Scholarship building on or responding to Bhikkhu Sujato's analysis of early Buddhist sectarianism?

Bhikkhu Sujato has produced some very insightful scholarship on the history of the emergence of Buddhist sects in ancient India (The Date and Cause of the First Schism, Sects and Sectarianism), especially in its debunking of older (seemingly inadequate) theories from Western Buddhology. I am curious if any other scholars have built upon Bhikkhu Sujato’s work or have responded to his arguments on the dating and cause of early Buddhist sectarianism. If anyone can share any related scholarship, I would be very grateful.


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I find the fixation on sectarianism to be totally beside the point and is more of an intellectual curiosity. I suggest that the ‘split’ wasn’t actually a split.

Some people felt more inclined to this, and others felt more inclined to that. That being so: they went there own way. Ordination in dharma and realising what really matters is universal. And so, all practitioners who have gauged the path and have began actualising the Noble Path are united in principle despite ‘sectarian’ affiliation.

A man wearing goth stomper boots in a long black jacket with a mohawk can share the dharma that is beautiful in the beginning, the middle, and the end. Such a one just does not fit the traditional appearance of Holiness.

People are free to make their own choices as they so will it. All dharma practitioners are united in principles if they are on Mars or on Earth: even if they don’t know each other if they truly ‘get it’. :slight_smile:


I think in all of us is a sectarian. I see this as a humane tendency.

I think i see that the sectarian in me cannot really tolerate that Dhamma is fully subjective, and its knowledge too. Its knowledge also depends on perspective.
I think i see, the more one fights this, the more one becomes sectarian, fanatic, intolerant, bordering to anger, strong passion.

I have struggled with this a lot. Now you all see i am totall clean, :heart_eyes:

Anyway, now i am more comfortable with the idea that also knowledge in buddhism is subjective, dependend on perspective. I do not believe, for example, psychological perspectives are wrong or evolutionairy or scientific or neurological. Those perspective have all their worth.
It is oke for me now to see the knowledge in buddhism as subjective and dependend on perspective.
It does not have that rigid sphere "it is like this’‘’…lecturing…but it has the sphere…for me it is like this. I have seen this and that…

I do not claim that my sectarian tendencies are gone. My shadow is more bigger then Mount Meru.

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I would also be interested to know this! I haven’t really kept track of the scholarship, so I don’t even know if there’s been substantial work since then.


Google Scholar shows that Sects and Sectarianism has been cited by at least 18 subsequent papers or books. citations Clicking on “Cited by” reveals it has been cited since it was published and as recently as 2023.