Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities

Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities

by Steven Collins
     
 

This book presents a new answer to the question: what is nirvana? Part One distinguishes between systematic and narrative thought in the Pali texts of Theravada Buddhism, looking at the place of nirvana in both. Part two explores other Buddhist utopias and relates Buddhist utopianism to studies of European and American utopian writing. Steven Collins discusses these… See more details below

Overview

This book presents a new answer to the question: what is nirvana? Part One distinguishes between systematic and narrative thought in the Pali texts of Theravada Buddhism, looking at the place of nirvana in both. Part two explores other Buddhist utopias and relates Buddhist utopianism to studies of European and American utopian writing. Steven Collins discusses these issues in relation to textuality, world history, and ideology in premodern civilisations, aiming to contribute to a new vision of Buddhist history which integrates the inside and the outside of texts.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521570541
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions Series, #12
Pages:
712
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.69(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
Textual chronology
General introduction: Buddhism and civilizational history 1 - structures and processes1
Pt. 1Nirvana in and out of Time
Introduction to part 1: systematic and narrative thought - eternity and closure in structure and story121
1The concept of nirvana135
2The imagery of nirvana191
3Nirvana, time and narrative234
Conclusion to part 1: modes of thought, modes of tradition282
Pt. 2Paradise in Heaven and on Earth
Introduction to part 2: utopia and the ideal society289
4Heaven, the land of Cockaygne and Arcadia297
5Millennialism346
Critical discussion: what is "millennialism"? Premodern ideas and modern movements395
6The perfect moral commonwealth? Kingship and its discontents414
7The Vessantara Jataka497
Conclusion to part 2: in what sense can one speak of Buddhist utopianism?555
General conclusion: Buddhism and civilizational history 2 - reprise563
App. 1Selections from the Buddhavamsa577
App. 2Chapters 1 and 2 of the Mahavamsa593
App. 3The discourse (containing) a lion's roar on the Wheel-turning king (Cakkavatti-sihanada Sutta)602
App. 4Selections from the Story of the Elder Maleyya (Maleyyadevattheravatthu)616
App. 5The discourse on what is primary (Agganna Sutta)627
Bibliography635
Glossary and index of Pali and Sanskrit words670
Name index676
Subject index681

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