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Development in the Early Buddhist Concept of Kamma / Karma
By: James McDermott

Development in the Early Buddhist Concept of Kamma

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Author: James McDermott
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 812150208x

Product Code: 12813

One of the cental concepts in Buddhism is the idea of kamma. Although the importance of karma in Buddhist thought is regularly recognized, the question remains whether the Buddhist understanding of the principal of karma has been inalterabley fixed, or whether it has undergone a rocess of development and modification during the course of Buddhist history. if, indeed, the Buddhist understand of karma has not been static, what kinds of development has it undergone? It is to these questions that this study addresses itself. The apporach taken in this study has been text -critical and historical. The initial Buddhist formulation of the principle of kamma as it is depicted in the Vinaya and the Sutta Pitakas is analyzed as a base for the study. Modifications are noted as already present in the later strata of this literature. The problem is then examined in the Abhidhamma Pitka, where certain abstract developments in the definition and categorization of kamma in the Milindapanha. Finally, the Abhidharmakosa of Vasubandhu is considered. A new cncern with the mechanism of karmic retribution becomes evident in the Abhidharmakosa. The modifications which the cncept of karma is found to have underfgone roughly speaking are of two broad types. First, there were popular folk developments which wer accepted only reluctantly, if at all, in more scholarly circles. Then there were the more scholastic developments in the direction of greater precision of definition and refinement of categoies. In the same vein, a growing scholarly concern for specific implications of the more general principle of karma is also noted.

Development in the Early Buddhist Concept of Kamma / Karma, James McDermott, Munshiram, Hardcover, 1984, 183 pages

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