Buddhist Spiritual Practices


The Western reception of Buddhism has long been tied in knots over the seemingly intractable question: is it a religion or a philosophy? French philosopher Pierre Hadot’s constructive redeployment of Ignatius Loyola’s ideal of “spiritual exercise” has therefore been seen as offering a welcome way to cut through the dilemma. The present volume, whose seven chapters skillfully explore the prospects for developing Hadot’s thought within Buddhist Studies, represents a valuable new contribution to this important discussion

Matthew T. Kapstein, Director of Tibetan Studies, École Practique des Hautes Études, Paris; Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, The University of Chicago Divinity School.

This fine volume of new essays —some by established and influential scholars of Buddhism, and some by rising stars in Buddhist Studies— explores the value of Pierre Hadot’s work for understanding the relationship between philosophy and religious practice in the Buddhist world, and for understanding the enterprise of Buddhist Studies itself. The authors call upon us to look anew at the relationship between Buddhist philosophy and spiritual practice, and between Buddhism and Buddhist Studies.

Jay L. Garfield, Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Buddhist Studies, Smith College; Visiting Professor of Buddhist Philosophy, Harvard Divinity School.

. . . an invaluable contribution in what promises to be a fruitful emerging research field.
– Matthew Sharpe and Eli Kramer, Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture vol. 3, no. 4, 2019.

. . . a welcome addition to the increasing number of readings of Buddhist philosophy from the perspective of Hadot. 
– Christopher W. Gowens, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 9/8/18
. . . a collection of superb essays that model how to engage with contemporary ideas while remaining true to the tradition of one’s own studies. 
– Aleksander Uskakov, Reading Religion, 1/21/19
. . . a relevant and timely contribution to human knowledge.
– Jeffrey Long, The Wire, 8/24/18

. . . of obvious relevance to anyone who studies Buddhist philosophy or Hadot.
(Click on the name of the journal to read the full review.)

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