CRUEL THEORY | SUBLIME PRACTICE
GLENN WALLIS, TOM PEPPER, MATTHIAS STEINGASS
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‘Cruel Theory | Sublime Practice’ consists of three parts. Each part addresses both theoretical and practical dimensions of Buddhism. Authored individually, each part nonetheless interacts with the concerns of the others. Those concerns include the formation of an autonomous subject in the face of Buddhism’s concealment of its ideological force; the possibility of a practice that thus serves as a theory or science of ideology; the reconstitution of practice as an organon of authoritative structures, including controlling social-conceptual representations; and the perception of Buddhism as the subject of a historical process.
Perhaps the most salient theme running throughout the book concerns the crucial necessity of transfusing anemic contemporary Buddhist discourse with the lifeblood of rigorous, creative thought. Will Buddhism in the twenty-first century West help fashion a liberated subject? Or will it continue to be a deceptive mythos spawning subjects who are content to rest at ease in the thrall of predatory capitalism? The three parts of ‘Cruel Theory | Sublime Practice’ share a common concern: to push Buddhism to the brink.