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The Buddhist Catechism

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  25 reviews
1915. The Life of Buddha; The Dharma or Doctrine; The Sangha; The Rise and Spread of Buddhism; Buddhism and Science; The Fourteen Propositions accepted by the Northern and Southern Buddhists as a Platform of Unity.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1881)
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Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in question and answer format, similar to Catechisms of other faiths, this book covers every aspect of Buddhism. It’s been published in at least 20 languages, mainly by and for Buddhists, and is used in many Buddhist schools. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking a greater understanding of Buddhism.
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I knew little about Buddhism, I would say this book was a good resource. That being said, I do not agree with the religion having understood what was presented. It appears to be a religion founded on the sole urge to overcome ignorance, which in itself is good, but not logical. Not everyone is capable of that. The part I had the most issue with would be that one reaches Nirvana by reaching heightened enlightenment by basically being good, yet you can't be good on purpose otherwise it doesn't ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddhism
Definitely a product of its time, but not actually "bad". Just different. ...more
Jeffy Joseph
As someone with only a vague idea of Buddhism, I found this book to be quite informative. It gives you a very broad idea about the basic tenets in Buddhism. The question and answer format adopted by the author was apt for the content. Rather than simply translating the different Buddhist teachings, the author summarizes and paraphrases them in a rather nice way.

For example:
"Q. What striking contrasts are there between Buddhism and what may be properly called "religions"?
A. Among others, th
Sarah Spelbring
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
As someone who has only briefly brushed the topic of Buddhism (Karma & Reincarnation) this little ebook answered a lot of questions and fleshed out some the things I only knew a little about.

Presented in question and answer style with several introductions included and an appendix this is a handy little book for those of us wanted to know more about Buddhism. I found it informative, but I believe this is made for more of an introduction or primer to Buddhism as there are several aspects that co
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
This book is good for some one interested to know about Buddhism. It is written in a question and answers format in simple English which anyone can understand but the usage of the terms in Pali language was quite a challenge to read it. I would not recommend this book to everyone or to know about the life of Buddha. This book is purely based on Buddhism teachings as the title clearly states Buddhist Catechism.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism, non-fiction
Parts are in a q&a format about the historical Buddha, his doctrine (includes Bodhisattva), covers Sangha , spread of and its connection with science. Short answers so short explanations of complex issues. More of a review for those who know tenants of Buddhism. From early 20th century.
Nancie Lafferty
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good resource.
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: folks lookin for early 20th cent WESTERN commentary on Buddhism
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't have a lot of praise for Olcott's Catechism other than to say that i will consider its 14 "universally"-agreed-upon ideas to be a fair base upon which to build my understanding of the religion as a whole. If, like me, you are a Buddhistic ignoramus[1], then go ahead and read at least the first two sections of this little book. It is conveniently, refreshingly—but frequently awkwardly—written in the classic catechismal Q&A format.

"The Life of the Buddha" and "The Dharma or Doctrine" impre
Kavinda Ratnapala
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Does not cover in-depth any topic concerning the man who was the buddha nor his teaching. Rather, in bullet points Col. Olcott, over a century ago yet contextually relevant and to the point, briefs the reader on the fundamental tenets of Theravada tradition of the Dhamma.

It is ideal for anyone who wishes to have a simple yet broad understanding of the Buddha Dhamma in under 2 hours. But I suggest anyone take 4 and contemplate and reflect upon the text rather than take it at face value.

And to r
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From a non-Buddhist: This is a great introduction to Buddhist philosophy. I now have elemental understandings of some phrases and names that have emerged from Buddhism. I can see why some people find similarities within Hinduism and Christianity, among other religions. Though I have not studied Indian languages and it gave me pause at every name and phrase in Indian, I was still able to follow the ideas and concepts presented. It is also a short read, available free on the Kindle.
Kristen Anglesey
The Buddhist Catechism, revised by H. C. Olcott, are answers to questions that would be asked by someone who knows nothing about Buddhism. It is interesting and teaches the reader many things about this religion. It is interesting to read the things Buddhists believe in and what they worship. The Buddhist Catechism would interest anyone wanting to learn more about religions of the world.
A little heavy on history and terminology, but that's to be expected in such a text. Thoroughly reinforced my impression of Buddhism, including my discomfort with the perspectives on sexuality and on mystical things (like people emitting light, or the existence of things like demons). ...more
Mysty M. Jean
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I highly recommend this book as having answered many of my beginner questions. A very good description of Buddhism and the people involved in compiling the work at the time 1891.

Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-books
It is good introduction to Buddhism, it is written in question/answer form that gives a lot to interpretation. It states the origins, beliefs and spread of Buddhism. Great book for a beginners.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Thomas
Good introduction to understand Buddhist thought and history. An easy read, clear and concisely written.
Jorge Santos
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it

A nice approach for understanding Buddhism, although in my opinion there's a lack of definitions for people who's not really into the philosophy.
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very nice intro to Buddhism for folks who are seriously interested in getting into Buddhism. Offers great perspective and context.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
If there's nothing else to serve as an introduction, then useful I guess. ...more
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very nicely-done summary of basic Buddhism done in a question-and-answer format. I would recommend this as a starting point for those who would like to begin studying Buddhism.
Not as helpful as I had hoped in understanding the basic tenants of Buddhism.
Steve Goble
Jul 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, zen
One man's take on Buddhist beliefs, leaning heavily on mythology and told in spectacularly boring fashion. ...more
Rosa Louis
pretty good introduction for Buddhism. interesting for those who would not know about this practice. it does need more interpretation though for the culture language.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's old. You can tell as you read. There's good information here, but there are dozens of better sources to get it from. ...more
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