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Provides an overview of the historical development of Eastern traditions of religious and philosophical thought.

Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought engages students with anecdotes, primary and secondary sources, an accessible writing style, and a clear historical approach.

The text focuses on India, China, and Japan, while showing the relationships that exist between Eastern and Western traditions. Patrick Bresnan consistently links the past to the present, so students may see that Eastern traditions, however ancient their origins, are living traditions and relevant to modern times.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Recognize the relationships among the traditions being taught
  • Appreciate the relevance of these traditions to modern times
  • Understand the major issues of interpretation regarding the traditions
  • Speculate about the future of each tradition
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of conflicting teachings

0205887775 / 9780205887774 Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought Plus MySearchLab with eText -- Access Card Package

Package consists of:

0205239927 / 9780205239924 MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Valuepack Access

0205242987 / 9780205242986 Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205887774
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/15/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 975,223
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Found in this section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents



Part I Hinduism and Related Traditions of South Asia

Chapter 1 India Before the Vedas

Chapter 2 Veda and the Vedas

Chapter 3 Introduction to the Upanishads

Chapter 4 The Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 5 Ashtanga Yoga

Chapter 6 Darshana

Chapter 7 The Devotional Movement

Chapter 8 A Millennium of Strife

Part II Shakyamuni Buddha and the Early Development of Buddhism

Chapter 9 The Life of Shakyamuni Buddha

Chapter 10 Basic Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha

Chapter 11 Theravada Buddhism

Chapter 12 Mahayana Buddhism

Part III Non-Buddhist Traditions of East Asia

Chapter 13 Confucius and Confucianism

Chapter 14 Daoism

Chapter 15 Shinto

Part IV Buddhism in China and Japan

Chapter 16 Early Buddhism in China

Chapter 17 Tibetan Buddhism

Chapter 18 Chan Buddhism

Chapter 19 Zen Buddhism

Works Cited




Part I Hinduism and Related Traditions of South Asia

Chapter 1: India Before the Vedas

The Lay of the Land

South Asia Before the Vedic Age

The Theory of Indo-Aryan Migrations

Varna: The Caste System

The Brahmin Caste

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 2: Veda and the Vedas

Yajna: The Vedic Sacrifice

The Vedic Pantheon

An Overview of Vedic Cosmology

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 3: Introduction to the Upanishads

The Sannyasin Tradition

Key Elements of the Upanishads

An Overview of Vedanta Cosmology

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 4: The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita and the Mahabharata

The Opening Scene

The Bhagavad Gita as Metaphor

The Awakened Person

Karma Yoga

Raja Yoga

Bhakti Yoga

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 5: Ashtanga Yoga

The General Nature of Yoga

The “Eight Limbs” of Ashtanga Yoga

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 6: Darshana

The Orthodox Darshanas

The Heterodox Darshanas

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 7: The Devotional Movement

The Trimurti


The Hindu Temple

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 8: A Millennium of Strife

The Muslim Era

The Modern

Questions for Discussion

Part II Shakyamuni Buddha and the Early Development of Buddhism

Chapter 9: The Life of Shakyamuni Buddha

The Palace Youth

The Sadhu Years

The Awakening

The Teaching Years

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 10: Basic Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha

The Doctrine of Anatman

The Four Noble Truths

The Noble Eightfold Path

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 11: Theravada Buddhism

The Early Centuries


Theravada Buddhism

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 12: Mahayana Buddhism

Diversity and Religious Elements in Mahayana

The Nature of Buddha



The Bodhisattva

Artistic Expression in Early Mahayana

Questions for Discussion

Part III Non-Buddhist Traditions of East Asia

Chapter 13: Confucius and Confucianism



Other Voices from the Period of a Hundred Philosophers

Later Developments in the Evolution of Confucianism

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 14: Daoism

The Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching)

Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tzu)

Religious Daoism

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 15: Shinto

The Shinto Creation Story

The Shinto Shrine and Festival

Historical Development of Shinto

Questions for Discussion

Part IV Buddhism in China and Japan

Chapter 16: Early Buddhism in China

Buddhism in the Tarim Basin

Tiantai Buddhism

Huayan Buddhism (Hua-Yen)

Pure Land Buddhism

Persecution and Recovery

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 17: Tibetan Buddhism

The Establishment of Buddhism in Tibet

The General Character of Buddhism in Tibet

A Historical Overview of Buddhism in Tibet

The First Period: The Era of the Yarlung Empire

The Second Period: The Sakya Era

The Third Period: The Era of the Dalai Lama

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 18: Chan Buddhism


Huineng (Hui-Neng)

After Huineng

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 19: Zen Buddhism

Japan Before Zen

Rinzai and Soto Zen

The Zen Monastery

Zen and the Arts

Questions for Discussion

Works Cited


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