[Buddha-l] Current state of study of early Buddhist schools?

Baopiguy at comcast.net Baopiguy at comcast.net
Fri Dec 16 22:00:03 MST 2005

Richard is SO VERY CORRECT in his response. I was once asked to teach 
a course on pre-and early Buddhist schools at the University if 
Oriental Studies here in Los Angeles. Turned out I had two students, 
an M.D. and a Buddhist master.

I spent about three half-to-full days each week preparing a 
three-hour class which was 90% lecture since they had little 
knowledge in the area and few questions. It was the most thankless 
job I ever had.........I would never go through such hell again.

(By the way, I see you've given up the cold for the heat, Richard. 
Hope I can visit you one day...or is this a guest professor situation?)

An Tzu

>On Fri, 2005-12-16 at 11:17 +0100, Stefan Detrez wrote:
> > Whatever happened to the study of those early schools eversince? It
> > seems there's no interest to study early buddhist schools telling from
> > the meager quantity of books published on that subject.
>That's a good question. My own feeling is that progress in that area
>will be slow, because it is impossible to do any research in that field
>without having a very good command of Indic languages, Buddhist Chinese
>(which is a specialty in itself) and Tibetan. Fewer and fewer people
>have the necessary linguistic skills AND the interest of working in what
>seems to many like a very dry area of research. We are living in deeply
>anti-scholastic times, thanks in part to the post-modern allergy to
>"grand narratives" and to such quaint ideas as "truth".
>Don't expect anything of value to come from the Americas. Our brief
>flirtation with civilization finished sometime around 1835. Our
>educational systems have been carefully tuned to produce nothing but
>ignorant savages stupid enough to vote for neo-conservative Republicans.
>Most American academics can't even write grammatical English, let alone
>read Chinese and Sanskrit, or even and French, German and Russian
>(without which most past research in Buddhism is inaccessible).
>We have fallen on evil times, mon ami. Perhaps when the kali yuga is
>over, there will be some good research in Buddhism again. Until then,
>just keep mindful of your breathing.
>Richard Hayes
>Department of Philosophy
>University of New Mexico
>buddha-l mailing list
>buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com

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