Buddhaghosa’s Critique of Divergent Buddhist Views: A Doctrinal Study Mainly Based on Pāli Commentarial Exegesis


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Buddhist Studies


This project critically analyses divergent views of those labelled ‘vitaṇḍavādin’ by Buddhaghosa and the dialogic debates related to them that emerged on specific doctrinal points in the Pāli canon, along with his assessment of these views. This study looks at the hermeneutic devices developed by Buddhaghosa including his creative treatment of canonical sources. This study also uncovers important evidence for understanding Buddhaghosa’s attitude towards the “margins” of the Pāli canon by elucidating references to and categorizations of paracanonical and “apocryphal” scriptures in the Pāli commentaries.