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The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy$
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Jan Westerhoff

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198732662.001.0001

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(p.35) 1 Abhidharma
The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy

Jan Westerhoff

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins by introducing the origin of the Abhidharma and the structure of Abhidharma texts, focusing on the role of matrices, texts in question-and answer-format and the status of the omniscience of the Buddha in the development of the Abhidharma. It examines the question of the authenticity of the Abhidharma texts, followed by a discussion of five major Abhidharma schools: Mahāsaṃghika and the Sthaviranikāya schools, Theravāda, Pudgalavāda, Sarvāstivāda, and Sautrāntika. The section on Mahāsaṃghika contains discussion of its anticipation of Mahāyāna themes, the Theravāda section examines a key Abhidharma text, the Kathāvatthu, the Pudgalavāda discussion focuses on its conception of a person (pudgala) as distinct from a self, while Sarvāstivāda and Sautrāntika concentrate on the specific theories of time that differentiate these two schools.

Keywords:   Abhidharma, matrices, question-and-answer format, omniscience of the Buddha, Mahāsaṃghika, Sthaviranikāya, Theravāda, Pudgalavāda, Sarvāstivāda, Sautrāntika

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