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Unmasking Buddhism

Unmasking Buddhism

Bernard Faure

ISBN: 978-1-405-18065-8

Mar 2009, Wiley-Blackwell

168 pages

In Stock

$107.95

Description

An ideal introduction to Buddhism for anyone who has unanswered questions about one of the world's largest and most popular religions.
  • A fascinating, short book that challenges us to strip away existing preconceptions we may have about Buddhism
  • Considers questions such as: Can we talk of Buddhism as a unified religion or are there many Buddhisms? Is Buddhism a religion of tolerance and pacifism as many people think? And is Buddhism a religion without god(s), or is it more of a philosophy than a religion?
  • Traces the basic history, beliefs and nature of Buddhism in easy-to-understand language
  • Written by renowned Buddhist scholar, Bernard Faure, it is an ideal introduction for anyone who has unanswered questions about one of the world's largest and most popular religions

Introduction 1

Part I Buddhism in History 5

“Buddhism is both one and many” 7

“The Buddha is only a man who achieved Awakening” 11

“Buddhism is an Indian religion” 18

“Buddhism is the cult of nothingness” 23

“Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion” 27

“All Buddhists are seeking to achieve Awakening” 34

“Buddhism teaches the impermanence of all things” 39

“The belief in karma leads to fatalism” 44

“Buddhism denies the existence of a self” 49

“Buddhism teaches reincarnation” 52

Part II Buddhism and Local Cultures 57

“Buddhism is an atheistic religion” 59

“Buddhism is above all a spirituality” 66

 “The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Buddhism” 71

“To be Buddhist is to be Zen” 76

Part III Buddhism and Society 83

“Buddhism is a tolerant religion” 85

“Buddhism teaches compassion” 89

“Buddhism is a peaceful religion” 93

“Buddhism affirms that we are all equal” 99

“Buddhism is compatible with science” 104

“Buddhism is a kind of therapy” 112

“Buddhism advocates a strict vegetarianism” 118

“Buddhism is a universalist teaching” 122

“Buddhism is a religion of monks” 129

Conclusion: Buddhism or Neo-Buddhism? 139

Glossary 143

A Short Bibliography 151

Index 153


  • A fascinating, short book that challenges us to strip away existing preconceptions we may have about Buddhism
  • Considers questions such as: Can we talk of Buddhism as a unified religion or are there many Buddhisms? Is Buddhism a religion of tolerance and pacifism as many people think? And is Buddhism a religion without god(s), or is it more of a philosophy than a religion?
  • Traces the basic history, beliefs and nature of Buddhism in easy-to-understand language
  • Written by renowned Buddhist scholar, Bernard Faure, it is an ideal introduction for anyone who has unanswered questions about one of the world’s largest and most popular religions