Posts Tagged ‘protest suicide’

Philosophical monograph published by Springer Verlag (Singapore), June 21st 2022, as e-book (printed version available from July; chapters available as downloads). This book provides a comprehensive philosophical account of the normative status of killing in Buddhism. Its argument theorises on relevant Buddhist philosophical grounds the metaphysical, phenomenological and ethical dimensions of the distinct intentional classes of killing, in dialogue with some elements of Western philosophical thought. In doing so, it aims to provide a descriptive account of the causal bases of intentional killing, a global justification and elucidation of Buddhist norms regarding killing, and an intellectual response to and critique of alternative conceptions of such norms presented in recent Buddhist Studies scholarship. It examines early and classical Buddhist accounts of the evaluation of killing, systematising and rationally assessing these claims on both Buddhist and contemporary Western philosophical grounds. The book provides the conceptual foundation for the discussion, engaging original reconstructive philosophical analyses to both bolster and critique classical Indian Buddhist positions on killing and its evaluation, as well as contemporary Buddhist Studies scholarship concerning these positions. In doing so, it provides a systematic and critical account of the subject hitherto absent in the field. Engaging Buddhist philosophy from scholastic dogmatics to epistemology and metaphysics, this book is relevant to advanced students and scholars in philosophy and religious studies: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-19-2441-5?noAccess=true

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In China and Tibet, and under the gaze of the global media, the four-year period from February 2009 to February 2013 saw the self-immolations of at least 110 Tibetan Buddhist monks, nuns and lay-people. Underlying the phenomenon of Buddhist self-immolation is a real and interpretive ambiguity between personal, religious, altruistic and political suicide, and political suicide within the Buddhist saṅgha specifically, itself reflected in the varying historical assessments of the practice and currently given by global Buddhist leaders such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Vietnamese monk and activist Thích Nhất Hạnh.

Part One of this essay surveys the textual and theoretical background to the canonical record and commentarial reception of suicide in Pāli Buddhist texts, and the background to self-immolation in the Mahāyāna, and considers how the current Tibetan Buddhist self-immolations relate ethically to that textual tradition. This forms the basis for, in Part Two, understanding them as altruistic-political acts in the global repertoire of contention.

Part One of a long essay published December 28, 2013 in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/2013/12/28/buddhist-self-immolation-and-mahayanist-absolute-altruism/

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