Journal Article

Human Responsibility and the Awakening of Character in the Buddhist Film <i>Mandala</i>

Dale S. Wright

in Literature and Theology

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 308-320
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/18.3.308
Human Responsibility and the Awakening of Character in the Buddhist Film Mandala

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Mandala is a Korean film that follows the careers of two Buddhist monks who pursue antithetical forms of religious practice—meditative self-cultivation, and antinomian pursuit of freedom. Mandala culminates in the enlightenment of both, as they come to realize the limits intrinsic in self-absorption in either form. The paper seeks to explore the larger ethical issues posed in the film in relation to their background in Mahayana Buddhism and to show their applicability in our own cultural setting to the emergence of a ‘theological humanism’, which articulates various forms of transcendence or depth experienced in the midst of human life.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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