Foundations of T'ien-t'ai Philosophy

The Flowering of the Two Truths Theory in Chinese Buddhism
Paul Loren Swanson
Publish Place: 
Asian Humanities Press
Publish Year: 
E-book Tag: 
T'ien-t'ai philosophy synthesized the vision of the Lotus Sutra and the dialectics of the Middle Path philosophy. Of the works in English on T'ien-t'ai, this one deals most thoroughly with the development of Nagarjuna's Two Truths into a Threefold Truth. Although such a threefold division is not known in India, the study well shows how this is by no means a misunderstanding. Rather, it captures well the spirit of the letter of the Law of Interdependence. The first half of the book (pp. 1-156) deals with the history of this idea. This is followed by a translation (pp. 157-256) of key sections of Chih-i's Fa-hua hsuan-i. Swanson opens with an exposition of the theory of the Threefold Truth (pp. 1-17), and takes us through its historical development: through Kumarajiva and Seng-chao (pp. 18-37), two important apocryphal sutras in China (pp. 38-56), key Southern and Northern developments (pp. 57-81), and, especially, the Ch'eng-shih masters and the San-lun school of Chi-tsang (pp. 82-114), before concluding with the views of Chih-i (pp. 115-156).