Chapter

Asian Roots: The Origins of the Buddhist Tradition

James-William Coleman

in The New Buddhism

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195152418
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849314 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152418.003.0002
Asian Roots: The Origins of the Buddhist Tradition

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This chapter traces the roots of Buddhism and examines the seeds from which it sprang. Buddhism is the oldest of the world's universal religions, and much of its early history is clouded by the dust from the more than one hundred generations that have passed since its inception. As Buddhism spread from India into the cultural sphere of the worldly and pragmatic Chinese, the historical record improves substantially, but there are still numerous gaps and omissions. Though the story may be incomplete, it is a dramatic one boasting all the elements of the best fiction. It contains countless characters in a vast setting that spans twenty-five centuries and numerous different cultures. It tells the triumphant story of the discovery of great transcendent wisdom and the tragedy of slaughtered monks and corrupt religious institutions.

Keywords: Buddhism; Buddhist history; India; China; cultures

Chapter.  13466 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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