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Where Buddhists Go Wrong

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Chapter Summary

As much as Mou respects the Buddha and Buddhists, as a committed Confucian he cannot agree with them in everything. Though he makes it his mission to wake Confucians from prejudices against Buddhism and to acknowledge Buddhists' superior accomplishment as philosophers and learn from them, nevertheless Mou believes that Buddhists and Confucians differ on subtle but important matters, and where they differ he declares himself steadfastly on the Confucian side. Just as Mou thinks the Buddha's teaching was interpreted best by the Tiantai thinkers, he believes the Confucian sages' message was most effectively summarized by certain figures in the Song 宋 and Ming 明 dynasties. This chapter focuses on issues on which Mou thinks the two differ irreconcilably, the consequential truths that the Confucian philosophers capture and their Buddhist cousins miss.

Keywords: Buddhists; Confucian; Mou; Tiantai



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