Buddhism: Buddhism, Taoism and Other Far Eastern Religions

Overview

In the second half of the twentieth century, the failure of Enlightenment rationalism and the spiritual bankruptcy of Western materialism have opened the door for Eastern religions, especially the nontheistic religions that promise enlightenment and peace of mind. Any major bookstore today has copies of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching, and books on Taoism, Zen, and other forms of Buddhism. This volume and the volume on Hinduism in this series together present a comprehensive overview of Eastern religions, their ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $3.47   
  • Used (4) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$3.47
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(511)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
0310489121

Ships from: Florence, SC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.99
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(4)

Condition: New
1998 Trade paperback Excellent condition Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 96 p. Zondervan Guide to Cults & Religious Movements. Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: La Crosse, WI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$5.71
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(171)

Condition: New
1998-03-01 Paperback New New. Store stock. 8546-15 Fast service.

Ships from: Lincolnton, NC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

In the second half of the twentieth century, the failure of Enlightenment rationalism and the spiritual bankruptcy of Western materialism have opened the door for Eastern religions, especially the nontheistic religions that promise enlightenment and peace of mind. Any major bookstore today has copies of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching, and books on Taoism, Zen, and other forms of Buddhism. This volume and the volume on Hinduism in this series together present a comprehensive overview of Eastern religions, their views, and their impact on contemporary North America. This book includes - A concise introduction to Eastern religions - An overview of the movement's theology -- in their own words - A biblical response - Tips for witnessing effectively - A bibliography with sources for further study - A chart comparing the groups' beliefs with biblical Christianity - A glossary
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

J. Isamu Yamamoto is the author of several books. He is currently the inspirational editor for Publications International, Ltd., and a consulting editor for Christian Research Journal.

Alan W. Gomes (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of historical theology and chairman of the department of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Buddhism

Buddhism, Taoism, and Other Far Eastern Religions
By J. Isamu Yamamoto

Zondervan

Copyright © 1998 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-48912-1


Chapter One

Part II: Theology

I. Human Suffering

A. The Buddhist Position on Human Suffering Briefly Stated

1. All human life is grievous. 2. Ignorance and the desires of the senses lead to suffering. 3. Deliverance from suffering can be achieved through enlightenment.

4. Enlightenment is attained by obeying the Buddhist ethic.

B. Arguments Used by Buddhists to Support Their Position on Human Suffering, Otherwise Known as the "Four Noble Truths"

1. The First Noble Truth is dukkha.

a. Definition of dukkha

(1) The general meaning of the word dukkha is "suffering," "pain," "misery," or "sorrow."

(2) Buddhist scholars, however, regard this translation as highly unsatisfactory and misleading because it tends to give people the impression that Buddhist philosophy is pessimistic.

(3) According to the Buddhist scholar Walpola Rahula, dukkha not only means "suffering," but it also comprises "deeper ideas such as 'imperfection,' 'impermanence,' 'emptiness,' 'insubstantiality.' It is difficult therefore to find one word to embrace the whole conception of the term dukkha as the First Noble Truth, and so it is better to leave it untranslated, than to give an inadequate and wrong idea of it by conveniently translating it as 'suffering' or 'pain.'"

b. The First Noble Truth's perspective on life (1) The Buddha's teaching on human suffering is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. Rather, it is realistic.

(2) Buddhists view the Buddha as a spiritual physician. He neither ignores the problem and says all is well nor exaggerates the problem and gives up hope. Instead, he diagnoses the problem objectively and correctly, "understands the cause and the nature of the illness, sees clearly that it can be cured, and courageously administers a course of treatment, thus saving his patient.... He is the wise and scientific doctor for the ills of the world."

c. The three aspects of dukkha

(1) Dukkha is all forms of physical and mental suffering, which includes "birth, old age, sickness, death, association with unpleasant persons and conditions, separation from beloved ones and pleasant conditions, not getting what one desires, grief, lamentation, distress."

(2) Dukkha is change. Since all things are impermanent, pain, suffering, and unhappiness ultimately result. For example, a person is happy being with a loved one, but when that loved one is gone, that person becomes unhappy. Change has caused the suffering. The Buddha taught that there is happiness in life, but that inevitably that happiness will turn to sorrow.

(3) Dukkha is the essence of life. Although people do not possess a soul, the energies that form a person are ever changing. Since life is impermanent and in constant flux, it is dukkha.

2. The Second Noble Truth is samudaya.

a. The definition of samudaya

(1) Samudaya means "arising of dukkha." (2) In other words, samudaya is the origin of suffering.

b. The Second Noble Truth as tanha

(1) Tanha means "craving" or "thirst."

(2) Some Buddhist scholars refer to the Second Noble Truth as tanha because tanha leads to suffering.

(3) Tanha is not the first or only cause of the arising of suffering, but it is the critical link in the causal chain that leads to suffering.

c. The "Twelvefold Chain of Causation"

The Buddha traced the cause of suffering to its origin as follows: "From ignorance as cause arise the aggregates [the energies or identity of a person], from the aggregates as cause arises consciousness, from consciousness as cause arises name-and-form (mind and body), from name-and-form as cause arises the sphere of the six (senses), from the sphere of the six as cause contact, from contact as cause sensation, from sensation as cause craving, from craving as cause grasping, from grasping as cause becoming, from becoming as cause birth, from birth as cause arise old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, dejection, and despair. Even so is the origination of all this mass of pain."

3. The Third Noble Truth is nirodha.

a. The definition of nirodha

(1) Nirodha means "cessation of dukkha."

(2) In other words, nirodha reveals that there is liberation from suffering.

b. Nirodha as nirvana

(1) When one attains nirvana, one experiences nirodha.

(2) For Buddhists, nirvana is not the extinction of self, since there is no self or soul to annihilate. Rather it is the annihilation of the illusion or false idea of self.

(3) In order to achieve nirvana, one must eliminate the main root of dukkha ("suffering"), which is tanha ("craving"). When craving is totally extinguished, nirodha occurs.

(4) In addition, understanding the teachings of the Buddha not only removes ignorance, the primordial cause of suffering, but also paves the way for deliverance.

4. The Fourth Noble Truth is magga.

a. The definition of magga

(1) Magga means "the path leading to the cessation of dukkha."

(2) Magga is also known as the "Middle Path," because it avoids the one extreme of seeking happiness through the senses and the other extreme of seeking truth through self-mortification.

b. The Noble Eightfold Path

(1) The Fourth Noble Truth comprises Buddhist ethics, which is known as the Noble Eightfold Path.

(2) The Noble Eightfold Path is right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

(3) These eight categories of the Noble Eightfold Path are taught in order to perfect the three essentials of Buddhist training and discipline, namely, ethical conduct, mental discipline, and wisdom.

(4) These eight categories of the Path are not stages that can be performed in succession or isolated from one another. Rather they are different dimensions of a total way of life.

(5) The Buddha taught that suffering is the result of selfish desires or clinging and that they chain people to the wheel of insubstantial impermanent things. The Buddha's teachings aim at eliminating these selfish desires in ways described in the Fourth Noble Truth and at guiding the individual to nirvana or deliverance.

C. Refutation of Arguments Used by Buddhists to Support Their Position on Suffering

1. The Buddhist teaching that human life is grievous is not in question.

a. The Buddhist observation that people experience suffering of all sorts is an observable truth.

b. In addition, the search for an explanation for human suffering is not only critical to Buddhism, but also to all philosophies and religions, including Christianity.

2. The Buddhist explanation for the cause and origin of suffering is incorrect.

a. The implication of the Buddhist teaching on the cause of suffering (1) Buddhist doctrine asserts that the origin of one's suffering is ignorance and that the cause of that suffering is one's craving.

(2) In essence, what Buddhist doctrine teaches is that we cause all the suffering we experience.

(3) The following scenarios dispute that Buddhist doctrine.

b. Victims of natural disasters

(1) If a one-day-old baby is severely injured in an earthquake and then dies, is that baby responsible for its suffering?

(2) The Buddhist will argue that what the baby did in its former life caused its present suffering. Thus the baby is responsible for its suffering.

(3) However, the cycle of life, death, and rebirth cannot be proven. Therefore, the Buddhist claim that one suffers because of what one has done in a previous life rests on an assumption that relies on no factual evidence.

c. Victims of religious persecution

(1) If a Christian is tortured in a society hostile toward Christianity because he or she refuses to reject Jesus Christ as God, is that Christian responsible for his or her suffering?

(2) The Buddhist will argue that the Christian is deluded into thinking that Jesus Christ is God. Such delusion causes suffering for the Christian.

(3) The Buddhist explanation, however, rests on the belief that Christ is not God. Since the Buddhist cannot prove that Jesus Christ is not God, its argument is based solely on an unprovable assumption.

d. Victims of crime

(1) If a woman is savagely raped by a total stranger in her house, is she responsible for her suffering?

(2) The Buddhist will argue that her suffering was due to the negative actions that she had previously done, though she had done nothing at the time to precipitate the assault.

(3) The moral consciousness common to people throughout the world, however, would argue that she was an innocent victim of the crime, and every civilized judicial system would punish the guilty assailant, not the victim, of the crime.

(4) Furthermore, if the woman's suffering was a result of a previous action on her part, then karma (cause and effect) forced her assailant to commit the crime. Therefore, his evil action was caused by her bad karma, for which he must then suffer.

(5) In other words, the Buddhist in effect says that some people suffer grievously for a former act committed during a previous life while other people suffer for that which a higher force compelled them to do.

(6) Victims of crime, however, are not responsible for what they suffered as a result of the crime, while criminals are responsible for committing their crimes.

3. The Buddhist assertion that there is deliverance from suffering can be accepted to a point.

a. It is agreed that it is possible for human suffering to end (as will be shown in I.D.3 below).

b. The Buddhist teaching that human suffering ceases through extinction is false.

(1) Of course, if extinction of a person were possible, suffering would also cease.

(2) Christ, however, taught that the wicked "will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (Matt. 25:46; see also 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:10-15).

(3) In other words, people are immortal; they will not be extinguished.

4. The Buddhist quest for the cessation of suffering is misdirected.

a. The Fourth Noble Truth of the Buddha is the Noble Eightfold Path.

(1) The purpose of the Noble Eightfold Path is to eliminate craving, which causes suffering.

(2) In effect, Buddhists ultimately seek escape from suffering.

b. The Bible disputes the Buddha's Fourth Noble Truth in two ways. (1) The Bible does not teach that all desires are evil. In fact, we are to "desire" to do God's will (Ps. 40:8), "desire" God's mercy (Matt. 9:13), "desire" spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1), and "desire" to live honorably (Heb. 13:18).

(2) The Bible also teaches that the distinct purpose of Christ's coming to this world was to suffer on behalf of humanity's sins (Matt. 17:12; Mark 8:31; 9:12; Luke 24:26; Acts 3:18; 17:2-3; 26:22-23; Heb. 2:9-10, 18; 1 Peter 1:10-11; 2:21-24; 3:18; 4:1); that is, Christ purposely embraced suffering for us rather than attempting to avoid it.

c. The contrasting approaches to suffering by the Buddha and Christ is perhaps best described by Stephen Neill: "Why suffer? That is the ultimate question. It comes to sharp and challenging expression in the contrast between the serene and passionless Buddha and the tortured figure on the Cross. In Jesus we see One who looked at suffering with eyes as clear and calm as those of the Buddha. He saw no reason to reject it, to refuse it, to eliminate it. He took it into himself and felt the fullness of its bitterness and horror; by the grace of God he tasted death for every man. Others suffer; he will suffer with them and for them.... But he does not believe that suffering is wholly evil; by the power of God it can be transformed into a redemptive miracle. Suffering is not an obstacle to deliverance, it can become part of deliverance itself. And what he was he bids his children be-the world's sufferers, in order that through suffering the world may be brought back to God."

D. Arguments Used to Prove the Biblical Doctrine on Suffering

1. The Bible regards human suffering as a crucial issue.

a. In fact, the Bible devotes an entire book to the issue of human suffering.

(1) In the book of Job, Job seeks to understand why he must suffer.

(2) God does not answer Job's specific question but helps him understand that he is sovereign and will ultimately bring about good for those who keep their trust in him.

b. The Bible indicates that all humans can expect to suffer and die (Job 5:7; 14:1, 10, 22).

c. Nevertheless, the Bible makes a distinction between right and wrong kinds of suffering. Indeed, God commends those who suffer for doing good but not those who suffer for doing evil (1 Peter 2:19-20; 4:15).

d.

Continues...


Excerpted from Buddhism by J. Isamu Yamamoto Copyright © 1998 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

http://zondervan.com/media/samples/pdf/0310489121_samptoc.pdf
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)