“The Other Emptiness”

We are thrilled to announce a multi-author collaborative book on the zhentong philosophy of emptiness in Tibetan Buddhism, co-edited by Michael R. Sheehy (University of Virginia) and Klaus-Dieter Mathes (Vienna University). 

State University of New York (SUNY) Press
December 2019
Available to purchase via SUNY Press and the Amazon page.

Publisher Description: Presents a new vision of the Buddhist history and philosophy of emptiness in Tibet. This book brings together perspectives of leading international Tibetan studies scholars on the subject of zhentong or “other-emptiness.” Defined as the emptiness of everything other than the continuous luminous awareness that is one’s own enlightened nature, this distinctive philosophical and contemplative presentation of emptiness is quite different from rangtong—emptiness that lacks independent existence, which has had a strong influence on the dissemination of Buddhist philosophy in the West. Important topics are addressed, including the history, literature, and philosophy of emptiness that have contributed to zhentong thinking in Tibet from the thirteenth century until today. The contributors examine a wide range of views on zhentong from each of the major orders of Tibetan Buddhism, highlighting the key Tibetan thinkers in the zhentong philosophical tradition. Also discussed are the early formulations of buddhanature, interpretations of cosmic time, polemical debates about emptiness in Tibet, the zhentong view of contemplation, and creative innovations of thought in Tibetan Buddhism. Highly accessible and informative, this book can be used as a scholarly resource as well as a textbook for teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on Buddhist philosophy. 

Table of Contents:


Introduction: The Philosophical Grounds and Literary History of Zhentong
Klaus-Dieter Mathes and Michael R. Sheehy
1. *Bodhigarbha: Preliminary Notes on an Early Dzokchen Family of Buddha-Nature Concepts
David Higgins
2. On the Inclusion of Chomden Rikpai Raldri in Transmission Lineages of Zhentong
Tsering Wangchuk
3. The Dharma of the Perfect Eon: Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen’s Hermeneutics of Time and the Jonang Doxography of Zhentong Madhyamaka
Michael R. Sheehy
4. Buddha-Nature in Garungpa Lhai Gyaltsen’s Lamp That Illuminates the Expanse of Reality and among Tibetan Intellectuals
Dorje Nyingcha
5. Zhentong Views in the Karma Kagyu Order
Klaus-Dieter Mathes
6. Buddha-Nature: “Natural Awareness Endowed with Buddha Qualities” as Expounded by Zhamar Kacho Wangpo
Martina Draszczyk
7. “There Are No Dharmas Apart from the Dharma-Sphere: Shakya Chokden’s Interpretation of the Dharma-Sphere
Yaroslav Komarovski
8. Tāranātha’s Twenty-One Differences with Regard to the Profound Meaning: Comparing the Views of the Two Zhentong Masters Dolpopa and Shakya Chokden
Klaus-Dieter Mathes
9. Zhentong Traces in the Nyingma Tradition: Two Texts from Mindroling
Matthew T. Kapstein
10. Zhentong as Yogācāra: Mipam’s Madhyamaka Synthesis
Douglas Duckworth
11. Where Buddhas and Siddhas Meet: Mipam’s Yuganaddhavāda Philosophy
Dorji Wangchuk
12. Along the Middle Path in the Quest for Wisdom: The Great Madhyamaka in Rime Discourses
Marc-Henri Deroche
13. The Zhentong Lion Roars: Dzamtang Khenpo Lodro Drakpa and the Jonang Scholastic Renaissance
Michael R. Sheehy