Summary and Info
The author provides a detailed discussion of one of the most important concepts in Mahayana Buddhism and places the Buddha nature idea in the context of Buddhist intellectual history. She then carefully explains the traditional Buddhist language in the text, and embeds Buddha nature in a family of concepts and values which as a group are foundational to the development of the major indigenous schools of Chinese Buddhism. In addition, she refutes the accusation that the idea of Buddha nature introduces a crypto-Atman into Buddhist thought, and that it represents a form of monism akin to the Brahmanism of the Upanoshads. In doing this, King defends Buddha nature in terms of purely Buddhist philosophical principles. Finally, King engages the Buddha nature concept in dialogue with Western philosophy by asking what it teaches us about what a human being, or person is.