The Thought of Sangharakshita: A Critical Evaluation

(Forthcoming) A balanced investigation of one of Buddhism's most controversial thinkers

Sangharakshita (1925-2018) was a Buddhist writer and teacher, founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community (previously FWBO). He died very recently (30th Oct 2018). Apart from his practical achievements, Sangharakshita was an original thinker on the adaptation of Buddhism to modern conditions, an autodidact whose intellectual creativity was stimulated by both cross-cultural experience and practical contingency. His thinking is little known or appreciated outside the movement he founded, but over-dominant within it. This means that there is a shortage of balanced critical discussion of his work that finds any middle way between hagiography and dismissal. Sangharakshita has also been an object of controversy in recent years, but his more controversial views and actions need to be seen in proportion to the whole of his thinking. This book surveys Sangharakshita’s most important and original ideas with an eye that combines appreciation and critical awareness in equal measure. It celebrates Sangharakshita’s pioneering syntheses of Buddhist and Western ideas, but warns against the inconsistencies and dogmas that are also found in Sangharakshita’s work – dogmas whose negative practical effects can also be traced.

(Completed and publisher currently being sought)