Mahayana Study Questions

Mahayana Study Questions - Mahayana to classify the...

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1 Study Questions for Religion 44, Buddhism Mahayana 1. How does Mahayana re-conceptualize the concept of a Buddha? In what ways does that re-conceptualization build upon ideas about the nature of the Buddha already seen in Mainstream Buddhist sutras and the narrative biography presented by Strong? 2. Identify and explain the Three Bodies of the Buddha. 3. How does Mahayana transform the concept of the bodhisattva? Ind what ways do they level an attack upon the arhat ideal? What are the cardinal qualities of the bodhisattva? How is the bodhisattva portrayed in such Mahayana texts as the Vimalak ī rti and Sukh ā vat ī vy ū ha sutras? What perfections and practices are emphasized in the Mahayana conception of the path? 4. Over the course of the semester we have encountered a variety of hermeneutical devices have been used by Buddhists to analyze and order the multiplicity of viewpoints advocated in Buddhist texts. Please describe the ways in which the following terms have been utilized by mainstream-early Buddhists and proponents of
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Unformatted text preview: Mahayana to classify the teachings. Where appropriate, support your answer with references to the various sutra readings we have done over the course of the semester. a. Ultimate truth-conventional truth b. Determined teaching-undetermined teaching c. Skillful means ( up ā ya ) d. Middle Way e. Emptiness ( śū nyat ā ) f. Bodhisattva g. Dharmas h. Bodhicitta 5. Describe the ways in which both the Sukh ā vat ī vy ū ha and the Vimalak ī rti sutras use a variety of interconnecting narrative frames, chronological and spatial settings, and narrative voices to claim the authority of mainstream Buddhism while modifying, rejecting, or transcending many mainstream Buddhist practices and doctrines. In what ways can these two very different texts be seen as representing one particular vision of Buddhism? In what ways do these two texts make contesting claims to ultimacy? What particular textual features might indicate an awareness of the positions taken by the other text?...
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2010 for the course RELIGION 43 taught by Professor Prasad,l during the Fall '08 term at Duke.

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