16)An Early Chinese Commentary on the Ekottarika-āgama 《分別功德論》與《增一阿含經》譯經史考
- description: This study reassesses an old problem in the history of Chinese Buddhism, the origins and nature of the Zengyi ahan jing 增一阿含經 (Taishō 125). It does so by a close investigation of the Chinese translation of the Ekottarika-āgama at the end of the fourth century and of its most important witness, the Fenbie gongde lun 分別功德論 (Taishō 1507). It is argued that the latter document, whose original title was Zengyi ahan jing shu 增一阿含經疏, should be seen as an unfinished commentary to the newly translated collection, produced within the original translation team (including Dao'an 道安, Zhu Fonian 竺佛念 and the Indo-Bactrian master Dharmananda) during the tumultuous end of the Qin秦 empire of Fu Jian苻堅in A.D. 385. This reconstruction yields further insights into the cultural origins of the Chinese Ekottarika-āgama, and its broader significance for the history of Buddhism.