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What Buddhists Believe Paperback – 29 Oct 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (29 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185168168X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851681686
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,529,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"I warmly recommend this book" (Foundations)

"An accessible introduction to the history, beliefs, practices, and traditional rituals of Buddhism" (Theological Book Review)

From the Back Cover

Based on interviews with Buddhists living in both the West and the East, this is an innovative introduction to an ancient but continually expanding religion.

Together with an accessible overview of the history, beliefs, practices and rituals of the tradition, this title offers a reservoir of personal insights, both scholarly and non-scholarly. Covering everything from the life of the Buddha to meditation, the book also provides commentary on a host of relevant contemporary issues, including ecological awareness and the role of women in Buddhism.

Providing a unique perspective on what it means to be a Buddhist today, this book will be a source of inspiration for anyone interested in the Buddhist tradition and in the commitment and vision of its practitioners.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is not without its merits - and its problems. It could easily qualify as part of a series entitled 'The Christian's Guide To...', and the author - a committed Christian never vacates the position of the 'outsider', looking in at Buddhism from an external position, a position that assumes for itself a 'privileged' and 'superior' insight. Of course, it is up to the reader to decide on whether this position is justified or not. The author - the Secretary for Inter-faith Relations for the Mehodist Church at the time of printing (1998), holds a Doctorate in Buddhist Studies. She has also spent seven years in Sri Lank- an ancient Buddhist country.

The problems stem from the title - Buddhists do not 'believe' anything, they instead, practice a method advocated by the historical Buddha (c. 500BC). A main premise of this teaching is that everything should b e decided upon through 'experience' only, and that nothing should be taken as fact due to hearsay based upon 'faith'. Faith as it exists in Christianity has no basis or relevance within Buddhist philosophy. The Sanskrit term that is often confused with a Christian faith by non-Buddhists is 'shradda', This term actually refers to a belief that a method works, due to an experience that it does. The Buddha taught that one should not follow any method just because others recommend it, but that it should be tried out so that its merits and demerits can be clearly discerned. What a 'Buddhist believes', of course, very much depends upon exactly the same social, cultural and historical forces that work on the entirety of humankind. A Buddhist first and foremost, is a 'Buddhist' because they adhere to the principles of Buddhist philosophy - beyond that, nothing much can be ascertained that is relevant to Buddhism itself.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very insightful on the different aspects of Buddhism, it is based on interviews and research done in the various Buddhist countrys, the book covers aspects of Buddhist teachings and the different Buddhist traditions, meditation, women in buddhism and buddhism in the west.
There is so much information in this book, that it was able to give me a wide scope on what Buddhism is like in different countries and opinions of well respected buddhist monks and nuns.
I would definitely say this is a must read for all Buddhists out there.
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This is a very good book. It essentially is a book comprised of interviews with Buddhist practitioners where they discuss many aspects of their faith. Very readable and interesting.
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