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Nagarjuna in Context Mahayana Buddhism and Early Indian Culture

ISBN-10: 023113164X

ISBN-13: 9780231131643

Edition: 2004

Authors: Joseph Walser, Sanchez Walsh, sanchez walsh

List price: $70.00
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Description:

Nagarjuna, one of India's greatest philosophers, is the most influential thinker in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. While his philosophy has been the subject of numerous studies and translations, Joseph Walser provides the first examination of Nagarjuna's life and writings within the social, religious, and institutional contexts of the early history of Buddhism. Walser locates Nagarjuna's second-century writings at a critical juncture in the development and spread of Mahayana Buddhism. At this time, Mahayanist writings and teachings were regarded with great suspicion, and its followers were subject to legal censure. Walser explores how Nagarjuna's writings, including his most famous works, The Jeweled Garland and Foundational Stanzas, established a connection between the authority of the existing Buddhist canon and Mahayana teachings. In doing so, Nagarjuna was able to demonstrate the legality of Mahayana interpretation within the strictures of Buddhist monastic law. This established a place for Mahayana in the Buddhist tradition and insured the reproduction and transmission of the sect's central texts. Walser's analysis draws on close readings of Nagarjuna's texts, particularly their treatment of the "three baskets" of the Buddhist canon: Vinaya (Buddhist monastic law), Sutra (the sermons of the Buddha), and Abhidharma (Buddhist sectarian treatises). Walser also examines how the philosopher forged alliances with the laity and other Buddhist sects -- alliances that proved pivotal in insuring the survival of Mahyna teachings. In addition to his analysis of Nagarjuna's writings, Walser explores a range of Buddhist and non-Buddhist sources, as well as art historical and epigraphic evidence to offer a creative and original contribution to the understanding of Nagarjuna and the early history of Buddhism.
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Book details

List price: $70.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 5/11/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 6.46" wide x 9.25" long x 1.16" tall
Weight: 1.474
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Locating Mahayana
Locating Nagarjuna
Mahayana and the Constraints of Monastic Law
Mahayana Sutras as Monastic Property
On the Parasitic Strategies of Mahayana
Abhidharma and Sectarian Identity
Nagarjuna and the Abhidharma Conclusion: Toward the Outline of a Career
Appendix: The Authorship of the Ratnava
Notes
Bibliography