Front Cover
A world-renowned religious thinker contemplates one of the world's most sacred figuresKaren Armstrong has been acclaimed for her scholarship and vision, in works The New York Times Book Review calls "penetrating, readable and prescient. "Her rich, timely, highly original portrait of the Buddha explores both the archetypal religious icon and Buddha the man. Armstrong follows the Buddha--born Siddhama Gotama--as he leaves his wife, his young child, and his prominent caste position for a life of spiritual enlightenment.Following his quest from renunciation to revelation to a wellspring of wisdom, Buddha expands the focus to meditate on its place in the spiritual history of humanity and its special relevance to our own society, as we again face a crisis of faith. It is a profound blend of biography, religion, history, and philosophy that will engage an audience that continues to be fascinated by Buddhism.

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Kirkus

An excellent primer on the Buddha's life and teachings.Departing from her usual Judeo-Christian stomping grounds (The Battle for God, 2000, etc.) to pen a biography of Siddhatha Gotama (circa 563-483 ... Read full review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This sterling work by Armstrong (religion, Leo Baeck Coll.; A History of God; The Battle for God) is anything but standard fare. Armstrong combines the abilities of storyteller, historian, and ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

Karen Armstrong's first book, the bestselling Through the Narrow Gate (1981), described her seven years as a nun in a Roman Catholic order. She has published numerous books, including A History of God, which has been translated into thirty languages, A History of Jerusalem and In the Beginning: A New Reading of Genesis. Her more recent works include Islam: A Short History and Buddha, which was an international bestseller. Since 1982 she has been a freelance writer and broadcaster. She lives in London.

Bibliographic information