Chapter

Conclusion Past and Future Uncertainties

Georges B. J. Dreyfus

in The Sound of Two Hands Clapping

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520232594
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928244 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520232594.003.0016
Conclusion Past and Future Uncertainties

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This book has explored the traditional aspects of Tibetan monastic education. It has argued that scholasticism is characterized by three types of practice. First, scholasticism, which is memorial rather than documentary, gives memorization an important role, Second, scholasticism relies on commentary through which the tradition is transmitted, interpreted, and enshrined. Third, scholasticism in Tibet involves debate, which provides room for inquiry in a tradition in which truth is not discovered but rather is transmitted. In delineating the particular features of Tibetan scholasticism, this book has focused on the ways in which commentary and debate support the dialectic of authority and freedom that it sees as a central dynamic of scholastic traditions. It has also described the constitutive role of the great Tibetan texts, the root texts (often memorized) that delineate the outlines of the tradition. One of the striking features of Tibetan scholasticism that this book has yet to discuss is the degree to which even today its practices have remained unaffected by modernity.

Keywords: Tibet; monastic education; memorization; commentary; debate; inquiry; authority; freedom; texts; modernity

Chapter.  3937 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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