Contents: Preface. Introduction. I. Philosophical explorations: 1. Some Aspects of rDzogs-chen thought/Herbert V. Guenther. 2. What is Buddhist logic?: some Tibetan developments of Pramana theory/Kennard Lipman. 3. A dialogue on death: Tibetan commentators on the first chapter of Aryadeva’s Catuhsataka/Karen Lang. II. Visionary explorations: 4. A Ch’an text from Tun-Huang: implications for Ch’an influence on Tibetan Buddhism/Kenneth K. Tanaka and Raymond E. Robertson. 5. Remarks on the Mani bKa-bum and the cult of Avalokitesvara in Tibet/Matthew Kapstein. 6. Genre, authorship, and transmission in visionary Buddhism: the literary traditions of Thang-stong rGyal-po/Janet Gyatso. 7. Preliminary studies on Hevajra’s Abhisamaya and the Lam-bras Tshogs-bshad/Ronald M. Davidson. 8. Rig dzin Jigs-med gling pa and the kLong-Chen sNying Thig/Steven D. Goodman. Notes. Index.
"This volume consists of eight studies, each one bringing to light new material of use to comparative religionists and historians of religion, as well as to students of Tibetan Buddhism. These studies are based on critical scrutiny of indigenous sources and, in many cases, the learned opinion of native Tibetan scholars. The studies are organized around two dominant themes in Tibetan religious life—the quest for clarity and insight via visionary exploration and philosophical exploration.
This is an important collection, because Tibetan Buddhist studies are becoming increasingly important and sophisticated, and this brings together the work of many of the best young Tibetologists in North America. Many of the areas covered in the essays, e.g., the Mani bKa’ ‘bum, Sa skya meditational systems, Tibetan sacred biography, and the evolution of deities, are important topics that have received little scholarly attention. Here, they are presented authoritatively with careful contextualization of Tibetan Buddhist doctrines within historical context." (jacket)