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Theravada Buddhism: Continuity, Diversity, and Identity

Kate Crosby

ISBN: 978-1-118-32329-8 September 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 312 Pages



Theravada Buddhism provides a comprehensive introductory overview of the history, teachings, and current practice of an often misunderstood form of one of the world’s oldest religious traditions.

  • Explores Theravada Buddhism’s origins, evolution, teachings, and practices
  • Considers the practice of Theravada beyond Sri Lanka and Thailand, by exploring a wealth of material from countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam
  • Reveals its rich and varied traditions, and corrects common misunderstandings about links to other practices, such as early Buddhism or Hinayana Buddhism
  • Incorporates student-friendly features including a glossary and other study aids

Acknowledgments viii

Map xi

Introduction 1

Part One Buddha 13

1 The Buddha and Buddhahood 15

2 Buddha Worship 43

Part Two Dhamma 69

3 Literature, Languages, and Conveying the Dhamma 71

4 The Jâtaka 99

5 The Good Buddhist 112

6 Meditation 138

7 Abhidhamma 174

Part Three Sangha and Society 195

8 Monks, Monasteries, and their Position in Society 197

9 Women in Monasticism 218

10 Women in Theravada Literature and Society 238

11 Feminist Readings of Gender-Related Symbols 250

12 Nonharming, Politics, and Violence 262

Glossary 283

Index 290

“Each chapter ends with a wealth of reference and further suggestions for reading and watching.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers/faculty.”  (Choice, 1 October 2014)