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Compassion and Benevolence

A Comparative Study of Early Buddhist and Classical Confucian Ethics


Ok-Sun An

Compassion and Benevolence reveals the heart of early Buddhist and classical Confucian ethics in a comparative way. It explores compassion (karuna) and benevolence (jen) by analyzing their mechanisms, their moral groundworks, their applications, and their meta-ethical nature. Compassion and benevolence are taken as self-transformative virtues on the way to becoming an enlightened one and a sage. This exploration intends to reject the popular theses: early Buddhism is only self-liberation-concerned soteriology and classical Confucianism is only society-concerned thought requiring self-effacement.