Start reading Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle booksóeven without a Kindle deviceówith the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
 
 

Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Damien Keown
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.12 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.87 (48%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.12  
Paperback £5.59  
Unknown Binding --  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Purchase any Kindle Book sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive £1 credit to try out our Digital Music Store. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)


Product Description

Review


"Damien Keown's book is a readable and wonderfully lucid introduction to one of mankind's most beautiful, profound, and compelling systems of wisdom. The rise of the East makes understanding and learning from Buddhism, a living doctrine, more urgent than ever before. Keown's impressive powers of explanation help us to come to terms with a vital contemporary reality."--Bryan Appleyard, columnist, The Sunday Times (London)
"The perfect book for anyone seeking to learn more about this religion....Holistic in its approach, Buddhism gives readers insight into an ancient and profound religion."--Medium

Product Description

Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction introduces the reader to the teachings of the Buddha and to the workings of Buddhism in daily life. Damien Keown looks at the distinctive features of Buddhism, examining who the Buddha was and what his teachings were. By considering how Buddhist thought has developed over the centuries, Keown considers how contemporary dilemmas can be faced from a Buddhist perspective.

In this new 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: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7504 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0192853295
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (28 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ŗ r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BHXVWSS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,058 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Damien Keown is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and Chair Professor at Geumgang University, Korea. His research interests centre on the study of contemporary moral problems from a Buddhist perspective. He is co-founder of The Journal of Buddhist Ethics and the author of the best-selling 'Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction' and 'Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction', both from Oxford University Press and available on Amazon.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and clear 26 Jan 2001
Format:Paperback
The quality of a factual book should be judged by its lack of overt partiality, comprehensiveness, sources and ability to make you think and ask questions. This book scores well on all points and above all reads like an essay which you can zap through. It contains a good bibliography for follow up reading and includes details of the the award winning "Journal of Buddhist ethics" on the web which was partly established by the author. Apart from the author's erudition his book is backed up by other experts and has been reviewed by his students.
Above all the book analyses what is meant by religion (as Buddhism does not easily fit this classification) and provides a modern interpretation of this system of thought from all its major perspectives. The treatment of Mahayana Buddhism short, yet precise and on the whole Keown concentrates on highlights. Towards the end is a discussion on Buddhism in the West. The book also provides useful comparisons with other religions.
Compared to many small and "cheap" introductions to Buddhism, this book is fairly impeccable. It is not perfect (2 tiny errors I identified with regards to scriptural quotations) but will lead anyone interested to work out what Buddhism is for him or herself, rather than being spoon fed as it were. I was however, disappointed that the book ended so fast - and glad at the follow up leads left, by this trustworthy writer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good intro 4 Jun 2006
By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This book, although short, has all the key concepts and ideas a beginner would wish to explore with regards to Buddhism. Most questions are answered and the various schools are explained and touched upon. It is clear to read and understand and a good place to start if you wish to learn more about this wonderful path.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars concise with enough depth 10 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This VSI strikes an excellent balance between being concise & covering the essential elements of Buddhism. I have >20 books on Buddhism & find this one of the best. Particularly good chapters are:
Ch 1 discusses whether Buddhism is a religion and the different dimensions of Buddhism - practical, emotional, mythical, philosophical, ethical & social.
Ch4 on the Four Noble Truths (the Buddha's description of the way the world is) is particularly clear compared to many other books on Buddhism.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A. I. McCulloch TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For anyone who has expressed an interest in Buddhism, or who is focused on finding more about the faith in general, this is an excellent purchase.

It's a neat summary of the teachings of the Buddha, but as well as this, it looks at how the practice of the faith may be incorporated into daily life. It's an examination, not rigourous, but still remarkably thorough on what it means to be Buddhist.

Many introductions to Buddhism lose themselves in deep descriptions of mindfulness and meditationary practices which can be confusing and too much to absorb. This book steers well clear of that trap and offers something far more readily accessible.

It points out the major features of Buddhism that distinguish it from other religions; it also looks at the spread of the faith and its development over the centuries. Recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many shortcomings 4 Aug 2009
By BobBob
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a quick and easy read, and it attempts to give a very brief overview of Buddhism. The book provides some helpful information but I believe that it has some significant shortcomings which is why I have given it only two stars.

I'm not sure what audience the book is aimed at. It is too brief for an academic interest, and my personal view is that it would not be very interesting for anyone looking at Buddhism for personal interest. It might be helpful for a secondary school student doing a project on Buddhism.

I have been involved in Buddhist meditation for many years and I wanted to gain a better general knowledge of Buddhism. I thought that this book might give an interesting overview of the history and cultures of Buddhism, and some insight into the nature of the Buddhist belief system and an overview of the different Buddhist meditation practises.

The Pros:

The author helpfully provides a very brief and balanced overview of the history of Buddhism, and of the different lineages.

And the book succinctly explains some confusing aspects of Buddhism which I have touched upon when learning meditation, but which I had not properly understood before, as follows:
1) An explanation of the meanings and origins of some of the Buddhism-specific words which crop up regularly when learning Buddhist meditation;
2) An explanation of the history of the two main Buddhist texts (Pali and Sanskrit); and
3) The explanation of the differences between the two main schools of Buddhism (Therav‚da and Mah‚y‚na).

The book takes an academic approach, and so the subject is explained dispassionately, which has some value in some of the chapters.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet 20 Dec 2003
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
Part of a series by Oxford University Press, this book, 'Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction', follows the same format as other texts in the Very Short Introduction series -- it has fewer than 150 pages, is well indexed, has a useful glossary, accessible and enjoyable narrative, and captures the essence in a very short space the major points of its topic. There are probably nearing 100 volumes in this Very Short Introduction series (making it, ironically, not a Very Short series), but among those that I have read, this text stands out as being one of the best.
Damien Keown, of the University of London and the Royal Asiatic Society, addresses Buddhism past and present, East and West. Beginning with narrative tales the help to exhibit the principles, Keown examines in turn the major questions. First, with regard to Buddhism, is this -- is Buddhism really a religion? Often categorised as such, it is often the exception proving the rule. Many take strong spiritual and philosophical ideas from Buddhism (sometimes without knowing it) but do not subscribe the larger system of practices -- but perhaps most telling, Buddhism is a non-theistic way of being. Keown looks at seven dimensions of religion, and concludes that Buddhism does fit a broader definition of religion.
Keown proceeds from there to look at the origins of Buddhism, the life of the Buddha, ideas of karma and reincarnation, and the central ideas of the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism. From these beginnings, Buddhism branches out, the largest grouping being the Mahayana (who get their own chapter), and other spreading first across Asia and then to the rest of the world.
Like other books in this Very Short series, there are useful maps, a nice snapshot timeline, and suggestions for further reading, should the Very Short introduction not prove sufficient (and for many, this sample will leave the reader wanting more). I cannot speak too highly of this series, and of this volume on Buddhism by Keown in particular.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I bought this book to get an understanding of the Buddhist way of life. I am not a religious person but wanted to understand how they get peace of mind. Read more
Published 10 months ago by A. E. Ede
5.0 out of 5 stars great buddhism
The best all eound book on buddhism you:ll ever find. A great variety of topics is covered written in an easy to understand way.
Published 11 months ago by henryski
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable introduction
I've been really enjoying the very short introduction series lately. I leave them hanging around the house and whenever I have 5 minutes to spare read one or two sections. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jurgen Van Gael
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good
I quite liked this and it was an easy read. It was quite well written and I learned some things from it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by The Emperor
4.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and clear
The OUP Very Short Introduction series more often than not hits the mark and this is a worthy, updated part of the series. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Zipster Zeus
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction
I have a few of these Short Introduction books and for the most part they are always very good. They fit this perfect market for being concise, electic and informative
This... Read more
Published 13 months ago by James Walls
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddhism
If you are looking for something simple and short to read about Buddhism then you could do worse than start with this interesting little book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Damaskcat
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sign-post to the right path
The Very Short Introduction series are written by professors of the subject and are aimed at provoking cross-discipline intrigue in the reader that may incite further investigation... Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of 2013 updated version
The Very Short Introductions series of books from the Oxford University Press is now very comprehensive covering many subjects including the world's major religions. Read more
Published 13 months ago by James B. Spink
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable as an introduction but quite difficult to follow
This is a new edition of the introduction to Buddhism from the Very Short Introduction series which now has well over 300 books in its collection. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Darren Simons
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category