Evaluating the Anthropological Foundations of Theravada Buddhism Based on the Foundations of Al-Hikmah Al-Motaaliyah

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic Studies, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Non-Abrahamic Religions, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran


Cognition of man has always been the focus of various religious, philosophical and mystical schools. Today, thinkers pay attention to and welcome mystical religions without Sharia, such as Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism, as a traditional reading of Buddhist teachings, analyzes man from a philosophical and mystical perspective. Reflecting on the anthropological foundations of Buddhism will deepen our knowledge of man in this religion. Therefore, the present study, while introducing the anthropological foundations of Theravada Buddhism, seeks to evaluate it on the basis of the principles of Al-Hikmah Al-Motaaliyah (transcendent wisdom). This study, using a descriptive-analytical method, finally concludes that the anthropology of Buddhism is incomplete in some respects and does not answer some questions about the origin of existence and the philosophy of human existence. By denying God and introducing man as the supreme being of the universe, as well as by denying the fixed soul, the Buddha considers human nature to be nothing more than a combination of five parts: the physical body, feeling, perception, mental manifestations, and knowledge. What is experienced as an individual is nothing but a process. In the anthropology of Theravada Buddhism, man is a creature who is trapped in the chain of Samsara due to repeated births and is liberated by joining Nirvana.


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