Nirvana and other Buddhist felicities : utopias of the Pali imaginaire

Steven Collins

This book presents an answer to the question: what is nirvana? Part I distinguishes between systematic and narrative thought in the Pali texts of Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, arguing that nirvana produces closure in both, and setting nirvana in the wider category of Buddhist Felicities. Part II explores other Buddhist utopias (both eu-topias, 'good places', and ou-topias, 'no-places'), and relates Buddhist utopianism to studies of European and American utopian writing. The book ends with a close reading of the Vessantara Jataka, which highlights the conflict between the ascetic quest for closure and ultimate felicity, and the ongoing demands of ordinary life and society. Steven Collins discusses these issues in relation to textuality, world history and ideology in premodern civilizations, aiming to contribute to an alternate vision of Buddhist history, which can hold both the inside and the outside of texts together.

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  • Preface and Acknowledgements
  • List of abbreviations
  • Textual chronology
  • General introduction: Buddhism and civilisation history I - structures and processes: Part I. Nirvana In and Out of Time: Introduction to part I: systematic and narrative thought - eternity and closure in structure and story
  • 1. The concept of nirvana
  • 2. The imagery of nirvana
  • 3. Nirvana, time and narrative
  • Conclusion to part I: modes of thought, modes of tradition
  • Part II. Paradise in Heaven and on Earth: Introduction to part II: utopia and the ideal society
  • 4. Heaven, the land of Cockaygne and Arcadia
  • 5. Millennialism
  • Critical discussion: what is 'millennialism'? Premodern ideas and modern movements
  • 6. The perfect moral commonwealth? Kingship and its discontents
  • 7. The Vessantara Jataka
  • Conclusion to part II: in what sense can one speak of Buddhist utopianism?
  • General conclusion: Buddhism and civilisation history II - reprise: Appendices
  • Bibliography
  • Glossary
  • Indexes.

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書名 Nirvana and other Buddhist felicities : utopias of the Pali imaginaire
著作者等 Collins, Steven
Graham, William
Lange, Nicholas De
Clayton, John
シリーズ名 Cambridge studies in religious traditions
出版元 Cambridge University Press
刊行年月 1998
ページ数 xxiv, 684 p.
大きさ 24 cm
ISBN 0521570549
NCID BA35770915
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言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国