Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins - Naomi Appleton

Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins - Naomi Appleton

7. Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Buddhist Treatment of the Dead

Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins - Naomi Appleton

Richard Gombrich [+-]
University of Oxford / Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies
Richard Gombrich is founder and President of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, and Chairman of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies. Before his retirement in 2004, he held the Boden Chair of Sanskrit at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College for 28 years. He supervised nearly 50 theses on Buddhist topics, and is the author of 200 publications. He continues to lecture and teach at universities round the world.

Description

Every culture is concerned about what happens to people when they die. Even when the dominant religion/ideology provides an answer, an examination of what people actually say and do generally discloses various inconsistences, for example between what they claim to believe and what their actions (notably rituals) suggest that they believe or at least consider possible. In every traditional Buddhist society, adherents are supposed to believe in rebirth, a fate which only those who achieve enlightenment escape, and yet in both the Indian and the Chinese Buddhist traditions people worship and to some extent interact with their dead ancestors and in doing so preserve local pre- Buddhist beliefs and customs. In both traditions there are likewise inconsistencies between what people believe about themselves and what they believe about others, as well as beliefs about how to treat dead parents and how to treat dead strangers. Much in the observable mixture of beliefs and practices may be ascribed to the Buddha himself.

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Citation

Gombrich, Richard. 7. Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Buddhist Treatment of the Dead. Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 117-130 Oct 2019. ISBN 9781781798928. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=33387. Date accessed: 14 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33387. Oct 2019

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