Self and Society

Essays on Pali Literature and Social Theory, 1988-2010

Steven Collins

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  • Published: 2014
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 328 pp., 6 x 8 in.
  • Distributed for: Silkworm Books
  • Contents

This selection of essays demonstrates that, in the study of Buddhism, a concern with detailed accuracy in philological and textual specifics can be combined with wider philosophical and sociological issues. The essays are divided into three parts: (1) Pali Literature, (2) The Theory and Practice of Not-Self, and (3) Buddhism and Society. The last part builds on but goes beyond the work of Dumont and Max Weber in considering "world-renunciation" as a phenomenon of society and culture.
Steven Collins is Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago and a council member of the Pali Text Society.

Pali Literature
1. On the Very Idea of the Pali Canon
2. Notes on Some Oral Aspects of Pali Literature
3. What Is Literature in Pali?

The Theory and Practice of Not-Self
4. What Are Buddhist Doing When They Deny the Self?
5. The Body in Theravada Buddhist Monasticism
6. A Buddhist Debate About the Self, and Remarks on Buddhism in the Work of Derek Parfit and Galen Strawson
7. Of Death and Trees

Buddhism and Society
8. Monasticism, Utopias and Comparative Social Theory
9. Louis Dumont and the Study of Religions
10. Buddhist "Nuns" (Mae chi) and the Teaching of Pali in Thailand (With Justin McDaniel)