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This book begins with Buddhism's involvement in the culture and thought of India, and observes its moves into other, very different contexts: China, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Japan, and even the West, to a limited extent. The book accepts the diversity within Buddhism, giving roughly equal treatment to its two major traditions -- the Theravada and the Mahayana. KEY TOPICS: Probes the philosophy and religion of Buddhism and how they relate to cultural traditions.
I. BUDDHISM AND CULTURE IN HISTORY.
1. Oerview: Bangkok and its Buddhas.
2. A History of Buddhism.
3. Difficult Places along the Middle Path: Dissent and Controversy.
4. Twenty-five Hundreds Years of Poetry.
II. ANALYSIS OF THE BUDDHIST TRADITION: THE THREE TREASURES.
5. The Dharma: Doctrine and Philosophy.
6. The Buddha: Models and Rituals.
7. The Sangha: Community and Modernity.