Faith and Philosophy 16 (4):449-471 (1999)
As is the case with many of the more classically theistic religions, Mahāyāna Buddhism has attempted to elaborate doctrines of incarnation. This paper will first examine the philosophical / doctrinal context in which such doctrines are elaborated by offering a brief overview of Buddhism’s repudiation of theism. It then discusses both denaturalized / philosophical and naturalized / narrative versions of the doctrine of incarnation as it is found in both the exoteric and the tantric (esoteric) traditions of the Mahāyāna texts. It concludes with a defense of the coherence of the docetism found in such texts
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