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Merleau-Ponty and Buddhism Hardcover – August 13, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0739118252 ISBN-10: 0739118250

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Editorial Reviews


Merleau-Ponty and Buddhism is comparative philosophy at its best. The chapter authors clearly and insightfully draw out the resonances (as well as the often equally illuminating contrasts) between this key 20th century phenomenologist and a rich variety of Buddhist figures and schools of thought. Going beyond a simple demarcation of similarities and differences, however, the authors take advantage of the dialogical space opened up as an opportunity to engage in the practice of philosophizing itself, which in this case includes questioning the very nature (and limits) of philosophy as such. Jin Y. Park and Gereon Kopf have done scholars of phenomenology as well as those of Buddhist thought a great service in assembling and co-authoring this volume, which is bound to leave a positive and lasting impact on both fields. (Bret W. Davis, Loyola University Maryland)

The French phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty independently rediscovered something that has long been articulated in many of the various strains of Mahayana Buddhist practice, namely the ambiguous interpenetration and dependent becoming of the self and its world. These two sites of thinking have much to say to each other and in this important and provocative volume they are brought into dialogue. In these strong and diverse essays, we do not merely learn what is the same and what is different in these two interlocutors. The intermediary nature of both becomes a model for comparative thinking itself. (Jason Wirth, Seattle University)

Finally, the much-needed book on Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology and Buddhist philosophy-something many of us have glimpsed at is now skillfully put together in a single volume by two outstanding scholars who are anchored in both traditions. This edited volume includes chapters by solid scholars and thinkers who attempt to bridge the gap between the unrelated traditions of Buddhism and Continental thought while seeing a "third space" for philosophical resonance that advances our discourses on the body, its space, and life-world. Merleau-Ponty and Buddhism is a valuable contribution to comparative philosophy. (David Jones, Kennesaw State University)

This volume as a whole is a highly thought-provoking joint-project of comparative studies on some of the most fundamental questions in philosophy. Strongly recommended to anyone who is interested in Merleau-Ponty or/and Buddhism.
(Dao: A Journal Of Comparative Philosophy)

About the Author

Jin Y. Park is associate professor of philosophy and religion at American University.

Gereon Kopf is associate professor of religion at Luther College.

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More About the Author

I am an associate professor of philosophy and religion and director of Asian Studies Program at American University in Washington DC, US. I specialize in East Asian Buddhism (with a focus on Korean Buddhism), Buddhist Western comparative philosophy, Buddhist ethics, and philosophy of religion. I am interested in how meaning is produced: that is, how do we find meaning in our existence? My books are my way of answering this question, by examining Buddhist philosophy (especially Zen and Huayan Buddhism), postmodern philosophy (especially Jacques Derrida, Maurice Merleau-Ponty,), East-West comparative philosophy on ethical, political, cultural dimensions of meaning production and individual's reaction to them.

My other publications can be found in:

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Merleau-Ponty and Buddhism
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