This volume concludes the two-volume sequel to Masao Abe's Zen and Western Thought. Like its companion, Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue, this work contains many previously published essays and papers by Abe. Here he clarifies the true meaning of Buddhist emptiness in comparison with the Aristotelian notion of substance and the Whiteheadean notion of process.
In Volume i of his Systematic Theology , Paul Tillich says, ‘Being precedes nonbeing in ontological validity, as the word “nonbeing” itself indicates’ . He also says elsewhere, ‘Being “embraces” itself and nonbeing’, and ‘Nonbeing is dependent on the being it negates. “Dependent”—points first of all to the ontological priority of being over nonbeing’ . Tillich makes these statements in connection with a tendency among some Christian thinkers to take God as Being itself. The same understanding of the relation of (...) being and non-being can be discerned in major strands of Greek philosophy through the ideas of to on and me on . Although Greek philosophy and the Christian movement have different starting points in time, in geographical locale, in conceptual orientation, Tillich's statements demonstrate the manner in which the two strands have, to a significant degree, merged, and his comments reflect a basic under standing of being and nonbeing in the West. (shrink)
Written by one of Japan's foremost contemporary thinkers and scholars, Zen and Modern Society is the third in a series of essay collections on Zen Buddhism as seen in the context of Western thought. Throughout his career, Masao Abe has articulated the meaning of Zen thought in a uniquely compelling way - at once, true to the original tradition and appropriately relevant to a variety of comparative standpoints, ranging from Biblical Judeo-Christianity to modern existentialism, phenomenology, and postmodernism. As a leading (...) representative of the Kyoto School, which has sought a critical, comparative linking of Eastern and Western thought, Abe has based his approach on constructive, mutually respectful yet critical intellectual interaction and dialogue with some of the leading figures in the West (including Paul Tillich, Hans Kung, and Eugene Borowitz) as well as dozens of colleagues, students, and disciples. Together with the previous volumes, this work examines and exemplifies some key features of Kyoto School thought. While the essays presented here should be read in light of the socio-political criticism that has since been lodged against the Kyoto School and, more particularly, i. (shrink)