Religious Experience in Early Buddhism – a lecture by Richard Gombrich
December 2, 2012
By Justin Whitaker
The Oxford Center for Hindu Studies has a lecture by Richard Gombrich very much worth listening to for those interested in early Buddhism. Gombrich is, for those who do not know, perhaps the greatest expert on early Buddhism in the world today. I highly recommend all of his books, lectures, and articles, many of which are available on the web for free. As I have on my ‘books‘ page:
Another author I’m very fond of is Richard Gombrich. His book on Theravadin Buddhism is essential reading for those interested in this particular school of Buddhism. There is also much said about the ‘foundations’ of Buddhism that will complement Gethin’s work above.
Once you’ve read some of these basic works, it’s well worth diving into What the Buddha Thought. I used this also in my Buddhist Philosophy class because Gombrich dives into some major questions regarding the Buddha’s teaching including the Brahmanic and Jain influences, and Gombrich tries to tease out a sense of what the Buddha might actually have been like. I appreciate his humble methodology (though he’d hate my using that word – he has a chapter against methodology in the book) of conjecture and refutation. After this book (or before, depending…) read How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings.