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In this paper I will offer some reflections on one instance of apophasis in a specific Mahāyāna Buddhist doctrinal treatise, known as the Madhyāntavibhāga (“Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes,” ca. fourth century CE). I will attempt to formally distinguish such apophatic doctrines from doctrines of ineffability, and consider what apophatic doctrines might contribute to the impasse regarding “truth” which characterizes certain approaches to the comparative philosophy of religion. Since this paper is intended as a contribution to the comparative philosophy of religion, I will begin with a few remarks on the nature of that enterprise.

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Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory