Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research

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Bhikkhu Anālayo
  • Sommerville, MA: 
    Wisdom Publications
    , April
     304 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


German professor and Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Anālayo illuminates a spectrum of views on rebirth, from ancient scriptures to contemporary research.

In four chapters, Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research readers through:

  • the presentation of rebirth in the earliest Buddhist sources and the way it relates to core doctrine,
  • the debates about rebirth throughout Buddhist history and up to modern times, including the role of confirmation bias in the evaluation of evidence,
  • the current research on rebirth, including near-death experiences, past-life regression, and childhood recollection of previous lives,
  • and an examination of a particular case of xenoglossy, the ability to speak languages one has not been taught. As a very young boy, the Sri Lankan Dhammaruwan would chant Pāli-language scriptures that he had not apparently learned in his present life.

Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research brings together the many strands of the debate on rebirth in one place, making it both comprehensive and compact. It is not a polemic but an interrogation of the evidence, inviting readers to draw their own conclusions.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Bhikkhu Anālayo is a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk), scholar, and meditation teacher. He was born in Germany in 1962 and went forth in 1995 in Sri Lanka. He is best known for his comparative studies of early Buddhist texts as preserved by the various early Buddhist traditions.


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