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IntercarnationsExercises in Theological Possibility$
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Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276455

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276455.001.0001

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“The Place of Multiple Meanings”: The Dragon Daughter Rereads the Lotus Sutra

“The Place of Multiple Meanings”: The Dragon Daughter Rereads the Lotus Sutra

(p.147) Chapter 9 “The Place of Multiple Meanings”: The Dragon Daughter Rereads the Lotus Sutra

Catherine Keller

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the Lotus Sutra, a 2,000-year-old sutra recognized by the Chinese Buddhist master Zhi Yi as the ultimate teaching of the Tiantai lineage. Lotus Sutra announces the true dharma of compassion to all sentient beings, as distinguished from the inferior dharma of mere personal liberation. The compassion is boundless, infinite, encompassing all beings, all worlds, in their fathomless multiplicity. The Buddha of Lotus Sutra declares the Dharma of Innumerable Meanings. The chapter shows that the means of Lotus Sutra epitomize entangled difference: the buddhas “know that nothing exists independently/And that buddha-seeds arise interdependently.” It also considers how these far-flung intercarnations give rise to some unexpectedly current entanglements.

Keywords:   compassion, dharma, multiplicity, Buddha, Lotus Sutra, Dharma of Innumerable Meanings, entangled difference, intercarnation, entanglement

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