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Little BuddhasChildren and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions$
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Vanessa R. Sasson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860265.001.0001

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Charting New Territory: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions

(p.1) Introduction
Little Buddhas

Vanessa R. Sasson

Oxford University Press

Buddhism has often been characterized as an anti-family religion. With narratives such as the Vessantara Jataka and the abandonment of the newborn Rahula, along with a strong endorsement of celibacy throughout its history, this conclusion is not difficult to comprehend. In this introductory chapter, a review of the existing literature concerning Buddhism and children is briefly explored. Methodological suggestions are then proposed for future studies. The chapter closes with an overview of some of the dominant themes that emerged from the collection of contributions in this particular volume.

Keywords:   children, Vessantara, Rahula, asceticism, celibacy, family, anti-family, construction of childhood

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