Critical Buddhism

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(Jap., Hihan Bukkyō). Recent movement among Japanese academics which highlights the doctrinal incompatibility between east Asian and early Indian Buddhism. The leading scholars in this field, namely Noriaki Hakamaya and Shirō Matsumoto of Komazawa University, have aroused controversy by pointing to the lack of foundation in the early sources for later teachings notably those of zen Buddhism, and doctrinal concepts such as that of the ‘embryonic Buddha’ (tathāgata-garbha). They regard such notions as fundamentally incompatible with early doctrines that emphasize the absence of a permanent self (ātman).

Subjects: Buddhism.

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