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Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

Buddhism a Very Short Introduction
by Damien Keown
Format: Paper book
Length: 152 (small) pages
Short description: This Very Short Introduction introduces the reader to the teachings of the Buddha and to the integration of Buddhism into daily life.

Editorial review:

The “Very Short Introduction” range covers almost every intellectual subject you can imagine. These are small, pocket sized books packed with information and a good authors voice. Unlike the washed out, clinical and textbook nature of the “Dummies” range, here Oxford have hired someone to actually say something. I own many of these books and they are all of the same – very high – quality. Oxford are a major university publisher and many of my degree works were commissioned by them.

Here we have one of the best retellings of the life of the Buddha I have yet read. It clearly explains the context of his life and the world around him. Many many introductions to this subject try too hard to equate the world of the Buddha to the world today and its order. Here the author points out that the Buddha wasn’t a Prince in the way we imagine and are told. The western concept of the Prince is not really relevant or equivalent to the ancient Indian cast that Buddha was born into. The author also clearly covers what happened to Buddhism after the great man’s death and how it spanned the globe. He then covers the types of Buddhism and what are the beliefs of a Buddhist.

Of all the introduction books that I own (which is by far the most common book type to be found in Western libraries and bookshops) this is my favourite. I keep it hanging around the house and have often reread it. It may be short – I first read it cover to cover on a long Indian train ride – but it is light and one that you will find yourself returning to again and again. Not too scholarly as it remains eminently readable, and not too in depth that you lose your will to continue. This book is just right.

Regards,

Basho

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Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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