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Buddhism: The Basics
Cathy Cantwell
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Buddhism: The Basics

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  15 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Buddhism: The Basics provides a thorough and accessible introduction to a fascinating religion. Examining the historical development of Buddhism and its presence today, this guide covers:

principal traditions

practices and beliefs

ethical guidelines and philosophy

religious texts


With helpful features including a detailed map of the Buddhist world, glossary of terms an
ebook, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Routledge (first published August 26th 2009)
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It was hard to get into this book- especially since the author started, perhaps unwisely, with complicated doctrines and scripture interpretations. However, after that the book progressed to more down-to-earth aspects of the religion- it's historical spread, it's structural organization, it's political divisions, the 20th century persecutions etc.-which made it far more interesting to me, as a layman whose primary interest is in learning about Buddhism, not Buddhism itself.
This was a very good and comprehensive academic exposition of the evolution of Buddhism. I think the title is somewhat misleading or ambiguous in that it may attract the wrong kind of reader. If you are a new western student of Buddhism this, in my opinion, is not the best book for someone seeking "The Basics". For that I highly recommend Steve Hagen's 'Buddhism Plain and Simple' which presents the Buddha's teachings without the mythology, rituals, traditions etc. which were added later and are ...more
This is a dry overview of Buddhism, not suitable for those readers who like a bit of passion even in their non-fiction. While informative, the reader new to the study of Buddhism will be confused by the deluge of Pali and Sanskrit terminology. Not recommended for those whose attention easily drifts.

Note: the kindle edition is marred by scores of typos.
Not well written, and very hard to follow. For example, she talks re the 8 Truths of the Noble Ones, but never does anything as helpful as give a list. Not recommended.
It's a nice comprehensive overview of concepts, practices, and history of various traditions. It's also a little more of an academic approach.
Very sound overview and introduction written by Oxford academic, no dumbing down, no patronising of the reader.
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Cathy Cantwell is Research Officer, Buddhist Studies, in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Wolfson College of the University of Oxford.
More about Cathy Cantwell...
A Noble Noose of Methods, the Lotus Garland Synopsis: A Mahayoga Tantra and Its Commentary The Kilaya Nirvana Tantra and the Vajra Wrath Tantra: Two Texts from the Ancient Tantra Collection Dudjom Rinpoche's Vajrakīlaya Works: A Study in Authoring, Compiling and Editing Texts in the Tibetan Revelatory Tradition Early Tibetan Documents on Phur Pa from Dunhuang Tibetan Buddhism: A Foundation Course

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