Did the Buddha exist?

Alexander Wynne

Abstract


Extreme scepticism about the study of early Buddhism is common in Buddhist Studies. Sometimes it is even claimed that the Buddha never existed; myth is all we have. Going against this view, this paper shows that early Buddhist discourses are largely authentic, and can be regarded as a reasonably accurate historical witness. Special attention is paid to the personality of the Buddha, and the way in which his idiosyncrasies flow into the teachings. The resulting ‘Dharma’ has a very particular character, and should be regarded as a singular creation which could not have been invented by a committee.


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Copyright (c) 2019 Alexander Wynne