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Maria Heim’s Voice of the Buddha: Buddhaghosa on the Immeasurable Words is a rare example of sustained scholarly engagement with commentarial literature. The book introduces the reader to the literary world of the Theravāda Buddhist exegete Buddhaghosa (fifth century), with the stated goal of learning to read as he did. Heim shows with a series of close readings how Buddhaghosa read scripture with a high degree of attention to context, and how he understood both the Buddhist canon and the Buddha’s knowledge to be infinitely expansive. Heim’s thorough and accessible treatment makes her presentation an approachable case study of commentarial literature.
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