Tiantai Buddhism emerged from an idiosyncratic and innovative interpretation of the Lotus Sutra to become one of the most complete, systematic, and influential schools of philosophical thought developed in East Asia. Brook A. Ziporyn puts Tiantai into dialogue with modern philosophical concerns to draw out its implications for ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. Ziporyn explains Tiantai’s unlikely roots, its positions of extreme affirmation and rejection, its religious skepticism and embrace of religious myth, and its view of human consciousness. Ziporyn reveals the profound insights of Tiantai Buddhism while stimulating philosophical reflection on its unexpected effects.
1. Just Here Is the End of Suffering: Letting Suffering Be in Early Buddhism
2. Rafts and Arrows: The Two Truths in Pre-Tiantai Buddhism
3. Neither Thus Nor Otherwise: Mahāyāna Approaches to Emptiness
4. Buddha-nature and Original Enlightenment
5. How to Not Know What You’re Doing: Introduction to the Lotus Sūtra
6. The New Middle Way: Highlights of the Lotus Sūtra in Tiantai Context
7. The Interpervasion of All Points of View: From the Lotus Sūtra to Tiantai
8. Tiantai: The Multiverse as You
9. Experiencing Tiantai: Experiments with Tiantai Practice
10. Tiantai Ethics and the Worst Case Scenario
Epilogue: So Far and Yet So Close
Bibliography and Suggested Reading
"Introduces new stories and expressions of rather arcane and often scholastic teachings, and succeeds in making the subject matter interesting and relevant, for the general reader as well as the specialist."
Paul Swanson, author of Foundations of T'ien-T'ai Philosophy: The Flowering of the Two Truths Theory in Chinese Bu
"Those who take the journey with Ziporyn will find a rich and rewarding work, not simply due to the mind-boggling Tiantai doctrine, but also because of Ziporyn's respect for the tradition and his extraordinary finesse in presenting its demanding ideas."