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Undetermined Matters: On the Use of Lay Witnesses in Buddhist Monastic Procedural Law
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2018 (English)In: Buddhism, Law and Society, ISSN 2475-9260, 2475-9279, Vol. 2, p. 1-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates one aspect of Buddhist monastic procedural law set forth in the aniyata (“undetermined”) section of the Prātimokṣa/Vibhaṅgas of the extant monastic law codes (vinaya). Here we find rules concerning how to handle cases in which a monk is accused by a trustworthy female lay follower (upāsikā) of having stayed alone in a secluded place with a woman. These rules have hitherto received comparatively little study, most of which has focused on the (Theravāda) Pāli vinaya. By examining the aniyata rules and their canonical commentaries in all six extant vinayas, I show that the treatment of these rules in the Pāli vinaya is not representative of Buddhist monastic law in general, and that the commonly held notion that any punitive legal action taken against a monk at the very least requires that he acknowledge the act, if not the offense with which he stands accused, is in need of revision. This paper further shows that there are significant differences between the Tibetan and Chinese translations of the Vibhaṅga of the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya (MSV), and so contributes to recent investigations into multiple MSV traditions. It also discusses some differences and similarities between the different vinayas, especially common elements between the Sarvāstivāda, Mūlasarvāstivāda and Mahāsāṃghika vinayas

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 2, p. 1-56
Keywords [en]
vinaya, buddhist monastic procedural law, witness statement, upāsikā, tatsvabhāvaiṣīya, aniyata, Indian Buddhism
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
History of Religions; Indology with Classical Sanscrit
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351879OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-351879DiVA, id: diva2:1211490
Available from: 2018-05-31 Created: 2018-05-31 Last updated: 2018-09-13Bibliographically approved

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Borgland, Jens Wilhelm

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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