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  1. A Nirvana That Is Burning in Hell: Pain and Flourishing in Mahayana Buddhist Moral Thought.Stephen E. Harris - 2018 - Sophia 57 (2):337-347.
    This essay analyzes the provocative image of the bodhisattva, the saint of the Indian Mahayana Buddhist tradition, descending into the hell realms to work for the benefit of its denizens. Inspired in part by recent attempts to naturalize Buddhist ethics, I argue that taking this ‘mythological’ image seriously, as expressing philosophical insights, helps us better understand the shape of Mahayana value theory. In particular, it expresses a controversial philosophical thesis: the claim that no amount of physical pain can disrupt the (...)
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  2.  36
    Promising Across Lives to Save Non-Existent Beings: Identity, Rebirth, and the Bodhisattva's Vow.Stephen E. Harris - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (2):386-407.
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  3.  43
    The Skillful Handling of Poison: Bodhicitta and the Kleśas in Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra.Stephen E. Harris - 2017 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 45 (2):331-348.
    This essay considers the eighth century Indian Buddhist monk, Śāntideva’s strategy of using the afflictive mental states for progress towards liberation in his Introduction to the Practice of Awakening. I begin by contrasting two images from the first chapter that represent the power of bodhicitta: the fires destroying the universe at the end of time, and the mercury elixir that transmutes base metals into gold. The first of these, I argue, better illustrates the text’s predominant strategy of destroying the afflictive (...)
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