RELG252%2022%3a10%3a10 - Problems in seeking truth-Buddhism...

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Problems in seeking truth -Buddhism not a word that existed before. History of “Buddhism” starts in XIXth century. -As a subject, it doesn’t exist as we would want, as a single, graspable truth. How we like things to exists has a lot to do with how we perceive them, so we need to understand our perception . Dominant culture to which we belong = Christian / secular. This feeds into how we perceive things. Our specific cultural setting is the predominant global culture. Therefore we can tend to see it as invisible. This is an intellectual mistake: thinking that our gaze as neutral, unbiased and it’s the others who have culture. We don’t realize how much we contribute to creating those “others” it happens at very subtle level: how we constitute truth, constitute our subjects. What we want to find guides what we find. -That truth is singular is simply a convention. Western perception of Buddhism Colonialism and B.H. Hodgson -Buddhism began to been understood in West without doing justice to the multiplicity of truths. -Buddhism is stereotyped in a positive way, as opposed to Hinduism. Was able to be sight of projection because when Brits were in India, not much of a Buddhist tradition. So by time Brits looked at what Buddhism was, already had lots of ideas about Indian religion, and as only reading scripture, formed lots of ideas on it which had nothing to do with what Buddhists practice, and no community to contradict them. So they ignored what Buddhists said, since “natives don’t know anything”. -Created as object of knowledge in 19 th c. Brian Houghton Hodgson : spent lots of time collecting Sanskrit manuscript. He thought that the original text of Buddhist Sanskrit canon had been preserved. Bunched together many Sanskrit texts labeled “the canon”, so all traditions were bunched together. -He also found a “native informant”.
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This note was uploaded on 12/23/2010 for the course RELG 252 taught by Professor Professorsharma during the Fall '08 term at McGill.

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RELG252%2022%3a10%3a10 - Problems in seeking truth-Buddhism...

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