1. Could anyone please say a few words about this school, i.e., its historicity as a supposed sectarian group that split with "the Elders"; its buddhology of a docetic Buddha? And perhaps point me to relevant books or websites ... ?
( My web search, even Wiki, only yielded a few paragraphs, which seems strange to me, because the Mahasanghika seems to have the distinction of being one of the Mahayana's very first expressions. )
2. On a more personal level, what do you think of the idea of a docetic Buddha and its historical relation to, or contradiction of, the supposedly more historical (because older ?) Therevadan idea of Buddha as a perfect human, but not a transcendent entity of any type? (Apparently, there is now some document-evidence that the Mahasanghika may be older than was previously thought ... ? )
For example, we know that in early Christianity the notion of a docetic Christ was destroying John's communities - to the extent that he went as far as deeming such Christians as "anti-Christs"; also some see the Gospel emphasis on the materiality of the risen Christ to indicate an anti-docetic polemic.
Soon enough, after Imperial Christianity was established, docetism was deemed heretical, along with Gnostic schools.
Does anyone know if the Buddhist record reports such a huge commotion accompanying the move from the Theravadan "perfect human Buddha" to the Mahasanghika "transcendent, non-material, supernaturally-manifested Buddha" ... ?
Thanks in advance for any tips