While Classical Theravada is easily demonstrated as a very real thing, what is another, perhaps more traditional name for it? The idea that no one has delineated between those who hold the Abhidhamma and commentaries, and/or, specifically the Visuddhimagga as authoritative, and those who don’t, seems decidedly unlikely, they’ve had 2,500 years to come up with names for these delineations.
That’s it for the post. Following is further elaboration:
The contention by EBT “Theravadin’s” is that “Theravada” essentially has no meaning, and whoever wants to use the term “Theravada” is “Theravada”:
“You believe we are all an immortal consciousness outside the aggregates, and we live forever in nibbana, while ostensibly supporting this idea with a bizarre misinterpretation of the suttas, while throwing out the Abhidhamma and commentaries, since they are so specific as to destroy your case? Okay, you’re Theravada.”
“You believe in 100% Mahayana teachings while ostensibly supporting this idea… (same as above)? Okay, you’re Theravada.”
“You believe in a phenomenalist/subjective idealist/nihilist/everything is imaginary/etc. version of the dhamma, while ostensibly supporting this idea… (same as above)? Okay, you’re Theravada.”
“You believe that we have souls and that we all go to heaven to serve the immortal creator god after death, while ostensibly supporting this idea… (same as above)? Okay, you’re Theravada.”
“You accept the Abhidhamma and commentaries? Okay… well, they are false… your version of “Theravada” doesn’t even exist. All Theravada accepts pretty much whatever, and always has. “Theravada” only means Vinaya, which is shared by a bunch of Mahayana schools.”
Thus, any claim that there is such a thing as a group that can authoritatively refute their ridiculous hodgepodge, Frankenstein ideologies, frequently due to a consistent upholding of the Abhidhamma and commentaries as authoritative, is harshly, and obstinately rejected.