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Little Buddhas – Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Little Buddhas: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions

Vanessa R. Sasson


Buddhism has often been pronounced an anti-family religion. Narratives of child abandonment seem to overshadow whatever role family relationships might otherwise play. The Vessantara Jātaka is a case in point: here, the future Buddha delivers his own children into the hands of an evil taskmaster in order to pursue his commitment to perfect generosity. In his final life story, the Buddha-to-be abandons his wife and newborn son for a life of homelessness in pursuit of an abstract ideal. With celibacy as a central value, the primary hero repeatedly abandoning his progeny from one lifetime to the ... More

Keywords: Buddhism, childhood, children, monasticism, family, asceticism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199860265
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860265.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Vanessa R. Sasson, editor
Marianopolis College

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