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Varieties of Religious Invention – Founders and Their Functions in History - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Varieties of Religious Invention: Founders and Their Functions in History

Patrick Gray


Religious controversies frequently focus on origins, and at the origins of the major religious traditions one typically finds a seminal figure. Names such as Jesus, Muhammad, Confucius, and Moses are well known, yet their status as “founders” has not gone uncontested. Does Paul deserve the credit for founding Christianity? Is Laozi the father of Daoism, or should that title belong to Zhuangzi? What is at stake, if anything, in debates about “the historical Buddha”? What assumptions are implicit in the claim that Hinduism is a religion without a founder? The chapters in this book do not attempt ... More

Keywords: Daoism, Christianity, Hinduism, historical Buddha, comparative religion, founders

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199359714
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199359714.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patrick Gray, editor
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Rhodes College

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