This collection of essays examines ten core themes from a comparative perspective and thus provides an integrated introduction to the social and spiritual values at the centre of Buddhist thought. Following an introductory chapter, the themes covered are moral decision making, worship, myth and history, the role of women, attitudes to nature, sacred writings, beliefs about human nature, rites of passage, sacred place and the depiction of the divine. Each chapter concludes with a list of recommended further reading.
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1 The sacred writings of Buddhism
2 Buddhist visions of the human predicament and its resolution Peter Harvey
3 Portrayals of ultimate reality and of holy and divine beings Peter Harvey
4 Devotional practices Peter Harvey
5 Rites of passage Christopher Lamb
6 Making moral decisions Stewart McFarlane
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Amitabha ancient animals arahat Asia attain Avalokitesvara become beneﬁt bodhisattva body Brown and O’Brian Buddha buddhahood Buddhist Ethics Buddhist world century ceremony chanting China Chinese compassion Conze Dalai death deﬁlements deities developed devotion Dhamma difﬁcult doctrine dukkha early Buddhism emptiness enlightenment existence female ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve forms of Buddhism gods Gombrich Gotama Harvey heavenly holy human identiﬁed images Indian Buddhism inﬂuence Japan karma karmic fruitfulness known laity Lama lives London Lotus Mahayana Buddhism male mandala Mara meditation mind monastic monks moral Myanmar nature Nikaya nirvana nuns one’s ordination Pali Canon paritta path person practice precepts Pure Land realm rebirth reborn reﬂects refuge religion religious rites ritual sacred Sakyamuni sangha Sanskrit Satra schools scriptures seen signiﬁcant skilful means speciﬁc spiritual Sri Lanka stapa suffering Sutra suttas symbol tantras tantric Tathagata teachings temples texts Theravada Theravadin Tibet Tibetan Tibetan Buddhism truth Vajrayana Buddhism Vinaya wisdom women Yogacara