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The Different Paths of Buddhism: A Narrative-Historical Introduction
by Carl Olson
Binding: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Weight: 1.45 pound
Dimension: H: 1 x L: 9.3 x W: 6.3 inches
ISBN 10: 0813535611
ISBN 13: 9780813535616
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Book Description:
'A richly imaginative and learned journey through many of the highways and byways of Buddhist tradition from its inception to the present day . . . destined to become a classic in its field.' Julius Lipner, professor of Indian religion and chair of the Divinity Faculty at the University of Cambridge

'The Different Paths of Buddhism offers one of the most comprehensive introductions to the main branches of the Buddhist tradition under one cover.' Ch n fang Y , professor of religion at Columbia University

'This unique blend of traditional history and doctrine, narrative and practice, provides an engaging overview of Buddhist cultures . . . and how people actually live Buddhist lives.' William Waldron, professor of South Asian religion and philosophy at Middlebury College

For centuries, Buddhist teachers and laypeople have used stories, symbols, cultural metaphors, and anecdotes to teach and express their religious views. In this introductory textbook, Carl Olson draws on these narrative traditions to detail the development of Buddhism from the life of the historical Buddha to the present.

The book offers a comprehensive introduction to the main branches of the Buddhist tradition in both the Mahayana and Theravada schools, including the Madhyamika school, the Yogacara school, Pure Land devotionalism, Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and village folk Buddhist traditions. Chapters explore the life and teachings of the Buddha in historical context, the early development and institutionalization of Buddhism, its geographic spread across Asia and eventually to the United States, philosophy and ethics, the relationship between monks and laity, political and ethical implications, the role of women in the Buddhist tradition, and contemporary reinterpretations of Buddhism.

Drawn from decades of classroom experience, this creative and ambitious text combines expert scholarship and engaging stories that offer much needed perspective to the existing literature on the topic.

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