Abhidharma: the Buddhist model of the mind

People involved in this project

Principal investigator:

School Humanities
Department Theology and Religious Studies
Dates 01 September 2011 - 31 August 2012
Funder Leverhulme Research Fellowship
Contact person Professor Rupert Gethin

More about this project

Buddhist Abhidharma literature constitutes one of the most sustained attempts in the history of human thought to analyse the workings of the mind, and yet remains relatively unexplored. There is interest beyond Buddhist studies stimulated by possible affinities between the Buddhist model of the mind and perspectives of cognitive psychology, and by the success of ‘mindfulness based’ psychotherapies adapted from Buddhist meditation techniques. The project will result in a monograph outlining the Buddhist account of the mind found in Abhidharma literature, using ways in which the Abhidharma understanding of the mind intersects with contemporary ideas about the nature of consciousness and mental health as an expository tool to address scholars in Buddhist and consciousness studies.