The Foundations of Buddhism Themes

Rupert Gethin
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Common Threads, Distinct Traditions

Rupert Gethin states that his aim in The Foundations of Buddhism is to avoid the common emphasis in Western Buddhist scholarship of teaching the reader that Buddhism is a varied religious tradition with many strands and will, in contrast, focus on common threads within Buddhism. Gethin worries openly that the unity within Buddhist thought is diminished by a sole focus on the separateness of Buddhist traditions. Furthermore, he seeks to avoid the insinuation that one or another form of Buddhism is the "truer" form.

Broadly speaking, Buddhism consists of three main traditions. First, there is the Theravada tradition of Sri Lank and South-East Asia. This is commonly known as "southern" Buddhism, It is generally speaking perhaps closest in doctrine and practice to ancient Buddhism as it existed in the earliest centuries of its existence in India. It has over 100 million followers throughout Sri Lanka, Burma...

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This section contains 877 words
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