Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

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Padmist
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Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by Padmist »

Could you please recommend sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts that focus their work on Early Buddhism? I only know of Jan Nattier and Charles Willemen. From the Buddha's death, first council, schisms, to the development of Mahayana, the sutras, etc?
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Hi, Padmist,
This forum doesn't have an "Early Buddhism" sub-forum as such ("Sutra Studies" might be the closest match) but our sister site, DW Theravada has one. Start here if so inclined: https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewforum.php?f=29

:reading:
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tingdzin
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by tingdzin »

A caveat: I haven't spent much time on the other website referred to, but they may be working under the misapprehension that "Early Buddhism" = that which is carried down by the Theravada and the Pali Canon.

Jan Nattier is good as a starting point, and if you read the sources she cites, you will be able to go on from there. It is not an easy matter to sum up what "Early Buddhism" was, as many people bring their own preconceptions to the subject. You might also want to read a bunch of varying viewpoints as found in the several good Encyclopedias of Buddhism as a good grounding.

Lamotte's work on Indian Buddhism is a broad summary, but you must be aware that it is quite old, and even though he was an excellent scholar, much of that book is no longer considered viable, so don't take it as gospel. In particular, the manuscripts discovered in Afghanistan some years ago are changing a lot of views about the development of Buddhism.

For the development of Mahayana, you will do no better than the work by Paul Williams -- Mahayana Buddhism: the Doctrinal Foundations.
thomaslaw
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by thomaslaw »

Padmist wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:01 am Could you please recommend sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts that focus their work on Early Buddhism? I only know of Jan Nattier and Charles Willemen. From the Buddha's death, first council, schisms, to the development of Mahayana, the sutras, etc?
- The following book by Choong Mun-keat may be useful for you:

The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sutra-anga portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya and the Chinese Samyukta-agama (Series: Beitrage zur Indologie Band 32; Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000).

In the book pp. 7-11, the author indicates that the Chinese scholar-monk Yinshun has demonstrated the historical important of Samyutta-Nikāya/Samyukta-āgama in Early Buddhism in two books: The Formation of Early Buddhist Texts (1971), and Combined Edition of Sutra and Sastra of Samyukta-agama (1983). See also pp. 2-7: "1. Historical background".

- This recent article is provided by the same author further useful information on this topic/issue:

“Ācāriya Buddhaghosa and Master Yinshun 印順 on the Three-aṅga Structure of Early Buddhist Texts” in Research on the Saṃyukta-āgama (Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, Research Series 8; edited by Dhammadinnā), Taiwan: Dharma Drum Corporation, August 2020, pp. 883-932.

:buddha1: :reading:
Last edited by thomaslaw on Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aemilius
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by Aemilius »

I recommend studying the oral traditions that still exist on this planet. Buddhism was for centuries an oral tradition not written down in books. That is the earliest phase of it. You could learn the oral traditions that there still are, it has a very different flavour to it. Once you have written down the sutras, you also start correcting, editing and systematizing the materials, and... what is it that we have after some two thousand years of that?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_tradition
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Padmist
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by Padmist »

Aemilius wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:29 pm I recommend studying the oral traditions that still exist on this planet. Buddhism was for centuries an oral tradition not written down in books. That is the earliest phase of it. You could learn the oral traditions that there still are, it has a very different flavour to it. Once you have written down the sutras, you also start correcting, editing and systematizing the materials, and... what is it that we have after some two thousand years of that?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_tradition
Oral Tradition in general as in the Wikipedia article you linked? Or is there an oral tradition within Tibetan Buddhism I must study?
cjdevries
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by cjdevries »

Have you checked out Doug Smith's youtube videos? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPIyEJ ... iIrooixjNA

His teachings are centered on Early Buddhism. He runs the Online Dharma Insitute. He is a contributor to the Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies and the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has many years of practice in the Zen and Insight traditions. As well as being the Founder and Director of the Online Dharma Institute, he is also Study Director at the Secular Buddhist Association.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche
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Aemilius
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Re: Early Buddhism sources, scholars, Buddhologists, experts, books, etc

Post by Aemilius »

Padmist wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:51 pm
Aemilius wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:29 pm I recommend studying the oral traditions that still exist on this planet. Buddhism was for centuries an oral tradition not written down in books. That is the earliest phase of it. You could learn the oral traditions that there still are, it has a very different flavour to it. Once you have written down the sutras, you also start correcting, editing and systematizing the materials, and... what is it that we have after some two thousand years of that?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_tradition
Oral Tradition in general as in the Wikipedia article you linked? Or is there an oral tradition within Tibetan Buddhism I must study?
I said that more as an argument, in order to make a point. In fact there are lots of oral teachings within the different traditions, oral teachings concerning all kinds of practical and everyday things in spiritual life... Even if you become a follower of Theravada, Nichiren or Pureland tradition, you will gradually hear all kinds of oral teachings that are not found in books.
Depending on your work or profession you have received oral teachings as part of your training. As a cook, for example, I mention that because I have heard a lot of things in the restaurant kitchen that are important and essential for that profession, (but I never became a real cook). But the principle is still valid and important, and applies to other professions too. Oral tradition is often not aware of itself as an oral tradition.
The oral tradition before the advent of books was somewhat different in character, and probably quite serious in nature. Because it was like the backbone of the society.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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