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An Introduction to Buddhism Teachings, History and Practices

An Introduction to Buddhism Teachings, History and Practices
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From the Jacket This book aims to be a comprehensive introduction to the Buddhist tradition as it has developed in three major cultural areas in Asia, and to Buddhism as it is now developing in the West. It is intended to be a textbook for students of Religious or Asian Studies, but will also be of interest to those who want a general survey of Buddhism and its beliefs. Unlike many other general books about Buddhism, it not only explores the world-views of the religion but also ...
From the Jacket

This book aims to be a comprehensive introduction to the Buddhist tradition as it has developed in three major cultural areas in Asia, and to Buddhism as it is now developing in the West. It is intended to be a textbook for students of Religious or Asian Studies, but will also be of interest to those who want a general survey of Buddhism and its beliefs.

Unlike many other general books about Buddhism, it not only explores the world-views of the religion but also seeks to show how Buddhism functions as a set of practices. It thus includes chapters on devotion, ethics, monastic practice (of nuns as well as monks) and meditation, and relates each of these to Buddhist teachings and historical developments. While describing thought and practice, the book sets out at the same time to convey something of the emotional tone or 'flavour' of Buddhism; and emphasizing as it does the diversity found within different Buddhist traditions, it aims throughout to highlight the common threads of belief, practice and historical continuities which unify the Buddhist world.

Dr Harvey has sought to answer questions that are often asked by people on first meeting the tradition, and has tried, where appropriate, to relate Buddhism to modern ways of thinking, while taking account of the most recent scholarship in the field. In his section on Nirvana the author offers a novel interpretation of this ultimate, transcendent mystery.

Peter Harvey is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and Philosophy at Sunderland Polytechnic. He is a member of the Pali Text Society, the International Association of Buddhist Studies and the Samatha Trust.

An Introduction to Buddhism

This book aims to be a comprehensive introduction to the Buddhist tradition as it has developed in three major cultural areas in Asia, and to Buddhism as it is now developing in the West. It is intended to be a textbook for students of Religious or Asian Studies, but will also be of interest to those who want a general survey of Buddhism and its beliefs.

Unlike many other general books about Buddhism, it not only explores the world-views of the religion but also seeks to show how Buddhism functions as a set of practices. It thus includes chapters on devotion, ethics, monastic practice (of nons as well as monks), and meditation, and relates each of these to Buddhist teachings and historical developments. While describing thought and practice, the book sets out at the same time to convey something of the emotional tone or "flavour" of Buddhism; and emphasizing as it does the diversity found within different Buddhist traditions, it aims throughout to highlight the common threads of belief, practice, and historical continuities which unify the Buddhist world.

Dr. Harvey has sought to answer questions that are often asked by people on first meeting the tradition, and has tried, where appropriate, to relate Buddhism to modern ways of thinking, while taking account of the most recent scholarship in the field. In his section on "Nirvana" the author offers a novel interpretation of this ultimate, transcendent mystery.

Peter Harvey is a Senior Lecture in Religious Studies and Philosophy at Sunderland Polytechnic. He is a member of the Pali Text Society, the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and the Samatha Trust.

Contents

List of illustrations Page xi
Acknowledgementsxiii
List of Abbreviationsxiv
A note on Language and pronunciationxx
IntroductionI
1 THE BUDDHA AND HIS INDIAN CONNTEXT9
Background to the life of the Buddhist9
The life of the Buddha14
The nature and style of the Buddha's teaching29
2 EARLY BUDDHIST TEACHINGS: REBIRTH AND KARMA32
Rebirth and cosmology32
Karma39
Belief in rebirth and karma44
3 EARLY BUDDHIST TEACHINGS : THE FOUR HOLY TRUTHS47
The First Holy Truth: suffering47
The Second Holy Truth: the origin of suffering53
The Third Holy Truth: Nibbana60
The Fourth Holy Truth: the Path68
4 EARLY DEVELOPMENTS IN BUDDHISM73
The early Sangha 73
Emperor Asoka and Buddhism75
Devotion and symbolism in early Buddhism77
The Abhidhamma83
The early schools and their doctrines85
The rise of the Mahayana89
5 MAHAYANA PHILOSOPHY95
The Perfection of Wisdom literature and the Madhyamaka school95
The Yogacara school104
Tathagata-garbha thought113
The Avatamsaka Sutra and the Hua-yen School118
6 MAHAYANA HOLY BEINGS121
The path of the Bodhisattva121
The Mahayana Buddhology125
The Mahayana pantheon129
The Tantric perspective133
7 THE LATER HISTORY AND SPREAD OF BUDDHISM139
Buddhism in India and Central Asia139
Sri Lanka141
South-east Asia excluding Vietnam143
The lands of Northern Buddhism144
China148
Vietnam and Korea159
Japan161
8 BUDDHIST PRACTICE: DEVOTION170
Focuses and locations of devotional acts 170
Bowing, offerings and chanting172
The refuges176
Attitudes to images179
Protective chanting180
Devotion to Avalokitesvara182
Devotion to Amitabha187
Devotion to Bhaisajya-guru189
Devotion to the Lotus Sutra190
Pilgrimage190
Festivals191
9 BUDDHIST PRACTICE: ETHICS196
The role and basis of ethics in Buddhism196
Giving198
Keeping the precepts199
Lovingkindness and compassion209
Care for the dying and the dead211
The ethics of social relationship 213
10 BUDDHIST PRACTICE: THE SANGHA217
The role of monasticism217
Patterns of ordination220
Nuns221
The monastic code of discipline224
The economic base of the monastic life229
Study and meditation231
Communal life236
Relations with the laity240
11 BUDDHIST PRACTICE: MEDITATION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF WISDOM244
The approach to meditation244
The practice of Calm meditation in Southern Buddhism246
The practice of Insight meditation in Southern Buddhism253
The classical path of Calm and Insight in Northern and Eastern Buddhism257
Pure Land visualizations258
Tantric visualizations260
Tantric techniques of spontaneity268
Zen meditation270
12 THE MODERN HISTORY OF BUDDHISM IN ASIA280
Communist Asia: Buddhism under a cloud280
The continuing tradition and its modern varieties283
Recovering old ground296
13 BUDDHISM BEYOND ASIA300
Scholarship300
The influence of Buddhism through literature and philosophy302
The Theosophical Society: a bridge between East and West303
Immigration, foreign wars and travel304
Buddhist missions and organizations307
Appendix on Canons of Scriptures322
Notes325
Bibliography326
Indices344
Item Code: IDK399 Author: Peter Harvey Cover: Hardcover Edition: 1990 Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN: 9788121504935 Size: 8.8" X 5.7" Pages: 374 (2 B/W Maps, and 13 B/W Illustrations)
Price: $35.00
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