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Long-Distance Transmission To Central Asian Silk Routes And China

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Chapter Summary

Patterns of Buddhist transmission overlap with cultural and commercial exchanges due to symbiotic relationships between monastic communities and donor networks in a "moral economy" of merit. Extensive contacts helped to open paths for the transmission of Buddhism beyond South Asia to Bactria in the Oxus valley of western Central Asia and with the Tarim Basin in eastern Central Asia. The case study of early patterns of Buddhist transmission highlights the significance of interreligious exchanges and trade networks as dynamic catalysts for the establishment and growth of Buddhist institutions far outside of the homeland of the historical Buddha. This study has emphasized the central importance of trade as a particularly important economic catalyst for Buddhist transmission and institutional expansion.

Keywords:Buddhist transmission; dynamic catalysts; South Asia



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