The Story of Buddhism: A Concise Guide to Its History & Teachings

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9780060099275: The Story of Buddhism: A Concise Guide to Its History & Teachings

  • How and when did the many schools of Buddhism emerge?
  • How does the historical figure of Siddartha Guatama relate to the many teachings that are presented in his name?
  • Did Buddhism modify the cultures to which it was introduced, or did they modify Buddhism?

Leading Buddhist scholar Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores the origins of this 2,500-year-old religion and traces its major developments up to the present, focusing not only on the essential elemenmts common to all schools of Buddhism but also revealing the differences among the major traditions. Beginning with the creation and structure of the Buddhist universe, Lopez explores the life of the Buddha, the core Buddhist tenets, and the development of the monastic life and lay practices. Combining brilliant scholarship with fascinating stories -- contemporary and historical, sometimes miraculous, sometimes humorous -- this rich and absorbing volume presents a fresh and expert history of Buddhism and Buddhist life.

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Review:

Much of what we hear about Buddhism today in the West focuses on its philosophy, and how it can change one's life. Throughout history, however, Buddhism's mythology, scriptures, heroes, and its promise for salvation from rebirth have been the Buddhist teachings that most people have known. Religion professor Donald Lopez has mastered a good deal of this immense lore and managed with The Story of Buddhism to get it into a manageable package. Rather than providing a chronological history or country-by-country breakdown, Lopez explores general topics, meandering through two-and-a-half millennia, from India to Japan. In sections such as "Monastic Life," "Tantra," and "Pilgrimage," he talks about the origins of each topic and its mainstream manifestations. In addition, he spices up his work with delectable, if occasionally bizarre, examples from specific cultures. There is, for instance, the story of the depraved man who, once having said the words "Lotus Sutra," was saved from Hell. And the tale of the practice called the "act of truth," in which a perfectly candid statement can have magical powers. Or the story of the monk who attempted to rescue some maggots by opening his own flesh for them. No doubt, Buddhism is interesting, but it takes a competent scholar and a good storyteller to get it just right. Lopez fills the bill. --Brian Bruya

About the Author:

Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Carl W. Belser Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author and editor of many books on Buddhism, including Buddhism in Practice and Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, and key religious texts by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The Joy of Living and Dying in Peace, The Way to Freedom, and Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart.

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Book Description HarperOne, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. How and when did the many schools of Buddhism emerge? How does the historical figure of Siddartha Guatama relate to the many teachings that are presented in his name? Did Buddhism modify the cultures to which it was introduced, or did they modify Buddhism?Leading Buddhist scholar Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores the origins of this 2,500-year-old religion and traces its major developments up to the present, focusing not only on the essential elemenmts common to all schools of Buddhism but also revealing the differences among the major traditions. Beginning with the creation and structure of the Buddhist universe, Lopez explores the life of the Buddha, the core Buddhist tenets, and the development of the monastic life and lay practices. Combining brilliant scholarship with fascinating stories -- contemporary and historical, sometimes miraculous, sometimes humorous -- this rich and absorbing volume presents a fresh and expert history of Buddhism and Buddhist life. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060099275

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Book Description HarperOne, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. How and when did the many schools of Buddhism emerge? How does the historical figure of Siddartha Guatama relate to the many teachings that are presented in his name? Did Buddhism modify the cultures to which it was introduced, or did they modify Buddhism?Leading Buddhist scholar Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores the origins of this 2,500-year-old religion and traces its major developments up to the present, focusing not only on the essential elemenmts common to all schools of Buddhism but also revealing the differences among the major traditions. Beginning with the creation and structure of the Buddhist universe, Lopez explores the life of the Buddha, the core Buddhist tenets, and the development of the monastic life and lay practices. Combining brilliant scholarship with fascinating stories -- contemporary and historical, sometimes miraculous, sometimes humorous -- this rich and absorbing volume presents a fresh and expert history of Buddhism and Buddhist life. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780060099275

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Book Description HarperOne, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. How and when did the many schools of Buddhism emerge? How does the historical figure of Siddartha Guatama relate to the many teachings that are presented in his name? Did Buddhism modify the cultures to which it was introduced, or did they modify Buddhism?Leading Buddhist scholar Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores the origins of this 2,500-year-old religion and traces its major developments up to the present, focusing not only on the essential elemenmts common to all schools of Buddhism but also revealing the differences among the major traditions. Beginning with the creation and structure of the Buddhist universe, Lopez explores the life of the Buddha, the core Buddhist tenets, and the development of the monastic life and lay practices. Combining brilliant scholarship with fascinating stories -- contemporary and historical, sometimes miraculous, sometimes humorous -- this rich and absorbing volume presents a fresh and expert history of Buddhism and Buddhist life. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060099275

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