Checking the heavenly ‘bank account of karma’: cognitive metaphors for karma in Western perception and early Theravāda Buddhism

  title={Checking the heavenly ‘bank account of karma’: cognitive metaphors for karma in Western perception and early Theravāda Buddhism},
  author={Jens U. Schlieter},
  pages={463 - 486}
To visualize the accumulation of good and bad karma in terms of credit or debt in a bank account is a common feature in works on Buddhism and other Indian traditions. Applying conceptual metaphor theory, this article tracks the metaphorical framework of understanding karma as a kind of ‘heavenly bank account’ back to its roots in early European scholarship. Based on a comparison with metaphors for karma to be found in Pāli texts of the Theravāda tradition, namely, the analogies of ripening… 
Karma accounts: supplementary thoughts on Theravāda, Madhyamaka, theosophy, and Protestant Buddhism
This article supplements Jens Schlieter's discussion of the cognitive metaphor of a karmic bank-account, adding selected points on karma monetary/fiscal metaphors as preserved chiefly in Pāli and
Karma and grace
Karma and grace are grammars for material and moral being, each offering onto-cosmological justification for the vicissitudes of destiny. Beyond their scriptural renderings, karma and grace are
Social Origins of Buddhist Nominalism? Non-articulation of the “Social Self” in Early Buddhism and Nāgārjuna
In the following, it will be argued that Nāgārjuna (ca. 150 CE) adopts a Buddhist nominalism that encompasses not only a position towards abstract entities, but resonates with a nominalist
Karma, Morality, and Evil
The doctrine of karma has been praised as a rational and morally edifying explanatory response to the existence of evil and apparent injustice in the world. Critics have attacked it as a morally
Unifying Opposites through Metaphor: A Cognitive Approach to the Buddhist Metaphors for the Mind in the Awakening of Faith Discourse
While metaphors for the human mind have been intensively discussed across multiple disciplines, there remains a gap on how Buddhism deals with the mind metaphorically. This study explores how
From Matter to Spirit: Metaphors of Enlightenment in Bhagavad-gītā
The article examines the use of metaphors in a prominent Hindu scripture named Bhagavad-gītā. Although Hindu scriptures have been analyzed for centuries, the focus is rarely on metaphors.
Secularism and Religious Modernity in Sri Lanka and Singapore: Trans-regional Revivalism Considered
  • Neena Mahadev
  • Art
    The Secular in South, East, and Southeast Asia
  • 2018
Christians and Buddhists differently figure Singapore as a site of religious transmission and receptivity. During a famed mission in the late 1970s, Billy Graham prophesied that Singapore would
The Goods that Cannot Be Stolen: Mercantile Faith in Kumāralāta's Garland of Examples Adorned by Poetic Fancy
Author(s): Loukota Sanclemente, Diego | Advisor(s): Schopen, Gregory R; Watkins, Stephanie J | Abstract: This dissertation examines the affinity between the urban mercantile classes of ancient India
Religion in Therapy
  • C. Kumara
  • Political Science
    Multicultural Counseling Applications for Improved Mental Healthcare Services
  • 2019
The absence of a central holy scripture in Buddhism and myriad manifestations coalesced into indigenous cultural communities across South and South-East Asia, presenting a formidable challenge to
The economic power of women in early South Asian Buddhism
  • M. Milligan
  • Economics
    The Indian Economic & Social History Review
  • 2019
This article serves as a contribution to the financial primacy of Buddhist women in early historic South Asia. Presented here is a single case study from the first century bce monastic stūpa site


Groundwork for a Metaphysic of Buddhist Morals: A New Analysis of Puñña and Kusala, in Light of Sukka
This paper offers a new basis for assessing the nature of Buddhist moral thinking. Although consistent with Damien Keown’s view that Buddhist ethics may be considered a form of virtue ethics, the
Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes
The current Western interest in Buddhism and other Eastern religions is - among other reasons - both the result of and the stimulation for an entire library of books purporting to bring the Wisdom of
The Cult of Nothingness: The Philosophers and the Buddha
The common Western understanding of Buddhism today envisions this major world religion as one of compassion and tolerance. But as Roger-Pol Droit reveals, this view bears little resemblance to one
Spiritual Accounting: The Role of the Kalyāṇaka Patra in the Religious Economy of the Terāpanth Śvetāmbara Jain Ascetics
Max Weber stated a universal tendency for originally strictly anti-economic monastic asceticism, practised as a means for individual salvation, to become organised and transformed into an asceticism
The Heavenly Book Motif in Judeo-Christian Apocalypses, 200 BCE-200 CE
The first full-length analysis of the heavenly book motif in English, this study highlights a vital element of early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature. Through multiple intertextual
Conceptual Metaphor Theory as Methodology for Comparative Religion
This article argues for the usefulness of a new methodology for the study of comparative religion, the analysis of conceptual metaphor, as well as for the advantages of the theoretical orientation in
A history of Indian economic thought
The history of Indian economic thought provides rich insights into both economic issues and the workings of the Indian mind. A History of Indian Economic Thought provides the first overview of
Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction
The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a growing interest in Buddhism, and it continues to capture the imagination of many in the West who see it as either an alternative or a supplement
The Renewal of Buddhism in China : Chu-Hung and the Late Ming Synthesis
Students of the History of Religions (Religionswissenschaft), whose audacious object is the "understanding" of the nature of humankind's religious experience as unfolded in history, are constantly
What the Buddha Thought
In What the Buddha Thought, Richard Gombrich argues that the Buddha was one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of all time. Intended to serve as an introduction to the Buddha’s thought, and