Buddhadsa: Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand. By Peter A. Jackson. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, 2003. Pp. 375. Reviewed by Steve Odin University of Hawai`i Buddhadsa: Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand by Peter A. Jackson is a splendid work that critically examines the life and thought of Buddhadsa Bikkhu (19061993), modern Thailand's most profoundly original and influential, as well as controversial, Buddhist philosopher. Yet one of the most valuable contributions of this volume is how it discloses the radical influence of Zen Buddhism on the otherwise conservative Theravda Buddhist teaching and practice of Ajahn Buddhadsa. Jackson's study comes as a revelation when it discusses Buddhadsa's endeavor to reinterpret Theravda Buddhist theory and practice based on the Pali canon from the standpoint of Zen teachings from China, Japan, and Vietnam. Furthermore, he considers the strong critical reactions to Buddhadsa's Zen reformulation of Theravda doctrine by more traditional Thai Buddhist monks and scholars. The focus of Jackson's study is to show, by using his Zen-inspired reinterpretation of Theravda thought based on the idea of chit wang or "void mind," how Buddhadsa sets forth a new vision of Thai Buddhism as a socially, politically, and intellectually progressive
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 16, 2011
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