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An Introduction to Buddhism
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  • 17 b/w illus. 1 table
  • Page extent: 396 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.453 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 294.3
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: BQ4022 .H37 1990
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Buddhism
    • Indian Ocean Region--Economic conditions
    • Comparative civilization
    • Business and politics--United States--History
    • Institutional economics

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521313339 | ISBN-10: 0521313333)

This book is a comprehensive introduction to the Buddhist tradition as it has developed in three major cultural areas in Asia, and also developed in the West. It is intended to be a textbook for students of religious and Asian studies respectively, but will also be of interest to those who want a general survey of Buddhism and its beliefs. Unlike many other general books about Buddhism, it not only explores Buddhist beliefs, but also seeks to show as a set of practices. It thus includes chapters on devotion, ethics, monastic practices and meditation. Such practices are related to Buddhist teachings and historical developments. Emphasising as it does the diversity found within different Buddhist traditions, the book aims to underline common threads of belief, practice and historical continuities which unify the Buddhist world. Dr Harvey has sought to answer questions that are often asked by people on first meeting the tradition, and in his section on Nirvana offers a novel interpretation of this ultimate, transcendent mystery.


'In its breadth and scope, without serious rival as an introductory volume … Harvey's treatment is sympathetic and sensitive, managing to suggest both the breadth and richness of Buddhist teaching and its underlying unity.' The Times Literary Supplement

'… its style is lucid and well thought out. The avoidance of technical terms and academic jargon wherever possible makes it a useful handbook for undergraduate study … an intelligent and even-handed approach.' Scottish Journal of Religious Studies

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