Buddhism Buddhism and Hinduism
by
GJ Mason
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 February 2022
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195393521-0273

Introduction

A chronological approach is used in this bibliographic article in sequencing emergent categories and concepts as they appear in history, although technically what is understood as “Hinduism” as practiced today did not exist prior to Buddhism. Hinduism and Buddhism are terms framed by modern understandings of religion that delineate a coherent set of beliefs, texts, and practices, according to theorists of the “materialist turn” in religious studies. This argument is borne out in this bibliographical article. In the lived experience, the lines that delineate “Hinduism” and “Buddhism” are porous. As research into Hinduism and Buddhism progresses, interesting intersections and influences challenge categories. The examination of the relationships between Hinduism and Buddhism increasingly takes into account the interpenetrating influences of geography, history, and cultures that problematize any attempt at a discrete view of each religion. This selective record of texts and studies of Hinduism and Buddhism reflects the relationships and interpenetrating influences that continue to shape the field. There are very early texts that provide a history of the field’s beginnings. These texts are of perennial interest in that they provide a view of the foundations of the studies into Hinduism and Buddhism, for example, James George Jennings, The Vedāntic Buddhism of the Buddha: A Collection of Historical Texts Translated and Edited by J.G Jennings (1947). As the field progresses, the categories of research increase in number and overlap. In this regard, there are various comparative categories and any number of entries may fit into any number of these categories. Nevertheless, an attempt is made to find the most conducive category for each entry.

General Overviews

There are very few overview studies of Hinduism and Buddhism. Buddhist studies tends to see itself as discrete from Hinduism. Studies on Indian philosophy and Hinduism tend to include Buddhism within the Hindu context. A common approach is to view the Buddha or Lord Buddha as continuing the unfoldment of Indian orthodox philosophical traditions. Very often his perceived role was to bring Hinduism back to its spiritual roots, away from the decay that had influenced it due to social and philosophical ignorance. This section is divided into three sections; Early Studies, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, and Textbooks.

Early Studies

These texts cannot be read as up-to-date. Nevertheless, they provide important context as foundational texts in the field. Indeed, the very idea of religion can be argued convincingly to be a 19th-century invention, and these early studies of Hinduism and Buddhism lay the foundation for modern understanding of Hinduism and Buddhism. Many contemporary studies still operate with the same, or similar, hypotheses and research questions, even though recent findings may differ or contradict these older texts. The category Early Studies demarcates approximately the period between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century. Although a later text, the approach of Mehta 1976 falls in line with texts in this category. Weber 1958 published his book in 1916 and provides an overview of Hinduism and Buddhism within his sociological categories. First published in 1921, Eliot 1961 presents a commendably complex view of the relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism. Coomaraswamy 1943 is a good example of a Hindu-based interpretation. Jennings 1947 uses the term “re-Hinduization” of Buddhism in reference to Mahāyāna. Schweitzer 1951 gives an overview of Hinduism and Buddhism within the framework of his philosophical categories. Mehta 1976 provides an interesting discussion of evil and suffering in Hinduism and Buddhism as a focus for discussing the two religions. Finally, Brekke 2002, Makers of Modern Indian Religion in the Late Nineteenth Century, provides an excellent analysis of how Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism were given discrete identities by British officials.

  • Brekke, Torkel. Makers of Modern Indian Religion in the Late Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

    DOI: 10.1093/019925236X.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Brekke’s book is not an early study, however it provides useful information about the British officials and Indian scholars who wanted to present modernized histories and identities of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism for different purposes. British officials wanted to develop neat census data and Indian scholars wanted to present their respective religions in an attractive light for a Western audience.

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  • Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Hinduism and Buddhism. New York: Philosophical Library, 1943.

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    Coomaraswamy argues that Hinduism and Buddhism belong to the same sacred tradition beginning with the Vedas. While he interprets Buddhist concepts contentiously, the book provides a good example of Hindu attempts to absorb Buddhism into the Vedic tradition.

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  • Eliot, Charles, Sir. Hinduism and Buddhism: An Historical Sketch. London: Edward Arnold, 1961.

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    First published in 1921, the book documents the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism through Asia. The study argues that, whereas Hindu expansion was predominantly cultural, Buddhism’s migration into Asia was strikingly evangelical. This is an early example of Hindu-Buddhist studies. It is significant because it presents the history of the two religions as closely intertwined, which gives the text currency even today.

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  • Jennings, James George. The Vedāntic Buddhism of the Buddha: A Collection of Historical Texts. Translated and edited by J. G Jennings. London: Oxford University Press, 1947.

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    The Introduction offers a textual and historical framework for Buddhism’s attempts to separate itself from the wider Hindu context in India, while also, during various periods and texts, becoming re-Hinduized. The text is important as an early attempt to put Hinduism and Buddhism in a historical context. Mikel Birley (“Karma and Rebirth in the Stream of Thought and Life,” Philosophy East and West 64 (2014): 4) refers to Jennings’s theory of Buddhism’s “re-hinduization.”

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  • Mehta, Phiroz D. The Heart of Religion. Dorset, UK: Element Books, 1976.

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    Mehta discusses Hindu and Buddhist ideas of suffering in chapter 16, “Evil and Suffering.” He initially discusses the root concept of samsara common to both religions. He then conducts a skillful comparison between Hindu and Buddhist ideas drawing from a number of texts and teachers, such as the Vedas, Buddhaghosa, Yājńavalkya, Nārada, and the Prajñāpāramitā. Evil and suffering, pp.155–174.

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  • Schweitzer, Albert. Indian Thought and Its Development. London: A. & C. Black, 1951.

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    Schweitzer employs the categories he uses in all his philosophical writing, world-and-life-affirmation and world-and-life-negation in his analysis of Hinduism and Buddhism. He perceives Hinduism and Buddhism as world-and-life-negating and pessimistic. The application of his philosophical framework makes this an interesting analysis. Especially pp. 89–195.

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  • Weber, Max. The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism of and Buddhism. Translated by Hans H. Gerth and Don Martindale. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press, 1958.

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    First published in 1916 in German, Weber endeavors to find the roots of capitalism in Asia that are comparable to similar roots in Europe. Though he does not find such roots, his analysis of Hinduism and Buddhism is of interest for contextual understanding of the two religions. His study is predominantly textually based on leading scholarship on Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism at the time.

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

This short section on dictionaries and encyclopedias provides a thumbnail of the topic. There are two sub-sections; Hinduism: Dictionaries and Encyclopedias and Buddhism: Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. The texts cited, although not at all comprehensive, provide useful entry points into the topic.

Hinduism: Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Jones and Ryan 2008 provides short explanations of the Buddha and Buddhism from a Hindu point of view.

  • Jones, Constance A., and James D. Ryan. Encyclopedia of Hinduism. New York: Checkmark Books, 2008.

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    Appropriate to this bibliography, in the section on Buddha it states, “The Buddha (the Awakened One) is revered among contemporary Hindus, who usually consider Buddhism to be another form of Hinduism. Buddha, pp. 96–97.

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Buddhism: Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Keown 2004 provides a short explanation of Hinduism framed by a Buddhist perspective.

  • Keown, Damien. Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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    Hinduism is classified as post-classical religion commencing 400 BCE. Buddhism is seen as an offshoot of Hinduism. Brahminism is argued to be identified with earlier periods of Indian religion. While sharing basic terminology and cosmology, the book argues that Buddhism rejects the notion of Supreme being, Brahman. Hinduism, p. 107.

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Textbooks

Three types of textbook have been selected: those addressing the topic of Hinduism and Buddhism together, and those that focus on Hinduism and Buddhism separately but respectively refer to Hinduism and Buddhism. It is important to find textbooks that are written for students’ contexts. In this regard, an African textbook, Amanze 2010, is provided as an example. Prebish and Keown 2006 is an excellent textbook on Buddhism as is Harvey 1990. Likewise, Flood 1996 and Rodrigues 2006 are very good textbooks on Hinduism. Two other books are included that are not textbooks, but are worthy texts to accompany textbooks, Flood 2007 (Blackwell Companion to Hinduism), and Jerryson 2017 (Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism).

  • Amanze, James N., ed. Biblical Studies, Theology, Religion and Philosophy: An Introduction for African Universities. Eldoret, Kenya: Zapf Chancery Research Consultants and Publishers, 2010.

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    Chapter 19 introduces Hinduism and Buddhism from an African perspective. It begins with the importance of Gandhi’s influence on the political landscape in southern Africa, focusing on the satyagraha. It also considers the importance of Indian migration to southern Africa in the sugar cane labor system. The important ideas of dharma, moksha, samsara, and karma are discussed as key ideas in Hinduism and Buddhism. “Hinduism and Buddhism: An Introduction,” pp.381–398.

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  • Flood, Gavin. An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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    The textbook looks at some contentious arguments, for example, it suggests links between Buddhism and Vedic Brahmanism (p. 77), It also reiterates the common understanding of the shared Yogic foundations of the Upanishads, Jainism, and Buddhism (pp. 82 and 83), It offers an interesting view of Bhakti as a reaction to Buddhism (p. 170).

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  • Flood, Gavin, ed. Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. London: Blackwell, 2007.

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    The text contains interesting information on the convergence of meditation and mystical techniques in Hinduism and Buddhism, p. 255.

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  • Harvey, Peter. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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    Harvey, in discussion of Tantric Buddhism, reiterates the argument that ritual techniques were borrowed from Vedic mantras (p. 134).

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  • Jerryson, Michael, ed. Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

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    The text contains useful examples of both Buddhist absorption into Hinduism (see pp. 38, 74, and 565) and Buddhist repudiation of Hinduism by Dalits (see pp. 39 and 53).

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  • Prebish, Charles S., and Damien Keown. Introducing Buddhism. New York: Routledge, 2006.

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    Very little mention of Hinduism besides possible influence of Bhakti in depictions of the Buddha in human form. Bhakti, p. 85.

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  • Rodrigues, Hillary. Introducing Hinduism. New York: Routledge, 2006.

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    Argues that Buddhism forms part of the Śramaṇa schools who challenged the orthodox schools. Śramaṇa, p. 77.

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General Philosophical Texts

These texts provide general overviews of Indian philosophy, including Hinduism and Buddhism. While they tend to have discrete chapters on Hinduism and Buddhism, the panoramic view of Indian thought that they provide puts Hindu and Buddhist schools of philosophy within the wider continental context. This wide vista view helps students understand better the intersections between Hinduism and Buddhism. Dasgupta 1991, Frauwallner 1973, and Radhakrishnan and Moore 1957 are good standard texts on Indian philosophy that provide rich content on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Hamilton 2001 is an excellent introduction to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Raju 1985 is one of the finest books in this field.

  • Dasgupta, Surendranath. A History of Indian Philosophy. Vol. 1. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1991.

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    A classic text in the field. In numerous sections in Volume 1 of the book, Dasgupta refers to similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism. For example, he sees a similar idea in the transcendent existence of consciousness in Vedanta and Vasubandha. He also sees similarities in Śańkara’s and Nāgārjuna’s arguments for the “existence” of phantom phenomena.

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  • Frauwallner, Erich. History of Indian Philosophy: The Philosophy of the Vedas and of the Epic. The Buddha and Jina. The Sāmkya and the Classical Yoga-System. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1973.

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    Another classic text in the field. Frauwallner argues that Sāmkya and Buddhism are alike in their radical denial of the world and their promotion of ethics in their philosophies. Buddhism is also associated with yoga in the practice of meditation in the pursuit of nirvāṇa.

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  • Hamilton, Sue. Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

    DOI: 10.1093/actrade/9780192853745.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This an excellent introduction that covers the orthodox and “heterodox” Indian philosophical systems. Two chapter are devoted to Buddhism. Chapter 3 discusses early Buddhism and chapter 6 discusses further developments in Buddhist thought in Indian philosophy. The other chapters cover Indian philosophy related to Hinduism.

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  • Radhakrishnan, Sorvepalli, and Charles A. Moore. A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957.

    DOI: 10.1515/9781400865062Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Though the book presents mainly discrete descriptions of different Indian systems of philosophy, the authors argue contentiously that besides Cārvāka, all other orthodox and unorthodox systems of philosophy, including Buddhism, variously accept the basic intuitions of the śruti seers.

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  • Raju, P. T. The Structural Depths of Indian Thought. Albany: New York State University Press, 1985.

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    Raju’s introduction is certainly one of the finest introductions to Indian philosophy, while also offering insightful comparisons with Western philosophy. In chapter 5 he discusses Buddhism where he argues that Buddhism is a form of protestant Vedic religion (p. 147). Like Jainism, Buddhism, according to him, is an ārya dharma religion. Buddhism and the ideal of enlightenment, pp.146–191.

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Yoga

Yoga is one of the major intersections between Hinduism and Buddhism. As with tantra, there are varied findings. Some research argues that yoga has Vedic and pre-Vedic origins. While other texts argue that the foundation text by Patanjali is significantly Buddhist in origin. In this section, an attempt is made to give an overview of these contrasting arguments. Eliade 1988 and Feuerstein 1974 are good introductions. The other selections, namely, O’Brien-Kop 2017, Werner 1975, Wujastyk 2018, White 2012, Gokhale 2020, Johnson 2012, Pensa 1977, Pemaratana 2012, and Sinha 1983 all offer good examples of the debate on the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism on yoga development.

  • Eliade, Mercea. Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. New York: Arkana, 1988.

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    This seminal text in the history of yoga includes chapters on yoga in Hinduism and Buddhism. Although, now dated, the text is still important in the field.

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  • Feuerstein, George. The Essence of Yoga: A Contribution to the Psychohistory of Indian Civilisation. London: Ride, 1974.

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    Feuerstein’s book looks at the influences of yoga in different religious traditions in India in Part 2. The yoga tradition is argued to be pre-Aryan in the ascetic Śramam tradition. This influence becomes evident in Jainism, Classical Yoga, Mahāyāna Buddhism, and Advaita-Vedānta. A comprehensive text that is best suited for undergraduate modules. Part 2, pp. 147–192.

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  • Gokhale, Pradeep P. Yogasūtra Patanjali: A New Introduction to the Buddhist Roots of the Yoga System. Delhi: Routledge, 2020.

    DOI: 10.4324/9780367815950Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The book discusses the 195 sūtras showing the influence of orthodox and heterodox influences including Sānkya, Jaina, and Buddhism. In terms of Buddhism, there is much focus of the Yogācāra influence of Asanga and Vasubanda.

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  • Johnson, Mark E. “The Buddha and Patanjali: The Impact of Buddhism on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with Regards to Ethics as Foundation of Spiritual Attainment as Well as the Conception of Cause and Cessation of Suffering.” Sri Lanka International Journal of Buddhist Studies (SIJBS) 2 (2012): 225–251.

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    This article argues that the Buddha’s teachings were a significant influence on the development of modern Hinduism. A close study of the Yoga Sūtras supports this contention and undermines the argument that yoga has roots in Vedic and pre-Vedic cultures.

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  • O’Brien-Kop, Karen. “Classical Discourses of Liberation: Shared Botanical Metaphors in Sarvāstivāda and the Yoga of Patanjali.” Religions of South Asia 11.2–3 (2017): 123–157.

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    An interesting literary approach to a broadening vein of research in Buddhism and the Sūtras. The delineation of intersections between the two traditions and texts are shown to be pulpable.

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  • Pemaratana, Soorakkulame. “Samādhi in the Vissuddhimagga and in the Yoga Sutra.” Sri Lanka International Journal of Buddhist Studies (SIJBS) 2 (2012): 101–117.

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    This article argues that the Yoga Sūtras and the vissuddhimagga show evidence of being complementary texts in their respective descriptions of the different meditative states, despite being rooted in their own traditions. The article is of interest from within the framework of religious experience.

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  • Pensa, Corrado. “Notes on Meditational States in Buddhism and Yoga.” East and West. 27.1/4 (1977): 335–344.

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    This article considers nirvāṇa and nirodha within the psychology of religious mysticism. Pensa argues that the permanent plateau of meditational experience is more important in yoga and Buddhist dhyanas than peak experiences. Plateau experiences describes stabilized permanent plateau experiences. But more significantly, permanent plateau experiences challenge the notions of consciousness dissipation—nirodha. Permanent plateau experiences suggest more a stable state of undifferentiated consciousness, with a definite consciousness component.

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  • Sinha, Braj M. P. Problem of Time and Temporality in Sāmkya-Yoga and Ābhidarma Buddhism. New Delhi: Munshiram Manonharlal, 1983.

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    The text shows how Sāmkya-yoga and Ābhidarma traditions complement each other. This thesis contradicted current research of that time, such as Murti’s, that professed no link between the two traditions. This is a very good text in that it shows an earlier study within a growing body of research.

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  • Werner, Karel. “Religious Practice and Yoga in the Time of the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Early Buddhism.” Annul of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 56.1.4 (1975): 179–194.

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    The history of yoga is examined. The article argues that yoga existed concurrently with Brahminism and over time influenced Vedic practices, while staying independent. Buddhism and Jainism have their roots in the yogic beliefs and meditational practices. By the time of the Upanishads yogic realizations of directly seeing reality were part of orthodox religious belief. A very useful article.

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  • White, David Gordon. Yoga in Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012.

    DOI: 10.1515/9781400839933Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This book provides a detailed and comprehensive study of yoga as cultural asset of India. The introduction, “Yoga, Brief History of an Idea,” chronicles the roots of yoga in the Vedas and how the idea and practice permeated both Hinduism and Buddhism (and Jainism), particularly as methods of meditation. It follows yoga’s transformation in different texts from the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Visuddhimagga, and later Buddhist texts through Candrakīrti to Yogācāra.

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  • Wujastyk, Dominik. “Some Problematic Yoga Sutras and Their Buddhist Background.” In Yoga in Transformation. Edited by Baier Karl, Karen Preisendanz and Phillipp André Maas, 21–48. Vienna: Vienna University Press, 2018.

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    Wujastyk argues one cannot correctly understand Patanjali’s sutras and commentary without understanding their influences from the Pali Tipitaka and later on by Vasubandu’s Abhidharmaka’s abyāșya. The chapter also makes the useful point that Eliade’s chapter on yoga and Buddhism is mostly obsolete now but was incredibly influential in yoga studies in its time. See pp. 8–21.

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Tantra

As with yoga, tantra is the other most common research field in Hinduism Buddhism studies. The contentious areas of research into tantra as it pertains in this field are the roots of tantra, the geographical and textual influences in tantra, and traditions/practices of tantra. The full ambit of these contrasting research arguments via the selection of articles below is attempted. Dasgupta 1974 is a wonderful standard text. Gray 2016 and Flood 2019 provide good overviews of tantra. Hayes and Timalsina 2017 introduces the interesting topic of cognitive science of religion (CSR) to tantra. Benard 2000 is a good study into tantra and the goddess. The following texts are good examples of studies into the Buddhist and Hindu influences on tantra: Gray and Overbey 2016, Hartzell 1997, Payne 2011, Samdarshi 2014 and Samuel 1987.

  • Benard, Elisabeth Anne. Chinnamastā: The Awful Buddhist and Hindu Tantric Goddess. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2000.

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    This book looks for the origins of Chinnamunda in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In Hinduism she emanates as Durga and in Buddhism as Vajravārāhi-Vajrayoginī. While evidence seems to point to Chinnamastā being depicted in Buddhist texts for a longer time than in Hindu texts. There are older oral traditions of the goddess. The overlapping evidence of Indus and Buddhist traditions of the goddess permit no absolute certainty of the goddess’s origins. An important text in the study of this and related goddesses.

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  • Dasgupta, Shashi Bhushan. An Introduction to Tantric Buddhism. Berkeley, CA: Shambhala, 1974.

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    Dasgupta challenges early arguments by Sondekoppa Shrikante Sastri and Sukunari Bhattacharya that Tantra initially emerged in Buddhism and then influenced Hinduism. He maintains the tantra and Hinduism and Buddhism were derived from a common root in India. This book, therefore, is an important foundational text for tantra in Buddhism and Hinduism, following from the early works by Sir John Woodroff.

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  • Flood, Gavin. “Hinduism and Meditation: Tantra.” In The Oxford Handbook on Meditation. Edited by Miguil Farius, David Brazier, and Mansur Lalljee. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.

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    In this useful chapter Flood explores mainly the Hindu tantra meditation practice of Śiva and Vishnu, with some reference to the goddess and Buddhism. He looks particularly at visualization and pure flow awareness techniques. The online book also includes a chapter on Theravada meditation by Sarah Shaw, Chan Buddhism and meditation by Caifang Zhu, and Tibetan esoteric and exteric meditation by Georgias T. Halkias.

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  • Gray, David B. “Tantra and the Tantric Traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedias, 2016.

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    This article presents a contrasting argument to Samdarshi’s in arguing that tantra can only be dated accurately in India from the 1st century CE for Hinduism and the 7th century CE for Buddhism. The first emergence of tantra in Hinduism is found in the Śaiva and Śākta traditions. In Buddhism tantra emerges in magical Mahāyāna texts influenced by Śaiva Hinduism such as, mahāvairocanābhisabodhi-tantra.

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  • Gray, David B., and Ryan Richard Overbey. Tantric Traditions in Transmission and Translation. Oxford Scholarship, 2016.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199763689.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This volume chronicles the movement and development of tantric Buddhism. Chapter 2 explores the interaction of Buddhism with Śaivism from the early medieval period in India. Its broad coverage of the history of tantra is very useful.

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  • Hartzell, James F. Tantric Yoga: A Study of the Vedic Precursors, Historical Evolution, Literature, Cultures, Doctrines and Practices of the 1st Century Kasmiri Saivite and Buddhist Unexcelled Tantric Yogas. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

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    An excellent study of Saivite and Buddhist tantric traditions. This very useful study also delineates the Vedic origins of tantra.

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  • Hayes, Glen, and Sthaneshwar Timalsina. “Introduction to ‘Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra.’” In Special Issue: Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra. Religions 8.9 (2017): 181.

    DOI: 10.3390/rel8090181Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article enters the fairly new discipline of cognitive science of religion (CSR). In this article tantra is studied in terms of its engagement with the sense, cognitive apparatus, and sexuality in both Buddhist and Hindu tantra.

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  • Payne, Richard K. “Vedic India to Buddhist Japan: Continuities and Discontinuities.” In Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia. Series Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 4 China, Vol. 24. Edited by Charles D. Orzech, Hendrik H. Sørensen, and Richard K. Payne, 1040–1054. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2011.

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    A textured, historical analysis of Esoteric Buddhism with origins in Vedic culture. There are fundamental philosophical differences between Mahāyāna Buddhist and Śaiva Śākta tantric practices, according to this article. Nevertheless, numerous deities, maṇḍalas, mantras, and rituals that are commonly shared demonstrate a cultural fluidity in which tantric Śaivism and Vajrayāna Buddhism evolved (pp. 1040–1054).

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  • Samdarshi, Pranshu. “The Concept of Goddesses in Buddhist Tantra Traditions.” Delhi Journal of Humanities & the Social Sciences 1 (2014): 87–99.

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    The article focuses primarily on the practices of goddesses in Buddhist tantra. It also discusses the interaction and influence of ancient Indic and Vedic religious traditions on Buddhism, particularly Vajrayāna. The study is text-based, providing the context of tantric goddesses in ancient religious settings.

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  • Samuel, Geoffrey. “The Body in Buddhist and Hindu Tantra: Some Notes.” Religion 19.3 (1987): 197–210.

    DOI: 10.1016/0048-721X(89)90019-5Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The article argues that an understanding of Tantra must be based on historical context as Tantra adopts a non-dualist approach between consciousness and society. An interesting read, especially in terms of the development of tantra studies.

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Social and Geographical Issues

This category is concerned with Hindu Buddhist issues pertaining to social and geographical influences. Social issues are applied loosely as political and economic matters are included. What defines the articles in this category, therefore, is space and society. Gellner 2003 focuses on Nepal and Japan. Imitiyaz 2010 focuses on Sri Lanka, McDaniel 2017 looks at Indonesia. Mason 1997 studies the Mauryan Empire. Pfaffenberger 1981 also concentrates on Sri Lanka and Sharrock 2009 provides a view of 12th-century Cambodia.

  • Gellner, David N. The Anthropology of Buddhism & Hinduism: Weberian Themes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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    This beneficial collection of essays applies Max Weber’s theoretical framework to analyze ethnographical questions related to Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal and Japan. The foci range from the relationship of Buddhist religious specialists (monks and priests) to shamanic practitioners, to the way in which Brahmanical ideals have spread through history and are expressed in a traditional Hindu city.

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  • Imitiyaz, A. R. M. “The Politicization of Buddhism and Election Politics in Sri Lanka.” In Religion and Politics in South Asia. Edited by Ali Riaz, 146–178. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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    This chapter focuses on how the politicization of Buddhism and Hinduism has sown seeds of distrust and enmity in Sri Lankan society by politicians to maintain power. The politicization of Hinduism and Buddhism among Tamil and Sinhalese groups has been used to consolidate power has destroyed long-standing cohabitation and caused extremism in Sri Lanka, pp 146–178.

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  • Mason, Garth. “The Mahāyāna Expulsion Out of India: A Case of Memic Selection.” Nidān 9 (1997): 33–48.

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    This article argues that Mahāyāna’s departure from India during the period of the Mauryan Empire could be explained via applying Richard Dawkins Memic Selection theory. Emperor Aśoka’s rule via rock engraved edicts would have conflicted with the more fluid approach of the Mahāyāna movement that was also reflected in the wider Indian/Hindu society challenging the dominance of the Brahmin caste. This is an explorative article but can be challenged on various points.

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  • McDaniel, June. “Religious Change and Experimentation in Indonesian Hinduism.” International Journal of Dharma Studies 5 (2017): 1–14.

    DOI: 10.1186/s40613-017-0056-xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An informative essay that does not develop any particular argument. Although the title does not mention Buddhism the article’s content focuses on adaptions of Hinduism and Buddhism in Indonesia in order to appear or to become monotheistic.

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  • Pfaffenberger, P. “The Cultural Dimension of Tamil Separatism in Sri Lanka.” Asia Survey 21.11 (1981): 1145–1157.

    DOI: 10.2307/2643999Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The tension between Tamil and Sinhalese groups brings the Buddhist and Śaivite Hinduism conflict into focus in this article. The article is important as it discusses the nature of power relations based on language and religion, particularly where Tamil cultural survival is threatened by the dominant Sinhalese culture.

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  • Sharrock, Peter D. “Garuda, Vajrapāni and Religious Change in Jayavarmani VII’s Angkor.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 40.1 (2009): 111–151.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0022463409000083Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The article examines the dramatic transition to Buddhist state religion in Cambodia at the end of the 12th century during the reign of King Jayavarmani VII from state Saivism. An interesting read, especially in light of the claims of material religion theorists who argue that religion is a modern, Eurocentric view.

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Polemics

The relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism is polemical. However, “Polemics” as a category is new but it will develop over time. The intention is to develop this category on the basis of tradition, discourse, and argument. Dharmavajra 1994 writes within the Madhyamaka discourse. Jayasurriya 1994 is a good example of polemics based on tradition.

  • Dharmavajra, Acarya (Sridhar Rana). “Madhyamika Buddhism vis-à-vis Hindu Vedanta (a Paradigm Shift).” Buddhist Himalaya: A Journal of Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods 6:1–2 (1994): n.p.

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    The paper is a reasoned argument, not an academic paper. It contains no references. The argument is sound and argues that Buddhism is not a negative way of expressing the Vedānta view of reality. The article traverses the early Buddhist ideas, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna traditions, and falls into the Madhyamaka tradition.

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  • Jayasurriya, M. H. F. O.H.De.Wijesekera, Buddhist and Vedic Studies—A Miscellany. New Delhi: Matilal Banarsidas, 1994.

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    This collection of essays by the late Professor De Wijesekera examine the dialogue between the Buddha within the wider Indian Vedic, Brahmanistic context. He argues a general theme that the Buddha was not as anti-metaphysical as commonly assumes, in that he often expressed his views about Indian debates concerning consciousness and the self. At times he seems more adamant to set himself against the materialistic schools in terms of no consciousness than the notions of Self in Vedic philosophy.

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Philosophical Comparisons between Hinduism and Buddhism

This section differs from the previous section on polemics in that its focus is not defense or refutation but rather critical comparison of concepts and general ideas between Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. The famous article Loy 1982 is included (“Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?”) and Whaling 1979 (“Śańkara and Buddhism”), which focuses on Śańkara in general relation to Buddhism. The other selected articles, Biderman 1978 and Kuznetsova, et al. 2012, develop the debate between Śańkara/Advaita and Buddhism.

  • Biderman, Shlomo. “Śańkara and the Buddhists.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 6 (1978): 405–413.

    DOI: 10.1007/BF00218430Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The article supports the argument that Śańkara had close affinities with Madyamaka philosophy. Somewhat dated, but contextually interesting for its time. This article can be cross-referenced with Whaling 1979 and Loy 1982.

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  • Kuznetsova, Irina, Jonardon Ganeri, and Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, eds. Hindu and Buddhist Ideas in Dialogue: Self and No-Self. New Delhi: Routledge, 2012.

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    This collection of essays covers important comparisons, such as Advaita and Buddhist views of consciousness, Buddhism with Sāmkya and the Upanishads compared to the Nikāyas.

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  • Loy, D. “Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?” International Philosophical Quarterly 22.1 (1982): 65–74.

    DOI: 10.5840/ipq19822217Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides an incisive comparison between the representation of enlightenment between early Buddhism, Samkya-Yoga, and Sańkara’s Advaita Vedānta.

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  • Whaling, Frank. “Śańkara and Buddhism.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 7.11 (1979): 1–42.

    DOI: 10.1007/BF02561251Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article looks generally at Śańkara’s relationship with Buddhism. It examines the hypothesis that Śańkara was instrumental in the demise of Buddhism in India. Four contrasting theories are critically examined from Śańkara’s agency in the expulsion of Buddhism, to him being a crypto-Buddhist, to him not having any knowledge of Buddhism, to his introduction of monasticism to Hinduism being based on Buddhist influence. The article is beneficial for its thorough delineation of all four hypotheses.

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Comparisons with Western Thought

There are many texts that compare Eastern and Western thought. There is, however, a specific sub-genre that is of interest to studies in Hinduism and Buddhism, and specifically comparisons between Buddhism and Hinduism, and Western philosophy. Some comparisons are overt, and others are presented within a larger collection, or histories of world philosophy, for example Grayling 2019 and Ling 1979 (both cited under Histories of World Philosophy). Marlow 1954 (cited under Overt Comparisons with Western Thought) gives a more direct comparison of Hinduism and Buddhism with Greek thought. This category is therefore divided into two sub-categories;

Overt Comparisons with Western Thought

In this sub-category direct comparisons between Western and Eastern traditions are cited. Ho 1995 compares Western notions of identity and selfhood with Eastern traditions including Hinduism and Buddhism. Marlow 1954 compares Hinduism and Buddhism with Greek philosophy. Raju 1947 compares the broad themes in Hinduism and Buddhism with those of Western traditions.

  • Ho, David Y. F. “Selfhood and Identity in Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism: Contrasts with the West.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior 25.2 (1995): 116–138.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-5914.1995.tb00269.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A comparative framework is applied in this study of selfhood in Eastern and Western traditions. The depiction of self in Hinduism is influenced strongly by Advaita. The section on Buddhism offers a balanced view of self between Theravada and Mahāyāna perspectives.

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  • Marlow, A. N. “Hinduism and Buddhism in Greek Philosophy.” Philosophy East and West 4.1 (1954): 35–45.

    DOI: 10.2307/1396950Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this article central concepts in Hinduism and Buddhism in the Rig Veda, Upanishads, and general Buddhist concepts are compared with ideas of the pre-Socratics, Heraclites and Empedocles.

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  • Raju, P. T. “The Western and Indian Philosophical Traditions.” The Philosophical Review 56.2 (1947): 127–155.

    DOI: 10.2307/2181967Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The article is old and dated in places but meets with Raju’s usual high standards of scholarship. The main argument is that Indian philosophy is predominantly inward, whereas Western philosophy is outwardly focused. The inward focus in Indian philosophy began with the Upanishads and intensified with Buddhism and Jainism. Raju argues that the inward focus is mainly developed in Christianity in the West.

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Histories of World Philosophy

This sub-category cites texts from the genre of world philosophy histories that include Hindu and Buddhist histories. This genre is tending to replace the older, less inclusive, genre of Western philosophical history. Baggini 2018 and Scharfstein 1998 present thematic approaches to global philosophical history whereas Grayling 2019 offers histories of discrete philosophical traditions from around the world. Ling 1979 offers an early example of the attempt to provide an inclusive history of religions.

  • Baggini, Julian. How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy. London: Ganta Books, 2018.

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    Baggini follows a thematic approach, divided into five parts: How the World Knows, How the World Is, Who in the World Are We?, How the World Lives, and Concluding Remarks. Hinduism and Buddhism are covered fairly well, perhaps more so for Buddhism.

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  • Grayling, A. C. The History of Philosophy. New York: Penguin Random House, 2019.

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    There is a strong tradition of Western philosophy of the history of philosophy following Copleston and Bertrand Russell. But histories of Eastern and Western philosophy are rarer. Part 5 of this volume incorporates histories in Indian philosophy, including Buddhism, the Vedas, Upanishads, and Nyaya-Vaisheșika.

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  • Ling, Trevor. A History of Religion East and West. London: Macmillan, 1979.

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    The histories of Hinduism and Buddhism are comprehensively covered from the earliest Vedic period, and pre-Aryan, early Buddhism, to after the death of the Buddha, and Buddhism in the modern period.

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  • Scharfstein, Ben-Amis. A Comparative History of World Philosophy: From the Upanishads to Kant. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998.

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    The comparisons are structured thematically. For example, chapter 8 is entitled “Skepticism: Sextus Empiricus, Nagarjuna, Jayarashi, Shriharsha” and chapter 11 is entitled “Immanent-Transcendent Holism: Shankara, Spinoza.” The thematic approach allows for Eastern comparisons, including Buddhist and Hindu thinkers, with Western thinkers. These thematic categories allow intriguing similarities and resonances to emerge between Hindu, Buddhist, and Western philosophies.

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Theoretical Approaches

This section highlights the importance of theoretical trends that come into vogue, and later get replaced by theoretical applications with more currency in the humanities. David N. Gellner’s The Anthropology of Buddhism & Hinduism: Weberian Themes (2003) is included in this section and under Social and Geographical Issues in that the text presents a good theoretical Weberian analysis of Hinduism and Buddhism. Coward 1990 was a seminal text for its time in the 1990s and Mann 2014, likewise, provides an important introduction for the contemporary theory of material religion.

  • Coward, Harold. Derrida and Indian Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York, 1990.

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    Coward reads Indian philosophy within the framework of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction theory. He devotes interesting chapters to Śańkara, Aurobindo, and Nāgārjuna. His book is an excellent example of the type of post-structuralist research into Hindu and Buddhist philosophy in the 1990s.

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  • Gellner, David N. The Anthropology of Buddhism & Hinduism: Weberian Themes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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    This collection of essays presents a good exposition of Max Weber’s theoretical framework in relation to contemporary Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal and Japan.

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  • Mann, Richard D. “Material Culture and the Study of Hinduism and Buddhism.” Religion Compass 8.80 (2014): 264–273.

    DOI: 10.1111/rec3.12116Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article focuses on the importance of the “material turn” in studying Hinduism and Buddhism. It shows how the “Oriental gaze,” based on Enlightenment and Reformation thinking, adversely influenced how the West perceived Hinduism and Buddhism via textual and belief lenses. The article is important in its focus on Hinduism and Buddhism as “lived religions” and the call for re-examination of the study of artifacts as objects situated in India’s history, and not as evidence of superstition (as interpreted by colonial researchers).

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Ecology

Hindu and Buddhist views of nature are becoming more important as the effects of climate change are increasingly felt. Gottlieb 2006 gives a good overview of the topic and Callicott and McRae 2014 is a fine development on previous research.

  • Callicott, John Baird, and James McRae, eds. Environmental Philosophy in Asian Traditions of Thought. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2014.

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    The volume contains seminal papers published in the field since the publication of Nature in Asian Traditions of Thought (1989).

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  • Gottlieb, Roger S., ed. The Oxford Handbook on Religion end Ecology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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    Chapter 6, “Hindu Religion and Environmental Well-Being,” by O. P. Dwivedi looks at the omnipresence of God in nature. Chapter 7, “The Greening of Buddhism: Promises and Perils,” by Stephanie Kaza focuses on the emerging field of Buddhist ecology review texts, traditions, and cultural expressions.

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Ethics

Ethics and morals are not always laid out plainly in Hindu and Buddhist texts. The suggested articles in this section are selected for two reasons: first, the analyses of Buddhist and Hindu texts attempt to reach normative ethics; second, texts that investigate how morals could be read into various Hindu and Buddhist texts. Damian 2010 looks specifically at abortion. Bilimoria, et al. 2007 gives a good overview and Hindery 1978 offers a good comparative study.

  • Bilimoria, Purushottama, Joseph Prubhu, and Renuku Sharma. Indian Ethics: Classical and Contemporary Challenges. Vol 1. New York: Routledge, 2007.

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    The text focuses on attempts by various Indian systems of thought to establish normative ethical rules. Part 1 focuses on the earlier Classical period and Part 2 examines the later Śrāmanic systems of Jaina and Buddhism. Of added interest is that it is written in comparison with Western ethical theories.

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  • Damian, Constantin-Iulian. “Abortion from the Perspective of Eastern Religions: Hinduism and Buddhism.” Romanian Journal of Bioethics 8.1 (2010): 124–136.

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    Despite the high number of abortions in India, Thailand, and Japan, the article argues that Hinduism and Buddhism are stringently opposed to taking of any life, including by way of abortion.

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  • Hindery, Roderick. Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, 1978.

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    A subjective approach is adopted rather than a normative one. Texts are interpreted according to what morals are suggested and how they could be interpreted in different contexts by readers. In this regard, the text takes a novel approach.

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