looks like I've raised a bit of a hornet's nest! I hope I have succeeded a little bit at least in those of you who might be resting on your current dhamma laurels.
I ask you what you must do to fit the description of the arya sangha- to be worthy of veneration ('anjalikaraneyyo'), to be worthy of gifts brought from afar ('aahuneyyo'), to be worthy of gifts given in seeking merit ('pahuneyyo'). What kind of practice would such a person have? - a bit of internet surfing perhaps?
Well, I'm going to leave it to you folks to think about Prof Gombrich. It is my belief that anyone who claims to know the dhamma and is a professor of the matter, should consider himself a buddhist; else he hasn't understood much. He may well be useful in clarifying history and other such matters, but perhaps not about the dhamma itself.