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Buddhism and the Mythology of Evil: A Study in Theravada Buddhism Paperback – 29 May 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; New edition edition (29 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851681329
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851681327
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,563,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Paperback
Trevor Ling excels at summarizing huge volumes of the Buddhist canon and other writings in an easy-to-understand manner, and presents adequate and clearly very knowledgeable comparisons of the Buddhist Mara to other similar beings in other world religions. A large appendix lists (and quotes) a large number of prime sources from the Canon, for those of us who like compare summaries to the detail that underlies them. The text of the book is clear, written well, and best of all, Ling often explores multiples sides of an issue where the historical details are disputed. He does it so impartially that I often cannot tell which position Ling himself beliefs until he reveals it - which he does so in a manner that makes it easy to see at what point he has stopped talking about scholarly disputes, and has started giving his own (expert) opinion. Nowadays books are rarely written with so much eloquence.

The book is academic, well-referenced and well-researched, yet easy to read. I don't entirely like his methods of referencing - for example, a reference to "S. B. E. Vol 42." is hard to follow, as the Bibliography is subsorted thematically, meaning I had to look up "S" in half a dozen different sub-bibliographies. Even after that, I couldn't find it, so I searched all referenced titles looking for any published work that spelled out the initials "S. B. E.". Later on, I found that on an "acronyms" page it told me that it stood for "Sacred Books of the East", but with no publisher information. So I resorted to an internet search to find out that it was a 50-volume behemoth compiled by Max Müller, published by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. My point is that Ling's method of referencing can easily have you running around in circles.
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