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Michael R. Sheehy  and Klaus-Dieter Mathes

The Other Emptiness

Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet

SUNY Press 2019

New Books in Buddhist StudiesNew Books in Central Asian StudiesNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network December 23, 2019 Sangseraima Ujeed

Michael R. Sheehy  and Klaus-Dieter Mathes‘s edited collection The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet (SUNY Press, 2019) brings together perspectives...

Michael R. Sheehy  and Klaus-Dieter Mathes‘s edited collection The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet (SUNY Press, 2019) brings together perspectives of leading international Tibetan studies scholars on the subject of zhentong or “other-emptiness.” Defined as the emptiness of everything other than the continuous luminous awareness that is one’s own enlightened nature, this distinctive philosophical and contemplative presentation of emptiness is quite different from rangtong—emptiness that lacks independent existence, which has had a strong influence on the dissemination of Buddhist philosophy in the West. Important topics are addressed, including the history, literature, and philosophy of emptiness that have contributed to zhentong thinking in Tibet from the thirteenth century until today. The contributors examine a wide range of views on zhentong from each of the major orders of Tibetan Buddhism, highlighting the key Tibetan thinkers in the zhentong philosophical tradition. Also discussed are the early formulations of buddhanature, interpretations of cosmic time, polemical debates about emptiness in Tibet, the zhentong view of contemplation, and creative innovations of thought in Tibetan Buddhism. Highly accessible and informative, this book can be used as a scholarly resource as well as a textbook for teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on Buddhist philosophy.


Sangseraima Ujeed, ACLS Robert H.N Ho Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara received her MSt and DPhil degrees in Oriental Studies from the Department of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Her main research focus is the trans-national aspect of Buddhism, lineage and identity in Tibet and Mongolia in the Early Modern period, with a particular emphasis on the contributions made by ethnically Mongolian monk scholars.