Buddhism in Social Thought of the Bengal Renaissance

Tatiana Skorokhodova

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №2

DOI: 10.7868/S0869190818020061

The paper examines the sources on history of the Bengal Renaissance thought dated from the nineteenth– early twentieth century, to understand Buddhism by the Bengal thinkers. The author interprets Bengal thinkers’ relation to Buddhism as the hermeneutical problem. The problem includes conventional questions on Buddha’s personality, meanings of his creed, the relations of Buddhism and Hinduism, and the role of Buddhism in Indian history. The interpretations of Buddhism by Krishnamohan Banerjea, Surendranath Banerjea, Romeshchandra Dutt, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore were the attempts to solve these problems. General result of their understanding are the inclusion of Buddhism into intellectual tradition of India and a discovery of social, ethical and political meanings of the religion for Modern India and the world. A positive image of Buddhism created by Bengal thinkers describes it as a religion of compassion, charity, and love.

Keywords: Bengal Renaissance, understanding of the other, social thought, dialogue of religions, Hinduism, Buddhism

Pages: С. 71–82

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