Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Feb 28, 2013 - Religion - 158 pages
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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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Contents

1 Buddhism and elephants
1
2 The Buddha
17
3 Karma and rebirth
32
4 The Four Noble Truths
48
5 The Mah257y257na
61
6 The spread of Buddhism
76
7 Meditation
96
8 Ethics
112
9 Buddhism in the West
128
Timeline
146
Further reading
149
Index
155
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Damien Keown is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmiths College, London. He is Founding co-editor of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is also the author of Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (2005) and co-editor of Encyclopaediaof Buddhism (Routledge, 2007). He is now retried.

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