This thesis is an attempt to explore the meanings of self-transcendence, which, in fact, is one of the most basic and important concepts of Buddhism and Christianity. It runs through not only the theme of soteriology, but also the study of the interrelationship of human beings, the ultimate reality and the mundane society....[ Read more
This thesis is an attempt to explore the meanings of self-transcendence, which, in fact, is one of the most basic and important concepts of Buddhism and Christianity. It runs through not only the theme of soteriology, but also the study of the interrelationship of human beings, the ultimate reality and the mundane society.
In approaching such a crucial and complicated notion, it would be impossible for me to examine the two religions as a whole. Thus, I will narrow the scope of my discussion in light of the two contemporary influential dialogical scholars, Paul Tillich and Masao Abe, both of whom have made much contribution on the issue.
In the introduction, definitions, aims and objectives concerning this thesis would be given, so that one might get a general picture of what I intend to write. Then, discussion of Abe's and Tillich's views on "self" would be provided in Chapter One. In the second Chapter, focus will be put on the examination of the concept of "transcendence", which is considered to be the ontological ground for self-transcendence.
In Chapter Three, I will investigate the two different modes of self-transcendence, which philosophers Yu Ying-shih and Tang Yijie recently have portrayed. They claimed that Buddhism, Zen in particular, is a religion of internal transcendence; whereas Christianity is a religion of external transcendence. Considering these categorizations, I would argue how the latter one is relatively acceptable from the theoretical point of view.
In the fourth Chapter, I will address to the pragmatic implications of self-transcendence. It is my belief that religion, in its very end is a matter of morality or social ethics. Ontology is only the metaphysical ground of axiology. I will try to examine how the above two elements are related to each other and its significant implications to our daily life.
I hope this thesis would be a good attempt to conduct a Buddhist-Christian dialogue in accordance with the concept of self-transcendence, in which certain differences and affinities towards the interpretations of self, the ultimate reality and morality would be analyzed.
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