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Pre-sectarian Buddhism, also called early Buddhism, the earliest Buddhism, original Buddhism, and primitive Buddhism, is Buddhism as theorized to have existed before the various Early Buddhist schools developed, around 250 BCE (followed by later subsects of Buddhism).
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The contents and teachings of this pre-sectarian Buddhism must be deduced or re-constructed from the earliest Buddhist texts, which by themselves are already sectarian. The whole subject remains intensely debated by scholars, not all of whom believe a meaningful reconstruction is possible.
"Early Buddhism" may also be used for considerably later periods.
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