Buddhism and the Contemporary World: Change and Self Correction

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Atlantic Books, Limited, 1983 - Religion - 190 pages
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Charles Hartshorne characterizes this book as “an eloquent and insightful presentation of the claims of Buddhism to the attention of thoughtful people in this country, espe­cially those aware of the widely influential process philosophy and process theology of Whitehead.”


Stressing Buddhism as opposed to West­ern philosophy, Jacobson concentrates on the theme of the self-corrective nature of Buddhism, ending with a strong emphasis on “self-surpassing Oneness.” Introducing the reader to the major perspectives of Buddhist philosophy, he notes that “the more fully awakened we become to the moments that are the real event, the more we will recog­nize how much we need each other to enrich these nows, and the less tempted we will be to serve that abstract and false self.”


Because everything on earth is a part of everything else, an organic whole, even the most enlightened self-interest is irrational and destructive. The rational person seeks to “infuse the life we live with the novel qualities of each now.” The rational person further struggles to “free himself from the one-sided, self-justifying cultural cocoons that have dwarfed and warped his awareness and crippled cross-cultural communica­tions,” according to Jacobson. Buddhism of­fers the only alternative to the enervated economic, political, diplomatic, and military measures presently used to “cope with un­derlying disaster.”

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The SelfCorrective Buddhist Way
The SelfSurpassing Oneness

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About the author (1983)

Nolan Pliny Jacobson, author of Buddhism: The Religion of Analysis (Southern Illinois Uni­versity Press), is Emeritus Professor of Phi­losophy and Religion at Winthrop College in South Carolina.

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