In this book the author considers data from both early and later schools of Buddhism in an attempt to provide an overall characterization of the structure of Buddhist ethics. The importance of ethics in the Buddha's teachings is widely acknowledged, but the pursuit of ethical ideals has up to now been widely held to be secondary to the attainment of knowledge. Drawing on the Aristotelian tradition of ethics the author argues against this intellectualization of Buddhism and in favour of a (...) new understanding of the tradition in terms of which ethics plays an absolutely central role. In the course of this reassessment many basic concepts such as karma, nirvana, and the Eightfold Path, are reviewed and presented in a fresh light. The book will be of interest to readers with a background in either Buddhist studies or comparative religious ethics. (shrink)
The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a growing interest in Buddhism, and it continues to capture the imagination of many in the West who see it as either an alternative or a supplement to their own religious beliefs. Numerous introductory books have appeared in recent years to cater to this growing interest, but almost none devotes attention to the specifically ethical dimensions of the tradition. For various complex cultural and historical reasons, ethics has not received as much attention (...) in traditional Buddhist thought as it has in the West. Written by Damien Keown, one of the few experts worldwide who specializes in the area, Buddhist Ethics illustrates how Buddhism might approach a range of contemporary morals ranging from abortion to euthanasia, sexuality to cloning, and even war and economics. (shrink)
The success of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) worldwide has led to an accumulation of frozen embryos that are surplus to the reproductive needs of those for whom they were created. In these situations, couples must decide whether to discard them or donate them for scientific research or for use by other infertile couples. While legislation and regulation may limit the decisions that couples make, their decisions are often shaped by their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, health professionals, scientists and policy-makers are often (...) unaware of the way in which faith traditions view ART and decisions concerning the ‘fate’ of surplus embryos. In this paper scholars representing six major religious traditions provide a commentary on a hypothetical case concerning the donation or destruction of excess ART embryos. These commentaries provide a rich account of religious perspectives on the status of the human embryo and an insight into the relevance of faith to health and policy decisions, particularly in reproductive medicine, ART and embryo research. (shrink)
Varieties of Ethical Reflection brings together new cultural and religious perspectives—drawn from non-Western, primarily Asian, philosophical sources—to globalize the contemporary discussion of theoretical and applied ethics.
Issues such as abortion, embryo research and euthanasia have been discussed exhaustively from the standpoint of Western philosophy and religion, but so far the voice of Buddhism has been little heard in the debate. Although widely respected for its benevolent and humanistic values, Buddhism has not so far shown how its ethical principles can be applied in a consistent manner to contemporary moral dilemmas. Drawing on both ancient and modern sources, this book sets out the basis of a Buddhist response (...) to the major ethical questions posed by modern medicine. (shrink)
_Action Dharma_ charts the emergence of a new chapter in an ancient faith - the rise of social service and political activism in Buddhist Asia and the West. Fourteen new essays treat the historical origins, global range, teachings and practices, and leaders and organizations that make up the latest turning of the Dharma. Environmentalism and peace walks through the minefields of Southeast Asia, the future of the 'untouchables' of Japan, and outreach to minorities and inmates of the criminal justice system (...) in the West are some of the challenging topics considered. (shrink)
_Buddhist Studies from India to America_ covers four important areas of Buddhist Studies: Vinaya Studies and Ethics, the history of Buddhist schools, Western Buddhism, and Inter-religious dialogue. These are the main areas which Charles S. Prebish has either inaugurated or helped to define; and his academic career as a leading, international scholar, and his significant professional achievements are celebrated within this volume. The geographical and historical scope of the essays in this collection range from ancient India to modern America, and (...) includes contributions by well-known international scholars. The contributors discuss a variety of academic disciplines including philosophy, psychology, history, feminism, and sociology. It will appeal to scholars whose interests embrace either ancient or modern aspects of the Buddhist tradition. (shrink)