I am progressing with my paper but I am writing it in german and have no big motivation to translate it to english, so I feel sorry for you. But the quality of my research is also on a very low, pre-bachelor level , so there is not much you are missing. ^^
Just a couple of general remarks in contrast to the classical position of indologists such as Frauwallner or Gombrich:
- Bronkhorst claims that the concept of Karma and rebirth was first found in Magadha's religious movements and later appeared in the upanisads 'dressed up in a vedic garb'. This totally ignores the inscriptions of Aśoka, who does not mention any kind of a 'buddhist doctrine of karma' and at the same time the fact that the doctrinal development inside the upanisads in respect to the introduction of karma is in total quite harmonious and does not give us any real implication to state that it was suddenly introduced from an outside source. Much more likely that it was gradually introduced by constant exposure to non-aryian religions in the indian subcontinent, but this fact leaves Bronkhorsts whole concept quite in the dust. (Samuel Geoffrey is by the way following this idea.)
- The very main fault in my eyes (and I see appearently nobody here really mentioned it despite of this being a theravada-forum) is Bronkhorsts implicated claim that the buddhist concept of anattā is not a reaction to the upanisadic idea of ātman. This is the logical result if he claims that the Bṛhad-Aranyaka-Upaniṣad and the Chandogya-Upaniṣad have been composed after the time of the Buddha. This would mean that the second sermon (Anattālakkhaṇa-Sutta) is not authentical, but was added at a later stage. Or that it does not refer to the Upaniṣads at all (what Bronkhorst tries to prove, but ultimately fails, if you compare his argumentation to that of Norman, Gombrich, Wynne and Samuel).
Given these facts Michael Witzel gave a nice summary of his own observations concerning the date-relationship of these texts, called 'moving targets'. http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handl ... sequence=1
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Given the conclusion of Witzel, the observations about the language of the early canon as presented by Von Hinüber ( https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/i ... /8977/2870
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) and Gombrichs very deep and well-presented analysis on the textual references (including satire and humor) made by the Buddha to the upaniṣadic worldview, there remains little of real substance that can be extracted from Bronkhorsts extraordinarily claims to rewrite the history of early India. ^^
Nevertheless this does not mean that what he claims is totally not reasonable, there are many points where I do agree, especially considering the underrated influence of eastern and non aryan religions into the vedic model.
I think his claims are mainly appealing to western 'new age buddhists' of the 20/21th century, who hold the Buddha and his main teaching in high esteem but at the same time are not much aware of the traditional points on such central points as the anattā-doctrine. At the same time he cannot expect much support from the buddhist traditions because his claims are contradicting their interpretation of the core teachings of the Buddha (we are not talking about some minor side-aspects here) and from the philological tradition as well because there is not much substance to his argumentation.
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