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Osvobození jako revoluční praxe. Opětovné promyšlení buddhistického materialismu

James Mark Shields (Bucknell University, USA)

Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought III, no. 1 (2019): 37–61

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Keywords: Engaged Buddhism, Buddhist materialism, Marxism, Seno’o Girō

In this article, first published in English in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics 20 (2013), pp. 461–99, James Mark Shields analyzes the possibilities and problems of a “Buddhist materialism” constructed along Marxian lines, by focusing in particular on Buddhist and Marxist conceptions of “liberation.” Although it is only in recent decades that scholars have begun to reconsider and problematize Buddhist conceptions of “freedom” and “agency,” the thought traditions of Asian Buddhism have for many centuries struggled with questions related to the issue of “liberation” – along with its fundamental ontological, epistemological and ethical implications. With the development of Marxist thought in the mid- to late nineteenth century, a new paradigm for thinking about freedom in relation to history, identity, and social change found its way to Asia and confronted traditional religious interpretations of freedom as well as competing Western ones. In the past century, several attempts have been made in India, southeast Asia, China, and Japan – to bring together Marxist and Buddhist worldviews, with only moderate success (both at the level of theory and of practice). By utilizing the theoretical work of “radical Buddhist” Seno’o Girō, Shields argues that the root of the tension lies with conceptions of selfhood and agency – but that, contrary to expectations, a strong case can be made for convergence between Buddhist and Marxian perspectives on these issues, as both traditions ultimately seek a resolution of existential determination in response to alienation. Along the way, Shields discusses the work of Marx, Engels, Gramsci, Lukács, Sartre, and Rorty in relation to aspects of traditional (particularly East Asian Mahāyāna) Buddhist thought. The article has been translated into Czech by Max Ščur.

doi: 10.46957/con.2019.1.3

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