Buddhism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 332 pages of information about Buddhism.
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Buddhism as Sectarian Religion

Buddhism began around the fifth or fourth century BCE as a small community that developed at a certain distance, both self-perceived and real, from other contemporary religious communities, as well as from the society, civilization, and culture with which it coexisted. Thus, we have chosen to characterize the Buddhism of this period as "sectarian."

It is quite probable that Buddhism remained basically a sectarian religion until the time of King Aśoka (third century BCE). Whether this was a period of approximately two hundred years, as some scholars, dating the death of the Buddha around 486 BCE, maintain, or of approximately one hundred years (accepting a death date around a century later) as others contend, it was by all accounts a crucial period in which many elements and patterns were established that have remained fundamental to subsequent phases of Buddhist thought and life...

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This section contains 13,561 words
(approx. 46 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Buddhism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Buddhism from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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