[Buddha-l] Joanna Kirk <jkirk@spro.net>

Piya Tan dharmafarer at gmail.com
Sun Feb 25 18:36:01 MST 2007


It's a relief actually to hear I'm out of date, as I must have lost
touch with ethnographics studies on Buddhism. Since Jackson &
Makransky's "Buddhist Theology" (2000), contemporary scholars of
Buddhism are more mature and first-person in their contributions
(right, Richard?). Now we even have Buddhist psychology and meditation
in mainstream USA (William James could well be smiling.).

It's interesting to see how the 3rd-person approach (esp in the
ethnographic disciples) is a tool of the colonial rulers to study the
minds and ways of natives to exert a greater dominance and influence
over them. Although William James, over a century ago, spoke of such a
1st-person approach, we only see this with the exit of the colonial

The latest Buddhist researches and publications are not always
available here in Singapore (most bookshops here display works on
Tibetan Buddhism). Occasionally when I am in need of some really
important journals notes, I have to email a friend in University of
the West (previous Hsilai Univ, near LA, USA).

Where scholars generously have uploaded their papers (and books)
online, we have oja from Paranimmitavasavatti.  The Journal of
Buddhist Ethics' free access is a great contribution to contemporary
Buddhist Studies. Hope we have more such contributions.

It's good to see Buddha-L gathering momentum again.

Piya Tan

On 2/26/07, Richard Hayes <rhayes at unm.edu> wrote:
> On Saturday 24 February 2007 21:51, Piya Tan wrote:
> > Ethnographers generally like to use somewhat water-tight categories of
> > "kammic," "nibbanic," "apotropaic" etc.
> You're about 35 years out of date, Bhante. I don't think people have been
> using those categories since the publication of Buddhism and Society in 1970.
> That book ably demonstrated the inadequacy of oversimplified schemata, and it
> has had an enormous impact on those of us who make a living by talking about
> Buddhism.
> By the way, dear denizens, please be mindful about answering messages. Please
> be sure to 1) cut out everything in the message you are replying to except
> what is necessary to establish a context for your answer, and 2) send your
> message only in plain text format and NOT in HTML.
> --
> Richard Hayes
> Department of Philosophy
> University of New Mexico
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