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Thread: Buddha research

  1. #1

    Buddha research


    I was wondering if anyone knows if there is any current "Buddharesearch" like the "jesusresearch" that is conducted?
    I've read an article that stated that there has been some research, but the writer doesnt mention much more than that it is difficult because of the scarce "researchmaterial" available..

    May the force be with you

  2. #2

    Re: Buddha research


    Research of what kind? I am not clear as to the type of research you mean. Historical?

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Buddha research

    Yes. the jesus research is more directed at the historical jesus, so i'd like to find some "buddharesearch" of the same kind.
    Is there any historical research done on "the big guy"?
    I've read "buddha in the world", by pankaj mishra.
    But the question is, is there any buddha research, depicting the buddha in his natural environment, in his historical environment and so forth?

    May the force be with you

  4. #4

    Re: Buddha research

    Hi Filur,

    As far as I know, there is almost no historical or archeological data connected directly to the actual life of Shakyamuni Buddha ... apart, of course, from the Sutras themselves which purport to tell his story in his own words (I think I recall that he is mentioned in passing in the texts of some other religious sects, such as the Jains). However, none of those Sutra were written until hundreds of years after his lifetime, although they are said to have been just transcriptions of a very accurate oral telling of the teachings passed down for generations. A major debate has not yet been resolved concerning even the time of his birth, with guesses varying by centuries until 20th century scholars pretty much settled on the mid-6th century BC (although some still disagree).

    I know that there has been some good textual analysis of the Sutras, trying to pull out what biographical and historical clues possible from there. The situation, however, is very sketchy ... and scholarship often becomes tangled in matters of ideology and faith (not unlike the situation with historical research on Jesus). This book is a fairly recent discussion of the subject:

    But, of course, we also believe the Buddha is present here and now, in a single moment of Zazen.

    Gassho, Jundo

  5. #5

    Re: Buddha research

    Hello Filur!

    Though I do not know whether or not the translation from German into English can be trusted in this case (one would assume so), here's a book written by one of Germany's leading popular Buddhologists of the last few decades:

    The Historical Buddha (Arkana) (Paperback)
    by Hans Wolfgang Schumann (Author), M.O'C Walshe (Translator)

    Highly recommended, pretty up to date, full of interesting facts, explains how different academic schools arrive at different conclusions regarding the actual lifetime of the historical buddha and loads of other stuff.



  6. #6

    Re: Buddha research

    It's a not scholarly book, but one that I found a joy to read:

    "Buddha" by Karen Armstrong.

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