Buddhist Studies Workshop: The Play of Formulas in the Early Buddhist Discourses
Eviatar Shulman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
November 12, 2020 · 12:00 pm-1:30 pm · via Zoom
Center for the Study of Religion
The play of formulas is a new theory designed to explain the manner in which discourses (Suttas, Sūtras) were composed in the early Buddhist tradition, and especially so in the Dīgha- and Majjjhima- Nikāyas (the collections of the Buddha’s Long and Middle-length discourses). This theory combats the commonly accepted views in scholarship that texts are mainly an attempt to record and preserve the Buddha’s teachings and life events. Rather, driven by a variety of creative vectors, mainly literary and contemplative ones, the texts betray a rich engagement with the figure of the Buddha and a visualization of his figure.