Abstract

The earliest Buddhist texts in existence, from the Pāli Sutta-Nipāta, display a perplexing diversity in their philosophy and soteriology, most evident in their attitudes toward metaphysical speculation and ideas of the afterlife. Rather than dismissing this picture as a sign of corruption or inconsistency, it may be taken to imply strength and vitality, which allowed practitioners to experiment with the truths of their tradition. This, then, suggests a reality of shifting boundaries not only within Buddhism, but also between it and other religious traditions of ancient India.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 864-886
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-12
Open Access
No
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