Extreme Giving: The Vassantara Jataka and Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life     141
Final Emergency Reading: The Tibetan Book of the Dead     163
Epilogue: Images in the Reader     183
Notes     187
Bibliography     207
Index     219

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >