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Understanding Buddhism

Perry Schmidt-Leukel

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Product Details
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781903765180
Published:
21 Sep 2006
Publisher:
Dunedin Academic Press
Dimensions:
192 pages - 216 x 138 x 13mm
Series:
Understanding Faith
Today Buddhism is often presented as a religion without dogmas and commandments, without God and without any need to believe, tolerating all and everything – as no “religion” at all, but as a way of life most suitable to the needs of post-modern Westerners. But is this an accurate image? In this book Buddhism is introduced as a genuine religion, gentle and powerful, being as demanding as it is consoling. Buddhism is certainly not a theistic faith, but neither is it a form of atheism or materialism. Rather it is a challenge to both: a rich source of metaphysical, ethical and spiritual insight that has shaped and nourished countless generations of followers all over Asia and that is now taking firm roots in the West.
Preface. Introduction. 1. Buddhism: A Brief Overview; 2. The Religious Context of Early Buddhism; 3. Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha; 4. The 'One Taste': Liberation; 5. Many Lives and Ultimate Bliss; 6. Buddhist Meditation; 7. Buddhist Ethics; 8. The Buddhist Community; 9. Buddhism and Politics; 10. The Bodhisvatta Ideal; 11. The New Understanding of the Buddha; 12. Concept, Language and Reality; 13. Tantric Buddhism; 14. Buddhism in China and Japan; 15. Buddhism and Modernity. Bibliography. Glossary. Index.
Perry Schmidt-Leukel is Professor of Systematic Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow

'Schmidt-Leukel has written an admirable introduction to this religion. Understanding Buddhism is balanced in its use of primary and secondary sources, it is clear without being facile and it is able to introduce an enormous subject by choosing crucial points and directing the reader to other works, if s/he wants to know more. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a serious, yet concise overview of the beginnings, historical developments, and contemporary challenges Buddhism faces.' Journal of Contemporary Religion

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