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The Five Aggregates: Understanding Theravada Psychology and Soteriology (Editions SR) Paperback – November 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Editions SR (Book 17)
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0889202575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0889202573
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,624,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mathieu Boisvert is Professor of South Asian traditions at l’Université du Québec à Montréal.

Customer Reviews

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Roger H. Fisher on December 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
With this small, highly condensed little volume, Boivert contributes a scholarly tour de force to an area of Buddhist thought which can be terribly elusive and confusing to the Western reader: the nature and function of the so-called five aggregates and their vital relationship to the rest of bedrock Buddhist psychology and philosophy. The great novelty of Boisvert's work is to define the aggregates empirically and to explicate their function through an exhaustive survey of every mention made of them in any available text of the Pali Canon. He does this via a computerized concordance called BUDSIR. As a result he manages to discover a level of conceptual clarity and scholarly comprehensiveness which leaves the reader breathless -- and persuaded.
Five Aggregates is by no means a comfortable afternoon read, and most of us will find that this deceptively compact little tome must be approached again and again, and that much of it requires great patience and considerable concentration. However I have found few other works related to it that reward the reader's efforts more handsomely. Boisvert pushed me several steps along in my own struggle to comprehend Buddist fundamentals, and I am most grateful to him for it. I hope that others will give his book and shot, and discover for themselves how remarkable a contribution he has made.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ian Andrews on October 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
The question posed on the back dust jacket of this book sums up it contents quite nicely, if somewhat deceptively in terms of the profound nature of the actual answer which is submitted to the question itself. It asks, "If Buddhism denies a permanent self, how does it perceive identity?" From this simple question, Mathieu Boisvert, a Professor of South-Asian Traditions at the University of Quebec at Montreal, endeavors to show how the Theravadin Buddhist tradition supports its answers to this question in light of the Pali Canon and the tradition's rich exegetical literature. Yet, the actual scope of the book (within its slight 178 pages of text) is much broader than this introduction might convey, for Boisvert endeavors to demonstrate how the five aggregates of personality view compliment and interact within the Buddha's great discovery of the paticcasamuppada or Dependent Origination. He does this by showing the connections between the aggregates and the middle eight factors of the twelve factored dependent origination process.

Boisvert points out up front that because of the great gap in time between the Buddha's death and the first written repository of his teachings, not to mention the reliance on human memory which itself might be faulty, scholars and Buddologists alike are unable to ascertain the nature of "original" Buddhism, what the Buddha actually taught, from the extant manuscripts and historical evidence which extend from that time period, and therefore he does not intend to claim that his work will uncover what the Buddha actually said about the five aggregates or anything else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jonnos on September 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly disagree with the other reviews here. This book doesn't clarify the early buddhist teachings, only in a limited way the current views of the Theravada tradition - that is, the Abhidhamma. The best thing about it is that there are some well chosen citations from the suttas. But Sue Hamilton's Identity and Experience is a much better choice on the same topic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lucus Bairn on August 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A-OK.
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