Why did people in North India from the 5th century BC choose to leave the world and join the sect of the Buddha? This is the first book to apply the insights of social psychology in order to understand the religious motivation of the people who constituted the early Buddhist community. It also addresses the more general and theoretically controversial question of how world religions come into being, by focusing on the conversion process of the individual believer.
Table of Contents
1. The Skandhaka of the Vinaya Pitaka and its Historical Value 2. The Early Samgha and the Laity 3. Conversion in Buddhism 4. Contradiction and the Merit of Giving in Indian Religions 5. The Role of Fear in Indian Religions with Special Reference to Buddhism 6. The Religious Motivation of the Early Buddhists
Torkel Brekke holds a DPhil in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford on the politics of religious identity in colonial South Asia. He is currently a research fellow funded by the Norwegian Research Council. His main research interest is the interaction between religions ideas and processes of political and historical change.