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p. 343. Renouncing the Household

The Buddha's Middle Waylocked

  • Sue Hamilton


The strictures of the Brahmanical fold were seen as oppressive and some sought alternative socio-religious paths. These people became collectively known as renouncers (śramaṇa). ‘Renouncing the Household’ examines what we understand by the notions of ‘renouncer’ and the polar opposite ‘householder’ status prescribed by the Brahmanical tradition, and details developments in Indian philosophical thought after the 5th century bce. What do we know about the Four Noble Truths? What is dependent origination? Why did the focus of investigation shift from ontology to epistemology, or in other words, into the milieu of intense metaphysical questioning and ontological theories relating to the self and the world?

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