Skip to main content

Truth, Deception, and Skillful Means in the Lotus Sutra

Buy Article:

$47.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

This article seeks to broaden contemporary scholarship on the Lotus Sutra by arguing that it is a philosophically critical, self-reflective text struggling with problems of truth in Buddhist discourse. While all Lotus Sutra scholars agree that the doctrine of skillful means is a central teaching in the text, there is a common tendency to frame skillful means as a passive vehicle (or 'means') for expressing truth rather than an active philosophical critique of truth. This article argues that the Lotus Sutra uses skillful means as a distinct form of criticism within a larger debate over the nature and efficacy of Buddhist practice, and that it raises important issues about truth that are shared by other important Buddhist thinkers and texts such as Nagarjuna, Lin-chi and the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa. It analyzes key passages and parables without reducing the ethical teachings of the Lotus Sutra to simplistic versions of utilitarianism, paternalism, or relativism, and without dissolving the critical elements that make the Lotus Sutra a genuinely philosophically interesting text.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more