Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview


This Very Short Introduction offers readers a superb overview of the teachings of the Buddha, as well as a succinct guide to the integration of Buddhism into daily life. What are the distinctive features of Buddhism? Who was the Buddha, and what are his teachings? Words such as "karma" and "nirvana" have entered our vocabulary, but what do they mean? Damien Keown provides a lively, informative response to these frequently asked questions about Buddhism. As he sheds light into how Buddhist thought developed over ...
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Overview


This Very Short Introduction offers readers a superb overview of the teachings of the Buddha, as well as a succinct guide to the integration of Buddhism into daily life. What are the distinctive features of Buddhism? Who was the Buddha, and what are his teachings? Words such as "karma" and "nirvana" have entered our vocabulary, but what do they mean? Damien Keown provides a lively, informative response to these frequently asked questions about Buddhism. As he sheds light into how Buddhist thought developed over the centuries, Keown also highlights how contemporary dilemmas can be faced from a Buddhist perspective.

In the second edition Keown provides new perspectives on Buddhist thought, including up-to-date material about the evolution of Buddhism throughout Asia, the material culture of Buddhism and its importance, new teachings on the ethics of war and peace, and changes to ethnicity, class, and gender.

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199663835
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/6/2013
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 180,575
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.00 (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
Acknowledgements
Note on citations and pronunciation
1. Buddhism and elephants
2. The Buddha
3. Karma and rebirth
4. The Four Noble Truths
5. The Mahayana
6. The spread of Buddhism in Asia
7. Meditation
8. Ethics
9. Buddhism in the West
Timeline
Further Reading
Index

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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.'

    9 out of 9 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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