Religious Motivation and the Origins of Buddhism: A Social-Psychological Exploration of the Origins of a World Religion, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Religious Motivation and the Origins of Buddhism

A Social-Psychological Exploration of the Origins of a World Religion, 1st Edition

By Torkel Brekke


160 pages

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pub: 2002-08-29
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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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series explores this complex and extensive tradition from a variety of perspectives, using a range of different methodologies. The series is diverse in its focus, including historical, philological, cultural, and sociological investigations into the manifold features and expressions of Buddhism worldwide. It also presents works of constructive and reflective analysis, including the role of Buddhist thought and scholarship in a contemporary, critical context and in the light of current social issues. The series is expansive and imaginative in scope, spanning more than two and a half millennia of Buddhist history. It is receptive to all research works that are of significance and interest to the broader field of Buddhist Studies.

Some of the titles in the series are published in association with the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, which conducts and promotes rigorous teaching and research into all forms of the Buddhist tradition.

Editorial Advisory Board:
James A. Benn, McMaster University, Canada

Jinhua Chen, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Rupert Gethin, University of Bristol, UK

Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland, UK

Sallie King, James Madison University, USA

Anne Klein, Rice University, USA

Lori Meeks, University of Southern California, USA;

Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

John Powers, Australian National University, Australia;

Juliane Schober, Arizona State University, USA

Vesna A. Wallace, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Michael Zimmermann, University of Hamburg, Germany

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Buddhism / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies