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Within the scope of the English-language literature on Buddhism, the codes of behavior mandated by Buddhist doctrine represent an infrequently discussed topic. The selections here consist of essays on Buddhism by 17 scholars and practitioners, who address the ongoing evolution of Buddhist doctrine as reflected in its cultural, temporal, political, and geographical accommodations from the earliest days, to the present, and into the future. Past precedent is used as a means of clarifying the precise role of the precepts in the modern world as Buddhists face the 21st century and continue to encounter diverse cultural contexts.
Scholars, practitioners, and students alike will find instructive the theoretical as well as practical issues that are covered, including textual criticism, hermeneutics, cross-cultural studies, theories of action, psychology, death and dying, feminism, business management, challenges to the Western scientific paradigm, and religion in popular culture. Three main questions are explored from diverse perspectives: What was and is the significance of the precepts; how can they best be applied, and creatively adapted, to changing social conditions to best fulfill the original intentions of the Buddha; and how are we to determine present upayic demands to avoid violating those intentions? As many argue in these pages, there is much more at stake in the issue of sila/vinaya than simple guidelines for an obsolete lifestyle to be discarded at will. Rather, the case can be made that they represent an intrinsic part of Buddhist cultivation, even a sine qua non of successful, consummate practice.
- Table of Contents
Introduction by Charles Wei-hsun Fu and Sandra A. WawrytkoPrologue: On the Temporal and Spatial Adaptability of the Bodhisattva Precepts, with Reference to the Three Combined Pure Precepts by Dharma Teacher Sheng-yenThe Historical ContextThe Beginnings of Buddhist Discipline: Notes on an Early Buddhist Theory of Action by John Clifford HoltDao-xuan and His Religious Precepts by Tatsugen SatoBuddhist Precepts in Medieval Chinese Biographies of Monks by Koichi ShinoharaVinaya in Two Early Collections of Parables by Charles WillemenThe Importance of Vinaya in the Study of Indian Buddhism, with Special Reference to Chinese Sources by Nobuyuki YamagiwaThe Decline of Buddhist Vinaya in China from a Historical and Cultural Perspective by Tso Sze-bongBuddhist Ethics in Japan and Tibet: A Comparative Study of Bodhisattva and Pratimoksa Precepts by Karma Lekshe TsomoRethinking Buddhist Practice in the Modern WorldBuddhist Reform Movements in Korea During the Japanese Colonial Period: Precepts and the Challenge of Modernity by Robert E. BuswellThe Problem of Ordination: Women in Buddhism by Chatsumarn KabilsinghHouseholders and the Five Precepts by Roongraung BoonyorosThe Application of Buddhist Principles to Administrative Arts by Chaiyong BrahmawongDeath--The Ultimate Challenge: A Buddhist Perspective in the Medical Care of Dying Patients by Venerable Mettanando Bhikkhu, Arthur J. Dyck, and William ReichelRevisionings of Buddhist TheoryPreceptual Truth and the Western Psychology of Human Nature by John H. CrookBuddhist Precepts and the Scientific Challenge by Kenneth K. InadaMixed Precepts, the Bodhisattva Precept, and the Preceptless Precept: A Critical Comparison of the Chinese and Japanese Buddhist Views of Sila/Vinaya by Charles Wei-hsun FuSexism in the Early Sangha: Its Social Basis and Philosophical Dis-solution by Sandra A. WawrytkoGlossaryIndex