Author: Bhadrajee S. Hewage (St Edmund's 2020)
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Our understanding that the Buddha emerged from the Middle Gangetic region of the Indian subcontinent has been largely unchallenged for the past 200 years. However, can we truly trust our existing knowledge regarding the geographical locations associated with early Buddhism? Could the Buddha’s origins, in fact, lie elsewhere? Tracking the general theory explaining the Buddha’s emergence from the Middle Ganges, this book explores the lesser-known story of colonial Sri Lanka’s connections to the wider nineteenth-century orientalist quest of placing the Buddha across the northern expanses of the subcontinent. By doing so, this book highlights the many flaws and inconsistencies that continue to inform our current understanding of the Buddha’s geographical origins and urges us to rethink the very foundation on which our knowledge of early Buddhism is based.