Utopia / Dystopia

Whitney Cox wc3 at SOAS.AC.UK
Tue Apr 13 18:10:11 UTC 2010

Steven Collins' Nirvāṇa and Other Buddhist Felicities (Cambridge 1998)
is a sustained reflection on the idea of utopia in the Theravada


Whitney Cox

On 13 April 2010 18:39, Allen W Thrasher <athr at loc.gov> wrote:
> The Uttarakurus, who live somewhere north of the Himalayas, are depicted as ideally virtuous, but I can't give citations.  I think there is something about them in the Mahabharata.  There is a Wiki article "Uttarakuru" with inadequate source citations (and multiple misspellings) but which at least directs one to the names of the texts mentioning them, and a few chapter and verse citations.  Standard books on ancient cosmology and geography would presumably mention them and give sources better.  So would dictionaries and perhaps books on ancient Indian political thought.
> It's interesting that (at least as far as I know) there are no Utopias that are the result of conscious planning, colonization, and/or setting of laws, unlike many Western examples.
> Someone referred to the state depicted in the Arthasastra as "a bureaucrat's utopia" rather than the representation of an actual state, whether Maurya or later.
> Allen
> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
> Senior Reference Librarian
> Team Coordinator
> South Asia Team, Asian Division
> Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
> 101 Independence Ave., S.E.
> Washington, DC 20540-4810
> tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at loc.gov
> The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.


Dr. Whitney Cox
Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia,
School of Oriental and African Studies
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

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