Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (2nd Edition)

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The section on meditation and various types of it was quite informative and now that I know what th Very good overall introduction, which one usually but not always get from this series of books. The section on meditation and various types of it was quite informative and now that I know what that's about, I don't think it's a new age gibberish anymore. Aug 13, Barrett rated it really liked it.

Definitely a lot to take in. It focuses on Buddhism's history more than providing much examination of Buddhist principles and beliefs. Very informative, but not much nuance or depth Oct 09, Lon rated it really liked it. This title met my expectations for an introduction to Buddhism. The author's survey of the topic was refreshingly non-sectarian, a survey broad enough to encompass all major schools, schisms, and approaches in ways that helped me understand the relationships among them and to trace major currents both within and without the particular tradition I practice.

A helpful introduction.


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This book definitely did the trick at being a quick overview of the basic principles of Buddhism, and it was helped a lot by Keown's inclusion of a lot of diagrams to illustrate these ideas. Unfortunately it just took me a long while to read this because it was very academic, and that wasn't what I was really looking for at this moment. Still, I'd definitely recommend this book as a solid introduction! Jan 06, Rob rated it it was amazing Shelves: religion , mythology , Not a devotional book.

It delivers what it promises in 9 chapters: An introduction to Buddhism s for the layman. Objective, historical, recommended. Buddhism and Elephants. Approaches to understanding Buddhism. The Buddha. Siddhartha Gautama, related myths and religious career.

Karma and Rebirth. Buddhist reincarnation, cosmology, and western perceptions. Four Noble Truths. The Mahayana.

The Evolution of Buddhist Schools - Ancient History Encyclopedia

The development of one major branch of Buddhism, Mah Not a devotional book. The development of one major branch of Buddhism, Mahayana. The Spread of Buddhism. How Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism spread in Asia. The Buddhist take on meditation: types, techniques, relation to cosmology. Includes a section on its confluence with neuroscience. Morality, rights, war and terrorism. Buddhism in the West. How Buddhism spread to the west, and how it fits with contemporary ideologies and attitudes. Jan 19, Brian rated it really liked it Shelves: world-religions. Helpful introduction to Buddhism.

Chapter one uses Ninian Smart's seven dimensions of religion to sketch out the basic features of Buddhism. Chapter two covers the life of the Buddha. Subsequent chapters look at the basic tenets of Buddhism, including The Four Noble Truths and separate chapters on Meditation and Ethics. The sixth chapter discusses The spread of Buddhism, while the final chapter looks at Buddhism in the West. The author is sympathetic to Buddhism, but also critically discusses so Helpful introduction to Buddhism. The author is sympathetic to Buddhism, but also critically discusses some features of Buddhism. Four stars for brevity, clarity, and thorough coverage of the topic.

Nov 10, Sonic rated it really liked it. This is an excellent concise summary of Buddhism. However, when it comes to religion or philosophy, I would compare the difference between a scholarly outsider's look and a practicing "believer's" perspective akin to the difference between a lifeless corpse and an animated living body.

Buddhism A Very Short Introduction

I am not trying to be gross or harsh, I just feel that some one truly engaged in a transformative path is best suited to talk about that kind of thing. So, this is informative, but it does not teach or inspire,.. So, this is informative, but it does not teach or inspire, Apr 08, Smiley rated it liked it Shelves: buddhism.

This paperback as one of the Very Short Introduction series should interest those keen on Buddhism or in search of more clear understanding on the complexities regarding its teachings and practices. Since its origin in India more than years ago, the religion has long evolved into two major schools, that is, The Mahayana in China, Korea, Japan, etc. View 1 comment. Dec 21, Simon A.

OUP hits 300 with Very Short Introductions

Oct 21, AC rated it it was amazing Shelves: china , anthropology-religion , indian-philosophy , japan. A really excellent primer for those with little knowledge of the topic - lean, intelligent, sophisticated, historical, objective, balanced. Those with a deep interest or knowledge of the topic already will likely find it of far less value. View all 3 comments. May 29, Riyad Baksh rated it it was amazing. Great book. I highly recommend to all seeking an understanding of Buddhism.

Nov 07, Daniel Wright rated it it was ok Shelves: vsi , other-history , religion , history , religion-history , buddhism. This is a reasonable introduction to Buddhism, exposing a wide variety of Western misconceptions.

On the other hand the author hand, the author is, shall we say, not altogether critical. Oct 19, Francisco rated it really liked it. Having done my academic studies on the Study of Religion I've read plenty of introductory texts on Buddhism, this little introductory book leave a lot out, of course, but it is also a quite good primer for the central ideas and schools of Buddhism and their interaction with the West and modernity.

Keown managed to synthesize in some pages a really complex set of ideas and practices, this is not easy work, and he manages to do it in an easy to understand and considered way. I would say that t Having done my academic studies on the Study of Religion I've read plenty of introductory texts on Buddhism, this little introductory book leave a lot out, of course, but it is also a quite good primer for the central ideas and schools of Buddhism and their interaction with the West and modernity.

I would say that this is a perfect book for those who want to know about Buddhism but don't really have much time to put into its study, or as a way to get a primer before more in depth study of a certain aspect of Buddhism and there are plenty of books for that. The fast pace of the world does make this book slightly out of date, through no fault of the author, it's just that 5 years make a world of difference.

The contemporary cases of the clashes in Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims, for example do not make an appearance here and people like Aung San Suu Kyi are still touted as exemplars of Buddhist tolerance when they are now seen as war criminals. Oh well.

No fault of the author. Great little intro. Dec 30, Bea Bezmalinovic rated it liked it. These books are summaries of major figures or ideas. Each idea is presented in pages and captures major thoughts or issues on the topic. Damien Keown's Buddhism is a decent short introduction to Buddhism, although Karen Armstrong's introductory book is stronger in my opinion.

His chapter on the precepts and school of Buddhism is a very clear summary of major divergences in thinking. I also appreciated Meditation and Buddhism and the West, both of which were strong summaries of the current thinking. Overall, I recommend this book and am curious to read others in the series. Jul 04, Duncan Reed rated it it was amazing Shelves: spirituality , A quick, easy and short read, which explains in some detail Buddhism and how it developed.

I would personally recommend reading 'Buddha - a very short introduction' first, as that book sets the scene for the life of the Buddha, in terms of history and geography etc. This 'Buddhism' book also includes many of the myths surrounding the Buddha which are most certainly not accurate like the story of his birth whereupon the baby Buddha took 5 steps and declared 'I will not be born again' , whereas th A quick, easy and short read, which explains in some detail Buddhism and how it developed.

This 'Buddhism' book also includes many of the myths surrounding the Buddha which are most certainly not accurate like the story of his birth whereupon the baby Buddha took 5 steps and declared 'I will not be born again' , whereas the 'Buddha' book explains what scholars have actually pieced together from the evidence. There are also 'Tibetan Buddhism' and 'Buddhist ethics' titles in the series. Mar 31, Howard rated it it was ok. What or who is the Buddha, and what are his teachings?

How has Buddhist thought developed over the centuries, and how can contemporary dilemmas be faced from a Buddhist perspective? Words such as "karma" and "nirvana" have entered our vocabulary, but what do they really mean? Keown has taught Buddhism at an introductory level for many years, and in this book he provides a lively, challenging response to these frequently asked questions. Sign up for free! Join our Signed First Edition Club or give a gift subscription for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

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Very Short Introductions

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