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(absolute)ly working December 2, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.

If you are a regular reader, I you may have noticed the limited frequency of posts around here, and of those posts that are published, they are generally papers I have previously written. Well, as I previously mentioned, I have been attempting to take a break from blogging until I get my papers done. This was (mostly) accomplished. Last week I had three papers due and those are now done and gone. It eases up a bit from now on until December 16. “Easing up”, however, is a relative term. Yes, the week from hell is over with, but now I have three more papers due in the next two weeks (plus a couple of exams). Due dates, as well, have bceome relative terms as everything has meshed together – it is basically down to getting them done when based on their relative due dates.

So blah blah blah, right?  Well, not really. As I am working on several of these papers I would like to get some outside opinions. Two of these papers are directly related to topics I have discussed (and will discuss in more detail as this blog takes a little bit of a thematic turn): Absolutes and mystery religion. Of course leave it up to me to pick an impossible topic (the former). Let me clarify the topic a bit.

The course is Advanced Topics in Buddhism: Mahayana Buddhism. The topic I had developed was the idea of Absolutes within Mahayana Buddhism. HH the XIVth Dalai Lama onced proclaimed that if Buddhism had any absolutes it would be compassion. This stuck with me. Basically, I am investigating the relation between ontological and moral absolutism. Although I have yet to develop a hard thesis, my underlying questioning involves the validity of distinguishing between different sorts of absolutes. In Mahayana Buddhism the big topics are wisdom and compassion (moral absolutes?) and the relation between conventional and real truths (a hidden ontological absolute?). Any thoughts? Khalidmir, if you have any links of articles relating to the subject in classical or islamic thought, it would be much appreciated.

The second paper is for Early Christian Writings and the topic I have developed is the secretive nature of Jesus in early Christian writings. Any links would be helpful. I haven’t really started on this paper yet, but I doubt it will be much of a problem writing it once I narrow down what books I want to concentrate on (canonical and non-canonical).

Anyway, although I cannot get into much discussion, I would greatly appreciate any first thoughts or references. These papers, plus one afterwards, will be where my head is for the next couple of weeks, so don’t expect too much posting. As briefly stated above, you will probably notice a slight thematic change to the blog after the holidays. For the past month I have concentrated on mainly religious-oriented articles, and they appear to be much more popular (and more fun to write) than political posts – plus they don’t get me riled up as much. Finding much more success in the theme, I will concentrate on both academic and personal religious ideas.



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