Claire R. Maes
- Universiteit Gent, Belgium
This project studies the dialogic influence of ascetic others, in particular the Jain other, on the early Buddhist monastic community’s identity development and boundary negotiation. Starting from the premise that ascetic others played a central role in the early Buddhist community’s development, this project investigates how and how much of their dialogic influence can still be traced in the Pali Vinaya, being the monastic code of the Theravada school. It examines the manner how this normative monastic text acknowledges, integrates, and deals with the Buddhist monk’s ascetic others. Conceiving identity negotiation as an intrinsically relational and dynamic process, this study further examines the way how the Pali Vinaya develops a ‘Buddhist’ identity rhetoric vis-à-vis its ascetic others, whether real or imagined.