- What kind of ignorance is the root condition of dukkha in Buddhism?
- The core of the Buddha’s enlightenment was his insight into interdependent arising as the true nature of existence. What does this term mean? How would you argue for the truth of this insight? 3
- According to the Buddhist philosophy, forgetting the self is simply emptying oneself of the false construction of inherent selfhood. And this makes possible authentic encounter with others, thereby authenticating one’s own existence. What is the connection between forgetting the self and authentic existence?
- Explain how interdependent arising and the Middle Way are related one another. Do you agree?
- Explain what are samsara and nirvana. Are they different or the same?
Buddhism Topics Research paper Topics
- The Buddhist doctrine of karma & rebirth as a theodicy (a solution to the “problem of suffering”).
- Buddhism holds to the doctrine of “no-soul” or “no-self” (anātman). It also holds to the doctrine
- of rebirth. If there is no soul/self, what then is reborn?
- The Buddhist view of women, their religious potential, and their status in the monastic
- The relationship in Buddhism between the ethical/moral life and the contemplative (meditative)
- How is the Buddha like a god, and how is he not?
- Relics and relic worship in Buddhism (what? & why?).
- The nature and authority of scripture in Buddhism.
- The role of Emperor Aśoka in the history and spread of Buddhism.
- The Buddhist doctrine of upāya (expedient means).
- Buddhism and the “Silk Road” (i.e., the transmission of Buddhism from S. Asia to E. Asia,
- across Central Asia).
- Buddhism and acculturation (How and by what rationale did Buddhism managed to adjust to so
- many cultures so different from the Indian culture in which it was born?)
- The doctrine of the five “aggregates” (skandha) and the Buddhist notion of personhood.
- The role(s) of sacred images in Buddhism.
- Buddhist ideals of social and political justice.
- The difference(s) between the Buddhist notion of karma and the notion of fate.
- The practice of celibacy in Buddhist monasticism.
- The role of “faith” in Buddhism.
- What qualities count as features of personal “holiness” in Buddhism?
- Is Buddhism a pacifist tradition? (Has it been? Should it be?)
- The Buddhist conception of “merit” (punya) and “merit-making.”
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