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Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions

Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions
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Item Code: IDE044
Author: Roderick Hindery
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 9788120808669
Pages: 327
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8" X 5.8"
From the Jacket:

This exploratory volume in the new field of comparative ethics serves the diverse goals of groups variously interested in international law and morality, in comparative religious ethical ideals, or simply in cross-cultural literature and drama.

Ethically minded persons confirm the age-old premise that human wisdom about cultural premise that human wisdom about cultural and moral growth is not the prerogative of religious, philosophical or other elites. While popular traditions tend to be drowned out by elitist, discriminatory models for just human relationships, they have better upheld the freedom and beauty of diversity.

The author draws moral ideals from primary Hindu sources - popular and formal, literary and scriptural. The same method is applied for Buddhist moral texts. Introducing method in comparative ethics with a synopsis of Hindu mystical tradition, the author discusses in detail ethics in the Rgveda, Upanisads, Laws of Manu, Ramayana, Gita, other popular classics, poetry, drama, philosophers, and reformers. After summarizing pluralism in Hindu ethics, the author sketches ethical thought in Mahayana Buddhist texts. The book contains elaborate notes, two appendices, critical textual matter, a diagram of topical parallels, a bibliography, and an index.

About the Author:

Roderick Hindery, Professor of Religious Studies at Temple University, Philadelphia, 1968-86, still specializes in ethics and religious studies at California State University, Northridge. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the dilemma of unselfish live in Christian ethics. Since 1968, his essays, lectures, and teaching have endeavoured to highlight basic, ethical questions within an interdisciplinary cross-cultural, and inter-religious context

Excerpts from Review:

'…a major resource in which to explore the moral traditions of some major human civilizations. Professor Hindery has given readers a sometimes starting, but always informative antidote with which to oppose conventional assumptions about Asian forms of moral imagination and judgement."

- Prof. James Smurl.
Indiana-Purdue University at Indianapolis

"The chapter on Mahayana Buddhism is right on course without the usual presumptions and presumptuous attitude. Buddhism is not a finished system of thought; it is a growing, dynamic phenomenon. Thus, Buddhist ethics flourishes only in its dynamic application. In this Professor Hindery's understanding of the roots of the ethical nature as exemplified in the Bodhisattva ideal shows all the promise of significant and sensitive contact, dialogue, growth, and dissemination. It should be read by moralists of universal persuasion."

- Prof. Kenneth. K. Inada
State University of New York at Buffalo

"In this impressive, scholarly work Roderick Hindery analyzes at length both the formal canonical and popular canonical literature of Hinduism, and, very briefly, some Mahayana Buddhist texts, to determine whether these two religious traditions exhibit any concern to move people from contemplation to action, from mysticism to morality…It should be in all religious studies and libraries, since it should be read in its entirely by all serious scholars of Eastern thought, even persons without a special concentration in ethics."
      "…an antidote to simplistic assumptions about Eastern thought and ethics. In contemporary Western theology, horizon analysis has taught us that unasked questions mark the boundary between one horizon and another. The author has dared to ask new questions and has brought into view a new horizon against which to view Eastern and Western thought."

- Marjorie Reiley Maguire


Foreword Prof. James F.Smurlvii
Preface to the Second Editionxiii
I. Methods in Comparative Ethics : Synopsis of A Hindu Mystical Tradition; A Systematic, Introductory Glossary to External Structures and Terms in Hindu Morality1
II. Ethics in the Rigveda35
III. Ethics in the Upanishads60
IV. Ethics in the Laws of Manu74
V. Ethics in the Ramayana95
VI. Ethics in the Bhagavad Gita128
VII. Ethics in other Popular Classics, Poetry and Drama157
VIII. Ethics in the Philosophers and Reformers : Sankara and Gandhi as Types177
IX. Summary of Pluralism in Hindu Ethics; Epilogue on Ethical Relativism and Motivation in Comparative Ethical Judgements202
X. An Introduction to Ethical Thought in Mahayana Buddhist Texts221
Appendix I. Critical Textual Matters:
  1. The Ramayana
  2. The Mahabharata:
    1. Books XII and XIII and
    2. Core (UR) Plot and Characters
Appendix II. Diagram of Topical Parallels281
Selected Bibliography281

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