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“The Mahāyāna as a New Religious Movement: An Examination of Two Early Cases”

Daniel Boucher

Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Smith 311

The lecture will discuss the early Mahāyāna as a “New Religious Movement” in the sense of the term as used by sociologists of religion.

In particular, it will compare and contrast strategies of recruitment and retention in two early textual representatives of this movement, the Akṣobhya-tathāgata-vyūha and the Kāśyapa-parivarta. The aim will be to hypothesize how the rhetorical strategies of these two texts may reflect underlying differences in the social experiences of their respective authors.