Buddhist Thought in Tibet: an Historical Introduction

Matthew T. Kapstein

in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780195328998
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Buddhist Thought in Tibet: an Historical Introduction

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The intellectual history of Tibetan Buddhism is only imperfectly understood. Although abundant new textual sources have been discovered in recent decades, it will take some time before scholars have assimilated this growing documentation, which, considering only what is pertinent to the history of philosophical thought, amounts to many thousands of individual works composed over a millennium. This article touches upon selected topics that are now generally agreed to be of importance for the history of Tibetan Buddhist thought overall. It discusses the beginnings of Tibetan Buddhism, the formation of the major Buddhist traditions, Tibetan scholasticism, Buddha-nature and the luminosity of mind, and Tsongkhapa and his critics.

Keywords: Tibetan Buddhist philosophy; Tibetan Buddhism; Tibetan scholasticism; Buddha-nature; Tsongkhapa

Article.  9120 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy

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