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The Scientific Buddha: His Short and Happy Life
     

The Scientific Buddha: His Short and Happy Life

by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
 

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ISBN-10: 0300159129

ISBN-13: 9780300159127

Pub. Date: 09/25/2012

Publisher: Yale University Press

This book tells the story of the Scientific Buddha, "born" in Europe in the 1800s but commonly confused with the Buddha born in India 2,500 years ago. The Scientific Buddha was sent into battle against Christian missionaries, who were proclaiming across Asia that Buddhism was a form of superstition. He proved the missionaries wrong, teaching a dharma that was in

Overview

This book tells the story of the Scientific Buddha, "born" in Europe in the 1800s but commonly confused with the Buddha born in India 2,500 years ago. The Scientific Buddha was sent into battle against Christian missionaries, who were proclaiming across Asia that Buddhism was a form of superstition. He proved the missionaries wrong, teaching a dharma that was in harmony with modern science. And his influence continues. Today his teaching of "mindfulness" is heralded as the cure for all manner of maladies, from depression to high blood pressure.

In this potent critique, a well-known chronicler of the West's encounter with Buddhism demonstrates how the Scientific Buddha's teachings deviate in crucial ways from those of the far older Buddha of ancient India. Donald Lopez shows that the Western focus on the Scientific Buddha threatens to bleach Buddhism of its vibrancy, complexity, and power, even as the superficial focus on "mindfulness" turns Buddhism into merely the latest self-help movement. The Scientific Buddha has served his purpose, Lopez argues. It is now time for him to pass into nirvana. This is not to say, however, that the teachings of the ancient Buddha must be dismissed as mere cultural artifacts. They continue to present a potent challenge, even to our modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300159127
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Series:
Terry Lectures Series
Pages:
168
Sales rank:
938,346
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 A Purified Religion 1

2 The Birth of the Scientific Buddha 21

3 The Problem with Karma 47

Interlude: A Primer on Buddhist Meditation 81

4 The Death of the Scientific Buddha 101

Notes 133

Index 139

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