An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues (Introduction to Religion)

An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues (Introduction to Religion)

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Peter Harvey
Cambridge University Press, 6/22/2000
EAN 9780521553940, ISBN10: 0521553946

Hardcover, 500 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm
Language: English

This systematic introduction to Buddhist ethics is aimed at anyone interested in Buddhism, including students, scholars and general readers. Peter Harvey is the author of the acclaimed Introduction to Buddhism (Cambridge, 1990), and his new book is written in a clear style, assuming no prior knowledge. At the same time it develops a careful, probing analysis of the nature and practical dynamics of Buddhist ethics in both its unifying themes and in the particularities of different Buddhist traditions. The book applies Buddhist ethics to a range of issues of contemporary concern: humanity's relationship with the rest of nature; economics; war and peace; euthanasia; abortion; the status of women; and homosexuality. Professor Harvey draws on texts of the main Buddhist traditions, and on historical and contemporary accounts of the behaviour of Buddhists, to describe existing Buddhist ethics, to assess different views within it, and to extend its application into new areas.

1. Shared foundations of Buddhist ethics
sources of guidance to Buddhists
Rebirth and karma
The four noble truths
Philosophy of action
2. Key Buddhist values
Keeping the lay precepts
Monastic values
Ethics of inter-personal relationships
Loving kindness and compassion
Social ethics
3. Mahayana emphases and adaptations
the path of the Bodhisattva
The ethics of the Bodhisattva
Skilful means and overriding precepts
Specific strands of Mahayana thought and practice
Mahayana reassessment of monasticism
4. Attitude to and treatment of the natural world
Humanity's place in nature
Non-harming of animals
Positive regard, and help, for animals
Plants, trees and forests
Conservation and environmentalism
5. Economic ethics
Lay economic ethics
The monastic economy
Buddhism and capitalism
Weber's 'Protestant Ethic' thesis
'Buddhist economics'
Buddhism and economics in the modern world
6. War and peace
Buddhist analyses of the causes of conflict
Solutions to conflict
Non-violent reflections on a violent world
The position of the soldier
Buddhist 'justifications' of and involvement in, violence
Buddhist action for peace in the modern world
7. Suicide and euthanasia
considerations and arguments against suicide
Suicide and the precepts
8. Abortion and contraception
Embryonic life
Abortion and Buddhist principles
Abortion in Buddhist cultures
Anti-abortion but pro-choice?
the relationship between morality and law
9. The status of women
women in early Hinduism
the effect of Buddhism
The spiritual potential and achievement of women
Gender, rebirth and the status of women
Views on spiritual statuses unattainable by women
Images of wise and wayward women
Ascetic wariness of the opposite sex
The ordination of women
Nuns and other female religious roles in Buddhist cultures
Lay women in Buddhist texts
Lay women in Buddhist cultures
10. Homosexuality and other forms of 'Queerness'
Sex change
Homosexual acts
Homosexuality in Buddhist cultures.