Malcolm David Eckel takes us on a contemporary quest to discover the essential meaning behind the Buddha's many representations. Eckel's bold thesis proposes that the proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy must be thoroughly religious--an understanding revealed in Eckel's new translation of the philospher Bhavaviveka's major work, The Flame of Reason. Eckel shows that the dimensions of early Indian Buddhism--popular art, conventional piety, and critical philosophy--all work together to express the same religious yearning for the fullness of emptiness that Buddha conveys.
"Eckel has masterfully drawn on the richness of the Indian language of the senses to shed light on the multiple voices being heard in the philosophical chorus."--Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"Eckel has masterfully drawn on the richness of the Indian language of the senses to shed light on the multiple voices being heard in the philosophical chorus.... Eckel has given us a truly fascinating way by which to rethink the Buddhist philosophical enterprise.... To See the Buddha has done more than `re-vision the Buddha.' It has made some pioneering steps toward appreciating the Buddhist philosophical tradition as a polyphony of pious voices. In the end, we are reminded that Buddhist scholastics envisioned their world with the eyes of devout Buddhists. And Eckel has done much to make that world visible to us."--Daniel Boucher, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
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