Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and original, 1 Aug 2011
This review is from: What the Buddha Thought (Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies Monographs) (Paperback)
When I saw that the book had just a 3-star average rating (based on two previous reviews), I figured I should chime in with a few words. First of all, the book IS excellent, well worth 5 stars.

I've had the book for over a year now and used it in a "Buddhist Philosophy" university course. I think it is best read by someone who has done some preliminary reading on early Buddhism. I used Paul Williams' "Buddhist Thought" to give a broader context to the material, and the two books work together very well. Gombrich's first couple chapters are indeed 'introductory' and tend to follow accepted academic work, but what he packs into those chapters is pretty extraordinary! He provides not just a translation of some key teachings and explanation, but a *way* of interpreting and understanding Buddhist teachings.

The rest of the book consists mostly of probing inquiries into certain 'puzzling' aspects of Buddhist thought, and some puzzling aspects of current scholarship. These chapters give systematic insight into teachings such as "no-soul" and the practice of metta (loving-kindness). You also get a look at how the Buddha taught, his use of metaphor and even satire.

What I liked most about the book is that I didn't feel like I was told "what to think" - but instead encouraged to re-think for myself how I understand the Buddha's teachings. Definitely a must read for practitioners who have already done some basic academic reading on the subject as well as academics looking for a fresh perspective.

And for what it's worth, it recently won a Choice Outstanding Academic Title award 2010 (check the publisher website for more on that).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Bristol, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 219,035