31 December 2001. pp. 155~179
The purpose of this paper is to propose a new methodology in the field of Buddhist studies. Since the year of 1844, when Burnouf translated and published Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, Buddhism has been studied as a part of Humanities by western scholars. But if we make a comparison between the methods of studying Buddhism and those of Christianity, we can find some differences.The methodology of Studying Christianity is called Theology. According to A. A. Hodge the fields of Theology are divided as follows; (1) Sciences auxiliary to the study of Theology like History, Archaeology, Philosophy, Comparative Religion etc., (2) Apologetics to prove the existence of God, (3) Exegetical Theology which is a kind of Hermeneutics, (4) Historical Theology which is a historical approach to Bible and church, (5) Practical Theology to apply the Revelation to our society and (6) Systematic Theology, the purpose of which is to explain Revelation systematically. Philology and Comparative philosophy etc. are the methods of studying Humanities, and modern Buddhist scholars have been used such a scientific methods in studying Buddhism. But as we saw above, in studying Christianity very different methods are used. In Christianity most of Theological subjects like creation, revelation, salvation and eschatology etc. are away from the criticism of modern Humanities which claim to stand for scientific objectivity and rationality. Moreover those subjects are systematically woven to make the frameworks of Christian faith. Of course we can say that such a narrow-mindedness would have been one of the causes of losing the persuasiveness of Christianity in western society. On the contrary, in the field of modern Buddhist studies, only the objective and rational approaches have been used. If all the scholars could have agreed with each other on all subjects in Buddhist scriptures, there would not be any problem. But the results of ‘objective' approaches of modern scholars seem not to be better than worse. Modern Buddhist scholars asserts different opinions on same subject. And there is nobody acknowledged to have almighty authority in discerning which is the correct opinion. So in modern days most of Buddhists happen to meet with various conflict theories and are confused with them and consequently become wandering. I think that one of the reasons for such problems in Buddhism is the lack of research for constructing Buddhist faith. In Christian Studies, Systematic Theology plays a major role. Systematic Theology is composed as a faith system based on Bible and it can be compared to spiritual house to live in. Until now various Systematic Theologies have been composed by many scholars who have deep faith in Christian tenets; Augustine, Paul Tillich, Khal Bhart and Emil Brunner are the representatives of Systematic Theologists. But in modern Buddhist studies, there is nobody who strives to construct a ‘Systematic Buddhology' which should be used as a guide for Buddhists' religious life. What is worse is that most of Buddhist scholars regard the efforts of composing a Systematic Buddhology as nonacademic works. But can we imagine someone censuring Systematic Theologists like Paul Tillich etc. to be a nonacademic scholar? It will be an urgent task of Buddhist scholars who have the faith in Buddhism to construct Systematic Buddhology to protect Buddhists' heart from the attack of modernized and scientific(?) Buddhology. Then what should be the shape of Systematic Buddhology? In Lam rim(Byang chub lam rim chen mo) of Tsong kha pa(1357~1419 C.E.), we can meet systematically arranged Buddhist teachings. Almost all the teachings of Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna treatises are rearranged according to practitioner's spiritual level of mind. Through earnest practice of each steps recommended in Lam rim, the practitioner can be born as a true Buddhist and live their life sincerely. I think that the system of Lam rim can be used as a excellent model for new Systematic Buddhology of modern days.
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  • Publisher :Korean Association of Buddhist Studies
  • Publisher(Ko) :불교학연구회
  • Journal Title :Korea Journal of Buddhist Studies
  • Journal Title(Ko) :불교학연구
  • Volume : 3
  • No :0
  • Pages :155~179