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L'Influence de la légende bouddhique sur le roman de Barlaam et Josaphat : un cas de persuasion rhétorique et religieuse

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Chapter Summary

In order to bring into relief the appeal of Buddhism and its assimilation into Christianity, this chapter compares the Buddha legend in Lalitavistara with the Greek version of the Barlaam et Josaphat romance, which show striking similarities between the features of Buddha's life and the corresponding hagiographic episodes of St.Josaphaat's life. The author of the Greek version maintained the frame of the story of Buddha's life, yet covered it not only with essential content from the Bible, but also with the effective defense of Christianity known as Aristides' Apology. In particular, the story of The Four Encounters, the direct motive of the Siddhârtha's renunciation, plays an identical role in Barlaam and Josaphat. Rhetorically, the story of &t;The Four Encounters&t; has compelling appeal for those who read the Barlaam and Josaphat as well as the Buddha legend. In essence the rhetorical appeal hinges on religious appeal.

Keywords: Barlaam et Josaphat; Buddha legend; Christianity; Lalitavistara; religious persuasion



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