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The New Buddhism Paperback – 24 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (24 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841193321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841193328
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'comprehensive and readable and should appeal to anyone broadly interested in Buddhism.' Helen Sieroda, Interbeing.; 'an excellent reference book for basic Buddhist teachings...I would recommend a careful study of this to therapists and Buddhist practitioners alike' Ros Oliver, Self and Society"

Book Description

An introduction to a different way of life


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a first class book for all Buddhists who feel the need to relate the Buddhist way of life to the world in which we live over and above the particular, individual insights the Way offers to each of us (which, of course is valuable). The range Brazier covers shows how Buddhism is a family of ideas and practices with big differences, in fact contradictions, between the members of the family. Because of Brazier's open acknowledgement and treatment of these differences, I think, The New Buddhism would also be of interest to non-Buddhists who, having experienced first-hand those differences, are tempted to caste the whole Buddhist way into the fire as 'sophistry and illusion' (no pun intended).
Each Buddhist tradition, historically and culturally, has been dependant on the conditions of that time and place. Brazier raises the question of what Buddhism could mean (he may say 'ought' to mean, I don't know) in our time and place. Of course, there is no way anyone can know what the Buddha actually said, he never wrote anything himself and what comes down to us is interpretation, exposition and, no doubt, sheer fabrication. But it is this challenge to place Buddhism in our time and place which makes this book controversial.
The world may be suffering and illusion and yet compassion and wisdom promotes the need to address the conditions and consequences that obtain. This is the strength of the book. Brazier achieves this by questioning Buddhist beliefs and looking for a compassionate way through. The problem is that Buddhists are going to have to think about the issues raised and not respond intolerantly to what is a very real and important challenge to their accepted beliefs and practices.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Thompson on 1 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
David Brazier (Dharmavidya) has a powerful vision for the future - the creation of a Pure Land here in this Saha world. The New Buddhism is an inspiration critique in which Brazier draws a picture of The Buddha as a spiritual leader engaged with the world, the leader of a social and spiritual revolution. The essence of Buddhism is not only an awakening to dependent origination, and the nature of self and so on - but acknowledgement and engagement in a world of suffering.

To live a truly noble life, one not only has to face the suffering in ones own life, and of ones own karma but to face a more global and social suffering - it is through engagement with this that the clearest awakenings can occur - and it is through engaging with this in a way, underpinned by the vision of a compassionate future, that one can help to bring about that future.

Brazier's manifesto is a brilliant piece of work. As others have written he deconstructs some existing ideas within Buddhism, and draws a more energetic and exciting image of the movement that surrounded Buddha Shakyamuni.

Brazier is unapologetic in his approach, there is a political and social aspect to this work, as there was to the work of Buddha - the spiritual and social cannot be separated. Brazier's exposition is clear and exciting and essential reading for anyone wishing to engage their practice on a deeper level, and to begin to make a difference to the world in which we live.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tempestas on 2 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, it proposes a "western" Buddhism, concerned about social problems. Isn't that what we need right now? Mulling over ancient sutras, spending years in solitary retreat, repeating a thousand mantras ...... how does that help make the world a better place? This is the 21st. century. Buddhism needs to enter the new millenium. This book might well be the first step.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Sidwell on 4 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
David Brazier gives the clearest review I have ever read on various interpretations of Buddhism that have arisen in the course of its long history of tolerance and adaptibility. Alone for his discussions on the interpretations of 'Enlightenment' available to us, this work is a stunner - changing one's view of what meditation is for, and therefor, what one's life may be for.
His passion for an actively compassionate way of life is soundly based in his brief history and exposition of Buddha's teaching - I would add that Buddha's own example of leaving a luxury life for one of search and then of active teaching, supports Brazier's interpretation securely.
The book is a little disturbed by Brazier's long descriptions of what this might lead to right now, but no matter - this is an important philosophical and practical guide to Buddhism as it can be practised today, everywhere.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
The title (which is surely designed to entice purchasers as it is precisely not what the book is about) misleads...
The book belongs to what I call the school of "what I think the Buddha really meant was". At best this genre produces some challenging and thought producing works (Stephen Bachelor q.v.), at worst a hotpotch of personal views and prejudices with little relationship to the Dharma.
This book will be of interest to you if you believe that when Buddha said that the ills of the world were Greed, Hatred, and Delusion he omitted to mention 'white capitalist oppression'... The overall position of the book can be best described as a combination of:
1) Far-left/Marxist-Leninist/Anarchist economic perspective [p23 "A state apparatus is in fair degree an apparatus for greedy, deluded oppression. It is poisonous."];
2) Romantic English utopianism (historically induced by excess opium) - a whole chapter is devoted to Braziers personal utopia [everyone is vegetarian (unlike the Buddha); p129 "If a person is caught ... [hunting] animals ... they will be rebuked.. the animal will be given a funeral... and the hunter will have to ... ask the animals forgiveness" (no precedent for 'talking to the dead' in the suttas)];
3) Inverse racism and 'anti-globalisation' [p243 "White people play with these ideas..." - an outrageously racist perspective passim];
4) Deconstructed Zen Buddhism. Two chapters review the 'Critical Buddhists' challenges to (Japanese) Zen Buddhism and are an interesting precis albeit borrowing, as it were, the engine from someone elses car.
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