Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Because the Lotus Sūtra is primarily soteriological rather than philosophical, its ethics do not readily fit into standard categories of Western philosophical discourse. What the Lotus Sūtra cares about is that every human being becomes a buddha, and it often uses unconventional or unorthodox ideas to advance that cause. Accordingly, the Lotus Sūtra gives little attention to Buddhist precepts. It is somewhat patriarchal, but only in part, as can be seen from important parts of the Sūtra itself. The ethics of the Lotus Sūtra can best be characterized as ‘the bodhisattva way’, a way of appropriate, skilful, and effective action through helping others, and which involves practising wisdom and compassion in everyday life. Moreover, helping others is not understood as solely a matter of helping individuals. Rather, the Lotus Sūtra supports what is today called ‘Engaged Buddhism’.

Keywords: bodhisattva, buddha nature, Engaged Buddhism, Guanyin, meditation, patriarchy, practical wisdom, skilful means

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.