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Was the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra 大般涅槃經 T7 Translated by ‘Faxian’?: An Exercise in the Computer-Assisted Assessment of Attributions in the Chinese Buddhist Canon
University of Heidelberg
Keywords: Faxian, Guṇabhadra, Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, Chinese Buddhist canonical ascriptions, computational philology
Abstract: In the Taishō canon, the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra 大般涅槃經 T no. 7 is attributed to Faxian 法顯. However, on the basis of an examination of reports in the catalogues about various Chinese versions of the ‘mainstream’ Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, Iwamatsu Asao 岩松浅夫 once questioned whether Faxian ever translated any such text. Iwamatsu argued further, on the basis of unspecified features of translation terminology and phraseology, that T no. 7 should instead be reascribed to Guṇabhadra 求那跋陀羅. This paper will examine the problem of the attribution of T no. 7 on the basis of a detailed examination of its language.
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