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Text as Father
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Text as Father: Paternal Seductions in Early Mahayana Buddhist Literature

Alan Cole


This work sheds new light on the origins and nature of Mahayana Buddhism, with close readings of four well-known texts: the Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Tathagatagarbha Sutra, and Vimalakirti Nirdesa. Treating these sutras as literary works rather than as straightforward philosophic or doctrinal treatises, the author argues that these writings were carefully sculpted to undermine traditional monastic Buddhism, and to gain legitimacy and authority for Mahayana Buddhism as it was veering away from Buddhism's older oral and institutional forms. His analysis of the narrative structures and seductiv ... More

Keywords: Mahayana Buddhism, Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Tathagatagarbha Sutra, Vimalakirti Nirdesa, sutras, narrative structures, literary strategies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780520242760
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520242760.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alan Cole, author