Examines the meaning of 'nirvana' and discusses Buddhist utopias, textuality and world history.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Textual chronology; General introduction: Buddhism and civilisation history I - structures and processes: Part I. Nirvana In and Out of Time: Introduction to part I: systematic and narrative thought - eternity and closure in structure and story; 1. The concept of nirvana; 2. The imagery of nirvana; 3. Nirvana, time and narrative; Conclusion to part I: modes of thought, modes of tradition; Part II. Paradise in Heaven and on Earth: Introduction to part II: utopia and the ideal society; 4. Heaven, the land of Cockaygne and Arcadia; 5. Millennialism; Critical discussion: what is 'millennialism'? Premodern ideas and modern movements; 6. The perfect moral commonwealth? Kingship and its discontents; 7. The Vessantara Jåtaka; Conclusion to part II: in what sense can one speak of Buddhist utopianism?; General conclusion: Buddhism and civilisation history II - reprise: Appendices; Bibliography; Glossary; Indexes.
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