[INDOLOGY] Crypto-Hindu and crypto-Buddhist

Bill Mak bill.m.mak at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 14:35:33 UTC 2016

Dear colleagues,

I recently came across an article on Chinese Buddhism by Ritzinger, where the author repeatedly described Mahāyāna texts such as the Lotus Sūtra as “crypto-Hindu” (!). I have never come across such expression although I am aware of a body of scholarly works which explore how Mahāyāna appropriated non-Buddhist materials of other traditions in the later periods. Stephen Hodge appears to have used the term “crypto-Hindu” rhetorically in an Indology-list thread in 2000 :

I found online also some discussions of Śaṅkara as being “crypto-Buddhist”. Can anyone enlighten me the contemporary usage of “crypto-“ in South Indian religious discourse, and its historical source.

Bill Mak

Bill M. Mak, PhD

Visiting research scholar
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW)
New York University
15 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028

Associate Professor
Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University
Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 606-8501
〒606-8501 京都市左京区吉田本町

email: mak at zinbun.kyoto-u.ac.jp

copies of my publications may be found at:

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