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The Dharma's Gatekeepers: Sakya Pandita on Buddhist Scholarship in Tibet (New)
by Gold, Jonathan
Publisher: SUNY Press
Book ID: 9780791471661, 0791471667
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The Dharma's Gatekeepers offers an incisive analysis of one of the most important works in Tibetan Buddhist intellectual history: Sakya Pandita's Gateway to Learning (Mkhas pa 'jug pa'i sgo). Writing in a time when a distinctively Tibetan tradition of Buddhism was first emerging, Sakya Pandita wanted to present Tibetan intellectuals with what he took to be an authentically Indian (and therefore, authentically Buddhist) understanding of the nature and tasks of intellectual life -- with a view of how scholarship was understood and practiced in the great monastic colleges of India.
In The Dharma's Gatekeepers, we see Sakya Pandita building the intellectual foundation for Tibetan scholasticism through a series of subtle, brilliant, and quintessentially Buddhist arguments about the nature of learning itself, with his elaboration of a model of scholastic education skillfully drawing together ideas in Buddhist epistemology, philosophy of language, translation theory, hermeneutics, and literary theory. In this study of Sakya Pandita's remarkable work, Jonathan C. Gold shows that the Gateway to Learning addresses issues that remain of concern to contemporary intellectuals; this thirteenth-century work has much to contribute to our understanding of such issues as translation and translatability, theories of reading and authorship, the connections between religious values and academic institutions, and theories of language and literary aesthetics. The book includes a translation of significant parts of Sakya Pandita's text.
"This is a fascinating study of a major work in Tibetan intellectual history. Written with nuance and grace, it is poised to make a major contribution to the study of some of the key conceptual and ethical foundations of Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism and its relation to the intellectual traditions of India. In wider terms, it contributes to important discussions in the humanities." -- Janet Gyatso, coeditor of Women in Tibet
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