Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview


This accessible volume covers both the teachings of the Buddha and the integration of Buddhism into daily life. What are the distinctive features of Buddhism? 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 ...
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Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview


This accessible volume covers both the teachings of the Buddha and the integration of Buddhism into daily life. What are the distinctive features of Buddhism? 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.

About the Series:

Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Damien Keown's book is a readable and wonderfully lucid introduction to one of mankind's most beautiful, profound, and compelling systems of wisdom. The rise of the East makes understanding and learning from Buddhism, a living doctrine, more urgent than ever before. Keown's impressive powers of explanation help us to come to terms with a vital contemporary reality."--Bryan Appleyard, columnist, The Sunday Times (London)

"The perfect book for anyone seeking to learn more about this religion....Holistic in its approach, Buddhism gives readers insight into an ancient and profound religion."--Medium

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192853868
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/15/2000
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Pages: 152
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 4.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Damien Keown is Reader in Buddhism at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His books on Buddhism include Dictionary of Buddhism and Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction. He is also Editor of The Journal of Buddhist Ethics and Co-Editor of The Curzon Critical Studies in Buddhism series.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Note on Citations and Pronunciation
1 Buddhism and Elephants 1
2 The Buddha 16
3 Karma and Rebirth 31
4 The Four Noble Truths 46
5 The Mahayana 59
6 Buddhism in Asia 73
7 Meditation 88
8 Ethics 102
9 Buddhism in the West 116
Timeline 133
Further reading 135
Index 139
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2003

    Very basic, but good for the beginner.

    Although most 'informed' persons would probably cringe at the broad strokes this book takes, it is a fantastic introduction to the Buddhist tradition. Covering the very basics of Buddhism in 130 easy-to-read, easy-to-understand pages, Mr. Keown's book is the perfect start for any Westerner interested in Buddhist ideas. This book is, in no way, meant to act as a comprehensive or in-depth scholarly study and should not be read as such. If you are at all well-versed in Buddhism, another title should be considered. This book is not, however, childish or 'easy,' it is merely, as the title says, a 'very short introduction.'

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Good overview

    A nice, quick overview of Buddhism in historical context. Excellent on Indian origins, meditation, and ethics; the author is an eminent expert on the last. Cursory coverage of Buddhism's East Asian development and modern spread is based on English-language and especially British sources.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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