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Buddhism (general)


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Early Buddhist Oral Tradition by Bhikkhu Analayo

by: Watkins Books




A fascinating investigation into the formation and transmission of the early Buddhist oral tradition. For hundreds of years after his death, the Buddha's teachings were transmitted orally, from person to person. In this volume, acclaimed scholar-monk Bhikkhu Analayo examines the impact of such oral transmission on early Buddhist texts, be these monastic rules, verses, or prose portions of the early discourses. He scrutinizes various oral aspects of these texts, surveying evidence for memory errors, the impact of attempts at systematization, and instances of additions and innovations. Finally, he explores the implications of the nature of these texts as the final product of centuries of oral transmission and evaluates the type of conclusions that can--and cannot--be drawn based on them.