Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narative

Collins, Steven
Publish Place: 
New York
Cambridge University Press
Publish Year: 
E-book Tag: 

The idea of nirvaṇa (Pāli: nibbāna) is alluring but elusive for nonspecialists and specialists alike. Offering his own interpretation of key texts, Steven Collins explains the idea in a new, accessible way – as a concept, as an image (metaphor) and as an element in the process of narrating both linear and cyclical time. Exploring nirvana from literary and philosophical perspectives, he argues that it has a specific role: to provide ‘the sense of an ending’ in both the systematic and the narrative thought of the Pāli imaginaire. Translations from a number of texts, including some dealing with past and future Buddhas, enable the reader to access source material directly. This book consisted of five main chapters: (1) Systematic and narrative thought: eternity and closure in structure and story, (2) Nirvana as a concept, (3) Nirvana as an image, (4) Nirvan, time, and narrative and (5) Past and future Buddhas. It interestingly ends up with the modes of thought, modes of tradition as its conclusion.

How to cite this book (Stuggested style): Collins, Steven. Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.