The introduction is designed to orient the reader with the main topics taken up in the Treatise and also to provide a scholarly resource for students, teachers, and researchers. The introduction first provides an explanation of the title of the Treatise and then turns to the question of the provenance of the text, its likely author, and its likely date of composition. This is followed by a detailed account of the historical and intellectual contexts of the Treatise’s composition. The centrality of the concept of ignorance, the role of practice, and key models used in the Treatise are introduced and clearly explained. Particular attention is also paid to introducing and comparing key sixth- and seventh-century commentaries. This comparison is further developed through a case study of commentarial differences over a key doctrinal issue: whether the unconditioned can be conditioned.
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