Self as Person in Asian Theory and Practice

Self as Person in Asian Theory and Practice

Self as Person in Asian Theory and Practice

Self as Person in Asian Theory and Practice

Synopsis

This book is a sequel to Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (SUNY, 1992) and anticipates a third book, Self as Image in Asian Theory and Practice. In order to address issues as diverse as the promotion of human rights or the resolution of sexism in ways that avoid inadvertent lapses into cultural chauvinism, alternative cultural perspectives that begin from differing conceptions of self and self-realization must be articulated and respected. This book explores the articulation of personal character within the disparate cultural experiences of Japan, China, and South Asia.

Excerpt

Roger T. Ames

Self as Person in Asian Theory and Practice is our sequel volume to Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (SUNY, 1992) and anticipates a third volume in the "self" series, Self and Image in Asian Theory and Practice, which is now in press. This present volume continues our cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary exploration of various notions of self that ground alternative cultural traditions.

This suny Press series of anthologies on self emerges out of a project initiated and organized at the East-West Center in Honolulu by Wimal Dissanayake, a research associate at the center. Over the past few years, relatively small seminars--approximately twenty scholars on each occasion--have been convened at the center to bring experts representing different cultures and different disciplinary perspectives into conversation. Most of the articles included here were selected from papers presented and discussed in this forum. a major criterion in the selection process was to find a balance between reflection on those specific practices that define cultural differences, and the application of emergent theories once shaped and abstracted as instruments of explanation for cultural practices.

The perhaps uncontroversial starting point of the investigation of self is that different cultural experiences have produced importantly different conceptions of self and that these different conceptions of self need to be factored into any responsible evaluation of contemporary issues and problems. To actively address seemingly global issues as diverse as the promotion of human rights or the resolution of sexism in ways that avoid the familiar though often inadvertent lapse into cultural chauvinism, alternative cultural perspectives that begin from . . .

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