Does anyone know a good general overview of the comparative Sutta studies by Analayo?

I’m looking for an article or essay that surveys the field of early textual studies, giving the main texts, the methods, maybe some examples and historical context? Most of Analayo’s essays are more specialized, I’m wondering if there’s an overview? His introduction to the Majjhima study might serve, but it’s still too focused on that particular study.


The intro to his book of DA studies (2017) may be the most appropriate and up-to-date:

Ven Analayo also has a couple articles taking a broader view:



Thanks, these are all useful!

One detail I picked up was the idea of using the tetralemma as a way of analyzing relationships. It’s an interesting idea! Long ago on SC I proposed a different approach to the same thing, but it never went anywhere. Basically a more fine-tuned approach.

These days it seems that the traditional idea of a parallel is being most progressively advanced by Buddhanexus and their AI-based approach. But still, that will favor certain kinds of relations over others.

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I thought The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts by Bhantes Sujato and Brahmali was a wonderful and helpful book. :slightly_smiling_face:

But I’m guessing it isn’t what you’re looking for.


Lol, thanks! I wanted something that was more focused on talking about the Chinese texts. I’m putting together a course, and I wanted something that would be good to introduce people to the idea of intertextual studies. So nothing too specialized or in-depth. “Some Pāli Discourses in the Light of their Chinese Parallels” is pretty good, I might use that.


If I may be permitted to share a couple more possibilities in light of your objective, I enjoyed these two studies by Bhikkhu Analayo in particular and think they may be good introductions, despite being more focused:

given their heartwarming subjects and sympathetic examples of how (and what) differences arose during the oral transmission