The Divine Quest, East and West: A Comparative Study of Ultimate Realities
Looks at the concept of Ultimate Reality in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity.
Many books have discussed the development of the notion of God in Western monotheistic traditions, but how have non-Western cultures conceptualized what those in the West might identify as “God”? What might be learned by comparing different visions of the Divine, such as God, gods, Brahman, Nirvana, and Emptiness? James L. Ford engages these fascinating questions, exploring notions of “the Divine” or “Ultimate Reality” within Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions. Looking at a multiplicity of divine conceptions, even within traditions, Ford discusses the relationship between imagination and revelation in the emergence of visions of ultimacy; consequences and tendencies associated with particular notions of the Ultimate; and how new visions of the Ultimate arise in relation to social, cultural, political, and scientific developments. Ford reflects on what can be learned through an awareness of the various beliefs about the Ultimate and on how such disparate visions influence the attitudes and behavior of people in different parts of the world.
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Akshobhya Amitabha argues ascetic atman Axial Age beliefs Berger Bhagavad Gita bhakti Bible bodhisattva brahman Buddha Buddha-nature Buddhist traditions century BCE Chinese Christian claims classical theism conceptions context cosmic buddhas cosmology critical culture Daoism deities dependent origination devotion Dharma dharmakaya dialectical distinction divine doctrine early emerged emphasis emptiness encounter enlightenment essence eternal evolution evolving example existence God’s goddess gods highlight Hindu Hindu traditions Hinduism human ideal imagination Indian Indra Israel Israelites Jewish karmic king Krishna Laozi later Mahayana Buddhism meaning metaphysical monastic monotheism monotheistic mystical narrative nature Nikaya nirvana no-self nomos noted Olivelle one’s ontological path perhaps philosophical postmodern pratitya-samutpada realm reference reflect religion revelation Rigveda ritual sacred samsara scholars sense shunyata social sutras tathagatagarbha teachings tension texts theistic theology Tillich tion transcendent truth ultimacy Ultimate Reality understanding University Upanishads Vedic vision worldview worship Yahweh Zhuangzi