Introducing Buddhism

Book Details

  • Publisher : RoutledgeCurzon
  • Published : 2006
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 320
  • Size : 244 x 174mm
  • Category :
    Beginner's Books
  • Category 2 :
    Books for Schools
  • Catalogue No : 15035
  • ISBN 13 : 9780415392358
  • ISBN 10 : 0415392357

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Introducing Buddhism [New Edition]

Introducing Buddhism [New Edition]

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Synopsis

A student-friendly introduction to Buddhism by two renowned scholars, who have selected the contents to afford both breadth and depth of coverage. The key teachings of Buddhism are explained clearly, and the historical development and spread of the religion is traced from its beginnings to the present day. A chapter is devoted to each of the regions where Buddhism has flourished, and this book also takes into account contemporary concerns and allocates separate chapters to the subjects of Engaged Buddhism, Buddhism and War, Buddhism in the Western World, and Meditation.

The book also includes many student-friendly features, including learning goals, summary boxes, and questions for discussion.

"An up-to-date textbook for beginners as well as advanced students of Buddhism. Its clear structure helps beginners getting oriented in the complex field of Buddhism, and its respective chapters are rich in detailed information for students who already have some basic knowledge." Oliver Freiberger.

Read an extract of this title

Contents
List of illustrations X
Acknowledgments xi
Maps xii
Pronunciation guide xvi
I
Background to Buddhism 1
The Indus Valley Civilization 1
The Indus religion 2
The Indus inheritance 2
The Vedic culture 3
Vedic literature 3
The Vedic inheritance 5
The Age of the Wanderers 5

The two traditions 6
The philosophical problematic 6
PART I
Foundations 9
1 Karma and cosmology 11
The cosmos in Indian thought 11
The inhabitants of the cosmos 13
The Six Realms of Rebirth 14
Karma 18
Merit 21
Western perspectives 22

2 The Buddha 26
The Buddha 27
The Buddha's birth 30
Renunciation 31
Austerities 33
Enlightenment 35
The first sermon 38
The Buddha's last days 39

3 The Dharrna 43
The Four Noble Truths 43
The First Noble Truth: Suffering 44
The Second Noble Truth: Arising 47
The Third Noble Truth: Cessation 50
The Fourth Noble Truth: the Path 52
Holy persons 54
The doctrine of no-self 55
The five aggregates 56

4 The Buddhist Sangha 60
The sangha defined 60
The Vinaya Pitaka 63
Paracanonical Vinaya literature 63
Canonical Vinaya literature 65
Non-canonical Vinaya literature 66
The laity 66
Important disciples in the early sangha 67
Monastic life 69
Geographic dispersal of the sangha 70


PART II
Development 73
5 Buddhism in India 75
Developments after the death of the Buddha 75
The early period 76
Early councils and schools 76
The Mauryan empire and Asoka 79
The stupa 82
Buddhist art 84
The North-west 86
Milinda's Questions 86
Abhidharma 87
Vasubcindhu 87
The rise of the Mahayana 88
Tantra 88
Monastic centers 90

6 Mahãyãna 94
introduction 94
Mahayana literature 95
Other Mahayäna literature 96
Mahãyãna doctrines 98
Celestial Buddhas and bodhisattvas 101
Mahayãna schools: Mãclhyamika 106
Mahayana schools: Yogacara 107
Mahãyãna schools: Pure Land 110
Mahãyäna logicians 111

7 Meditation 114
Hinayana: introduction 114
The Practice of Calm 116
The Practice of Insight 122
Mahäyãna: introduction 125
The standard structure of Mahayana meditation 125
Visionary and ecstatic techniques 129
The Pure Land tradition 129
The Tantra tradition 129
Techniques of spontaneity 132
The Mahãmudrä tradition 132
The Zen tradition 133
Conclusion 133

PART III
Buddhism beyond India 137

8 Buddhism in South-east Asia 139
Theravãda Buddhism 139
General characteristics of Buddhism in the region 140
Sri Lanka 142
Burma 145
Thailand 147
Vietnam 149

9 Buddhism in East Asia 154
China: historical sketch 154
Chinese Buddhist schools 157
Chinese Buddhist religious life 161
Korea: historical sketch 162
Korean Buddhist schools 164
Japan: historical sketch 166
Japanese Buddhist schools 168

10 Buddhism in Tibet 176
Historical sketch 176
Major schools of Tibetan Buddhism 179
Famous Buddhist figures and places 182
Tantra and Tantric texts 186
Tradition of the Dalai Lama 188
The Holocaust and thereafter 189


PART IV
Modernity 193

11 Buddhism in the Western world 195
Buddhism's Western presence in historical perspective 195
The West and globalization 198
A case in point: America 199
Developmental issues in American Buddhism 203

12 Socially engaged Buddhism 208
What is socially engaged Buddhism? 208
The Buddhist Peace Fellowship 211
Engaged Buddhism: old or new? 216
Human rights 217
Ecology 219

13 Ethics 225
Dharma as moral foundation 225
Buddhist precepts 226
Monastic ethics 227
Virtues 228
Dana 229
Ahimsa 231
Compassion 233
Skillful means 234
War and terrorism 235
Terrorism 237

14 Reflections on the nature and study of Buddhism 241
European antecedents to the study of Buddhism 241
Early Buddhist Studies in America 243
Current Buddhist Studies in America 245
Scholar-practitioners in Buddhist Studies 246
The role of technology in Buddhist Studies 248

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