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Unfolding the Dharma: The juxtaposition of Michel Foucault's late work on the themes of religion and sprituality juxtaposed with Nagarjuna's Madhyamika philosophy

Wicking, Andrew P. (2011) Unfolding the Dharma: The juxtaposition of Michel Foucault's late work on the themes of religion and sprituality juxtaposed with Nagarjuna's Madhyamika philosophy. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The present study engages an emergent field of scholarly interest - the relationship between Foucault and Buddhism. Specifically this study is concerned with the possibility and potential for a substantive conceptual relationship between Foucauldian and Madhyamika Buddhist philosophy. The study explores the deep cultural difference between Western and Buddhist conceptual domains with the aim of developing a
framework for relating meaningfully Western and Buddhist concepts. To achieve this a new approach called ‘interface soteriology’ has been developed.
The fundamental challenge posed by Foucault’s early work to the modern episteme of Man is well understood by scholars. In contrast, the task of constructively engaging his late work, from 1976 to 1984, is widely recognised as more difficult. This is due, in part, to the fact that Foucault published no major works after History of Sexuality
Volume One, until 1984, when the History of Sexuality Volume Two: The Use of Pleasure and Volume Three: The Care of Self were released. Indeed, until recently most scholars had no access to his lecture courses of 1979-1983, especially those given at the College de France. Moreover, it is a biographical fact that Foucault’s personal encounter with Buddhism, documented by a series of secondary texts and a handful of miscellaneous references, all occur in the very context of this unpublished period of the latter 1970’s and early 1980’s. Given these facts, the present study asks: what if scholarship was to take seriously Foucault’s encounter with Buddhism?
There have been three notable publications in the last six years, each concerned with understanding aspects of Buddhism through a Foucauldian lens: Mrozik’s “Cooking
Living Beings”, Konik’s “Buddhism and Transgression” and Voyce’s “Buddhist Confession: A Foucauldian Approach”. The present study builds on the strengths of this scholarship but departs from it in a significant way to argue a deeper substantive common ground between Foucauldian and Madhyamika Buddhist thought.

Item Type: Theses (Doctor of Philosophy)
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Foucault, Madhyamika Buddhism, religion, spirituality
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220315 Philosophy of Religion
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220406 Studies in Eastern Religious Traditions
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Philosophy
College/Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Cate Headey
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2011 02:09
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 02:09
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/885

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