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The Foundations of Buddhism

by
ISBN13:

9780192892232

ISBN10:
0192892231
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
9/24/1998
Publisher(s):
Oxford University Press, USA
List Price: $31.99

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Summary

Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition with a history that stretches over 2,500 years, and which is now followed by around 115 million people. In this introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices whichconstitute the common heritage of the different traditions of Buddhism (Thervada, Tibetan, and Eastern) which exist in the world today. From the narrative of the story of the Buddha, through discussions of aspects such as textual traditions, the framework of the Four Noble Truths, the interactionbetween the monastic and lay ways of life, the cosmology of karma and rebirth, and the path of the bodhisattva, this books provides a stimulating introduction to Buddhism as a religion and way of life, which will also be of interest to those who are more familiar with the subject.

Author Biography


Rupert Gethin is co-founder of the Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol and a specialist in Indian Buddhism.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figure
xii(1)
List of Maps
xiii(4)
A Note on Buddhist Languages xvii
INTRODUCTION 1(6)
1. THE BUDDHA: THE STORY OF THE AWAKENED ONE
7(28)
The historical Buddha
7(9)
The legend of the Buddha
16(11)
The nature of a buddha
27(8)
2. THE WORD OF THE BUDDHA: BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES AND SCHOOLS
35(24)
Dharma: texts, practice, and realization
35(4)
The first recitation of scriptures
39(6)
Sutra and Abhidharma
45(4)
The origin of the ancient Buddhist schools
49(7)
The Mahayana sutras
56(3)
3. FOUR TRUTHS: THE DISEASE, THE CAUSE, THE CURE, THE MEDICINE
59(26)
The orientation of the Buddha's teaching
59(1)
The disease of suffering
60(8)
The origin of suffering: attachment, aversion, and delusion
68(6)
The cessation of suffering: nirvana
74(5)
The way leading to the cessation of suffering
79(6)
4. THE BUDDHIST COMMUNITY: MONKS, NUNS, AND LAY FOLLOWERS
85(27)
The Buddha's followers and the origin of the Buddhist order
85(2)
Ordination and the Buddhist monastic ideal
87(4)
The underlying concerns of the Vinaya
91(4)
From wandering to settled life
95(6)
The spiritual life
101(6)
The lay community
107(3)
Spiro's schema: apotropaic, kammatic, and nibbanic Buddhism
110(2)
5. THE BUDDHIST COSMOS: THE THRICE-THOUSANDFOLD WORLD
112(21)
Of space and time: world-systems
112(7)
Cosmology and psychology: macrocosm and microcosm
119(7)
Cosmology, folk religion, and modern science
126(7)
6. No SELF: PERSONAL CONTINUITY AND DEPENDENT ARISING
133(30)
The Buddhist critique of self as unchanging
133(7)
The problem of personal continuity
140(6)
Ignorance, attachment, and views of the self
146(3)
The elaboration of the teaching of dependent arising
149(10)
Did the Buddha deny the existence of the self?
159(4)
7. THE BUDDHISM PATH: THE WAY OF CALM AND INSIGHT
163(39)
Introductory remarks
163(2)
The role of faith
165(4)
Good conduct
169(5)
The practice of calm meditation
174(13)
The stages of insight meditation
187(11)
The relationship of calm and insight
198(4)
8. THE ABHIDHARMA: THE HIGHER TEACHING
202(22)
Stories, legends, texts, and authors
202(5)
The Abhidharma as a system of Buddhist thought
207(8)
The consciousness process, karma, and rebirth
215(3)
Some Abhidharma problems
218(6)
9. THE MAHAYANA: THE GREAT VEHICLE
224(29)
The beginnings of the Mahayana
224(2)
The vehicle of the bodhisattva
226(5)
Transcendent buddhas
231(3)
Emptiness and the `perfection of wisdom'
234(3)
Nagarjuna and the `middle' (Madhyamaka) school
237(7)
`Ideas only' (vijnapti-matra) and the Yogacara
244(6)
The Tathagatagarbha
250(3)
10. EVOLVING TRADITIONS OF BUDDHISM: SOUTH, EAST, NORTH, AND WEST
253(24)
Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and South-East Asia: Southern Buddhism
253(4)
China, Korea, and Japan: East Asian Buddhism
257(9)
Tibet and Mongolia: Northern Buddhism
266(7)
A final note: Buddhism in the West
273(4)
Notes 277(25)
Select Bibliography 302(17)
Glossary 319(4)
Index 323


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