Buddhist Ethics

A selected reading list from Charles Hallisey's course.

Buddhadhamma book cover

Buddhadhamma
Phra Prayudh Payutto, trans. Grant A. Olson (SUNY Press, 1995).
This modern distillation of pivotal doctrines found in the Pali Buddhist canon is written by a highly regarded monk-scholar from Southeast Asia.
 

Oneself as Another book cover Oneself as Another
Paul Ricoeur (University of Chicago Press, 1995).
Focusing on the concept of personal identity, Ricoeur develops a hermeneutics of the self and lays the groundwork for a metaphysics of morals.

 
Love and Honor in the Himalayas book cover Love and Honor in the Himalayas
Ernestine McHugh (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001).
A gripping ethnographic memoir based on McHugh’s long relationship with a Gurung family in Nepal. In mundane and dramatic rituals, the Gurungs emphasize the importance of love and honor in everyday life. 
 
The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life book cover The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life
Santideva, trans. Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton (Oxford University Press, 2008).
Written in India in the early eighth century, this important manual of training among Mahayana Buddhists continues to be used by modern Buddhist teachers.
 
Tannisho (A Record in Lament of Divergences) book cover Tannisho (A Record in Lament of Divergences)
Shinran Shonin (Hongwanji Press, 1995).
A compilation of key sayings by the medieval Japanese Buddhist teacher who first promulgated the Pure Land sect of Shin Buddhism.

 
Zen Action: Zen Person book cover Zen Action: Zen Person
T. P. Kasulis (University of Hawaii Press, 1987).
An American philosopher trained in East Asian languages and Zen practice explores the full range of Asian philosophies that led to the development of Japanese Zen Buddhism.

 
Edicts of Asoka book cover Edicts of Asoka
Ed. and trans. N. A. Nikam and Richard McKeon (University of Chicago Press, 1978).
The remarkable Indian ruler Asoka (304–232 BCE) renounced the warlike policies of his early career and left this record of his moral teachings inscribed on stone. 
 
Imagining Karma: Ethical Transformation in Amerindian, Buddhist, and Greek Rebirth book cover Imagining Karma: Ethical Transformation in Amerindian, Buddhist, and Greek Rebirth
Gananath Obeyesekere (University of California Press, 2002).
Through independent invention or borrowing, diverse societies have come to believe in reincarnation as an integral part of their cosmological systems, as this comprehensive inquiry reveals. 
 
The Just King: The Tibetan Buddhist Classic on Leading an Ethical Life book cover The Just King: The Tibetan Buddhist Classic on Leading an Ethical Life
Jamgön Mipham, trans. José Ignacio Cabezón (Snow Lion, 2017).
A Buddhist monk’s letter to the king of Dergé, this historic contribution to ethics and governance teaches us the value of protecting life, fair taxation, environmental sustainability, aiding the poor, and freedom of religion.
 

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