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Buddha, a Beginner's Guide

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Originally published by Writers and Readers in 1998, this is an iconoclastic, illustrated romp through the life of the Buddha both a credible exploration of his life and teachings and an entertaining introduction to the philosophy of Buddhism. Many Westerners know about the meditation practices of Buddhism, but few understand the Buddha's philosophical teachings. This book ...more
ebook, 164 pages
Published January 9th 2009 by Hampton Roads Publishing Company (first published 1996)
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I love Beginners books.
I really liked this book. Since formally becoming Catholic a few years ago, I've been interested in other religions. I didn't know until taking my "Catholic classes" that the Old Testament was used by Jews, Muslims and Catholics, so I've been trying to learn more about what else religions have in common with each other.

This book caught my eye because it reminded me of a graphic novel or comic book - it has big bold drawings to illustrate points, and there are some actual comic panels - there are
Received this book for free via a Goodreads Give Away - thank you!

Though this is definitely a "beginners" book, it is by no means dumbed down in language, so I appreciate that a lot. A great lets-start-at-the-beginning, informative breakdown of the historical Buddha. Would recommend this book to anyone looking to get a better understanding of the origins of Buddhism or of the historical Buddha vs. the popular Buddha.
This book is sweet, it presents deep and complicated themes about Buddhism simplistically and very straight forward. Don't let the title fool you, while it starts from the beginning and doesn't assume you know anything about the subject, its not elementary. But probably the best thing I like about this book is that its filled with pictures and makes for an easy read (it refers to itself technically as a "documentary comic book" which I rather like and find fitting). I love this kind of material ...more
A great, easy illustrated look into the origins of Buddhism and many of the misconceptions that have arisen in both the East and the West.
Dauro Veras
Budismo em quadrinhos para principiantes, no título em português. Excelente introdução pra quem pretende conhecer melhor essa filosofia de vida, desde às origens às várias correntes e deturpações que surgiram depois. O leitor fica sabendo, por exemplo, que o Buda histórico era agnóstico - nunca quis responder de forma positiva ou negativa às perguntas dos discípulos sobre a vida eterna, para ele uma questão irrelevante diante dos desafios da iluminação durante a vida. As ilustrações são bem-humo ...more
Liesolitte ♕
Quitando el último capítulo, el libro está muy bien.
This book was very strange. It's a documentary comic book, part of a series that includes Black Panthers for Beginners, The History of Clowns for Beginners, and The Arabs and Israel for Beginners, to name just a few.

This volume focused on the Buddha and was a good intro to the Buddha's life in context and the evolution of Buddhism. I thought the illustrations were sort of creepy and the author was surprisingly snarky in places. Three stars, in part because I got this book for free.
Steve Asma's intro to the life and thoughts of Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as the Enlightened One, or the Buddha, is a painless way to understand the key concepts of his philosophy. Asma provided his own illustrations, and the book covers the key aspects of Buddhist thought, and what happened to his theories after his death, as his ideas were formed into a "religion."
Jeff Song
I think this is the best primer on Buddhism for anyone interested in learning the basic underlying principals, and the ways they relate to western ways of thinking.
I recommend this as a starting point to anyone who asks me about Buddhism, or wants to learn more.
Simple enough to sit down an read all 150ish pages in one sitting. Complex enough to give you an understanding of Buddha and Buddhism that will allow for a more in depth study - even though Buddha would claim that you don't need to know the dogma.
I actually learned some new things from this wonderfully illustrated book, and I've been studying Buddhism for some time. Surprising and delightful and a good primer that breaks down some of the tougher concepts.
John Pappas
So not really a graphic novel but an educational primer for the life of Buddha rich with humor and illustrations. Sort of falling in the grey area that is no pronounced in the graphic novel medium.
Todd Mayville
Great introduction to the Buddha and an excellent primer to Buddhist philosophy. My full review is here:
The illustrations were the best part of this book. Though it gave a concise history of Buddhism, including current day sects and offshoots, it was a very dry read and hard to digest.
This work is an intriguing primer to the religious and philosophical components of Buddhism. However, at times, the author's overly critical tone was disengaging.
Manuel Sanchez
Great primer enjoyed it immensely.
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Stephen T. Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scholar.

He is the author of "Against Fairness" (University of Chicago Press).

In 2003, he was Visiting Professor at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia. There he taught "Buddhist Philosophy" as part of their pilot Graduate Program in Buddhist Studies. His book, en
More about Stephen T. Asma...

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