The Foundations of Buddhism

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byRupert Gethin

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Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition with a history that stretches over 2,500 years, and which is now followed by around 115 million people. In this introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices whichconstitute the common heritage of the different traditions of Buddhism (Thervada, Tibetan, and Eastern) which exist in the world today. From the narrative of the story of the Buddha, through discussions of aspects such as textual traditions, the framework of the Four Noble Truths, the interactionbetween the monastic and lay ways of life, the cosmology of karma and rebirth, and the path of the bodhisattva, this books provides a stimulating introduction to Buddhism as a religion and way of life, which will also be of interest to those who are more familiar with the subject.

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Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition with a history that stretches over 2,500 years, and which is now followed by around 115 million people. In this introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices whichconstitute the common heritage of the different trad...

Rupert Gethin is co-founder of the Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol and a specialist in Indian Buddhism.

other books by Rupert Gethin

Sayings of the Buddha: New translations from the Pali Nikayas
Sayings of the Buddha: New translations from the Pali N...

Kobo ebook|Oct 9 2008

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:350 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.75 inPublisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192892231

ISBN - 13:9780192892232

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Customer Reviews of The Foundations of Buddhism

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Foundations of Buddhism The Foundations of Buddhism is a good introduction to Buddhism and it's development, covering Asia. Recommended.
Date published: 2015-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent For the past 6-7 years of having studied a little bit of Zen, a little bit of Tibetan, and now Insight/Vipassana I was getting perplexed with the varied, yet similar, teachings within each Buddhist school. And so, when I found "The Foundations of Buddhism" by Rupert Gethin I was hoping to get an overview of the "basics" concerning all schools of Buddhism. This book definitely accomplished this goal. While reading at times was heavy with information and definitely academic, this essential book made the "common threads" clear with Gethin's thorough investigation. Some of the chapters I had to read twice to "get it" as there is a lot of information provided, and I'm sure I will need to read this book over and over to fully digest the material. I now have a much better understanding of the traditions of Buddhist thought and practice. Having said that, and though I am thankful for reading this book, I realize now that really the main point of Buddhism is the practice (meditation, mindfulness), regardless of tradition. Though, of course, having the necessary background is helpful for us Westerners, especially for knowing the rich historical traditional side of Buddhism.
Date published: 2009-06-13

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Buddha: The Story of the Awakened One2. The Word of the Buddha: Buddhist Scriptures and Schools3. Four Truths: The Disease, the Cause, the Cure, the Medicine4. The Buddhist Community: Monks, Nuns, and Lay Followers5. The Buddhist Cosmos: The Thrice Thousandfold World6. No self: Personal Continuity and Dependent Arising7. The Buddhis Path: The Way of Calm and Insight8. The Abhidharma: The Higher Teaching9. The Mahayana: The Great Vehicle10. Evolving Traditions of Buddhism

Editorial Reviews

`This recent title stands out by its careful scholarship, lucid style, and sensitive appreciation of the subtleties of Buddhist doctrine.. This introductory work brings to its task not only careful scholarship and wide knowledge of Buddhist thought, but also a warm, sympathetic appreciation ofBuddhism evident throughout its pages. No doubt, it is this sympathy that enables Gethin to penetrate beneath the surface crust of formal doctrine and discern deep connections between srains of Buddhist thought that might initially appear incongruous. Through Gethin's eyes we are given not only aclear and crisp picture of the doctrinal foundations of Buddhism, but also focused insights into the family ties underlying many apparent diversities within the Buddhist tradition.'Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist Publication Society no 45