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Thread: Buddhism as Dialectics

  1. #1

    Buddhism as Dialectics

    I haven't much about this in the search, so I thought I would start a new thread.

    I am interested in the context of the birth of Buddhism, specifically the period in which Buddhism really begins to emerge as a serious religious (maybe) philosophy. I know very little about this time, other than the old communal systems were dying out and new caste and social class systems were replacing them and in this context it seems one of the more path breaking philosophical contributions of Buddha was a particular kind of dialectics which seemed to be contrary to the old Vedic system, and I believe Buddha is quoted somewhere saying he rejected the authority of the Vedas. The caste system enforced by the Brahmans were probably threatened by a teaching that taught directness and a form of social egalitarianism, even *gasp* women could be enlightened according to Buddha. Does anyone have more information on this or suggested books on Buddhist philosophy and history, especially how it related to other teachings such as Jainism?

    Anyway, I will leave you with some entertainment [youtube] [/youtube]

  2. #2

    Re: Buddhism as Dialectics

    Old path white clouds- walking in the footsteps of the buddha by thich

  3. #3

    Re: Buddhism as Dialectics

    Have you seen the Suggested Reading List? Several books on early Buddhist history there:


  4. #4

    Re: Buddhism as Dialectics


    Yes, for a general introduction to Buddhist history and doctrine in South Asia prior to the Mahayana, this book is recommended ...

    Buddhist Thought, A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition, Paul Williams and Anthony Tribe.

    By the way, Paul Williams' follow-up book on the Mahayana is wondrous (and in my opinion, better written than the sometimes clunky first book).

    Mahayana Buddhism, The Doctrinal Foundations, by Paul Williams (now available in a 2nd edition)

    More on point to your question: This document is being passed around now the Zen teachers' community, and many folks seem to like it. I have not yet read it however, but promise to do so this week. I will take the liberty of linking to it based on the favorable comments of others. It is a study of the relationship/differences/conflict between early Buddhism and Brahmanism/Hinduism in India:

    Gassho, Jundo

  5. #5

    Re: Buddhism as Dialectics

    Wonderful! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

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