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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
summer 2016 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 75 as the German scholar of religion Max Müller famously said, “He who knows one, knows none.” This view is especially applicable to the study and prac- tice of Buddhism today, as Buddhism continues to develop in conversation with others. Just as early Buddhism developed in dialogue with other traditions in Asia, contemporary Western students and practitioners of Buddhism often find themselves in dialogue—navigating conversations between Zen and Tibetan prac- tices, Buddhist and Jewish rituals, or the findings of meditation and neuroscience. Jay Garfield’s Engaging Buddhism: Why It Matters to Philosophy is an attempt to initiate one such dialogue, primarily between scholars of Buddhist thought and scholars of Western philosophy. Garfield argues that in the English- speaking world, the study of Buddhism has almost universally been relegated to the category of religion, while the study of European and American thought occupies the domain of philosophy. In other words, when people refer to “philos- ophy,” they imply Western philosophy; Buddhist and other non-Western philoso- phies aren’t usually considered to have the same legitimacy. For evidence of this, you don’t have to look any farther than the shelves of your local bookstore or the departmental offerings at most North American universities. reviews review by constance kassor cOnStance KaSSOr holds a PhD in religious studies from emory University and teaches at Smith college. She also teaches online courses for rangjung yeshe institute. a seat at the philosopher’s table buddha wittgenstein nagarjuna Plato aristotle dogen kant derrida