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Chapter Summary

Through globalization and Westernization, there has occurred an exponential radicalization of implicit substantialism, in a way that is so acute, ubiquitous, and invasive that it has arguably come to constitute a new pseudo-religion which is acquiesced to by default rather than by choice. This is particularly problematic for Buddhism, for reasons that emerge quite clearly from a cursory overview of its development. That is, although Buddhism emerged around the fifth century B.C.E.,4 as early as the fourth century B.C.E. two separate Buddhist schools had already arisen, namely the more conservative Sthaviras and the more liberal Mahāsānghikas. There is significant evidence to suggest that Buddhism constitutes one of the fastest growing religions in the West, which begs the question as to the nature of the benefit that Westerners believe they will obtain from their practice of Buddhist meditation.

Keywords: Buddhism; Mahāsānghikas; radicalization; Sthaviras



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