Buddhism or Buddhisms? By the time they move on to Buddhism in Japan, many students who have studied its origins in India ask whether this is in fact the same religion, so different can they appear. In Buddhisms: An Introduction, Professor John S. Strong provides an overview of the Buddhist tradition in all its different forms around the world. Beginning at the modern day temples of Lumbini, where the Buddha was born, Strong takes us through the life of the Buddha and a study of Buddhist Doctrine, revealing how Buddhism has changed just as it has stayed the same. Finally, Strong examines the nature of Buddhist community life and its development today in the very different environments of Thailand, Japan, and Tibet. Enriched by the author’s own insights gathered over forty years, Buddhisms never loses sight of the personal experience amidst the wide-scope of its subject. Clear in its explanations, replete with tables and suggestions for further reading, this is an essential new work that makes original contributions to the study of this 2,500 year-old religion.
‘An original contribution and approach to this 2,500 year-old religion, with its precise explanations fortified by tables and information on further reading’.
– East and West Series
‘This substantial study is a near-comprehensive digest of the history of Buddhism in its multiple forms... Exemplary for its organization and writing, this work is likely to become the standard single-volume text on Buddhism for the student, whether within the walls of the academy or without.’
– Library Journal
‘Deftly selecting material from a vast tradition, Strong guides the reader through complex topics with precision, clarity, and insight... readers eager to dive into a rigorous, well-organized investigation of Buddhism's intricate 2500-year-old history will find much to reward them.’
– Publishers Weekly
‘Buddhisms: An Introduction is a Brueghalian masterpiece, which conveys the age-old religious themes in a setting of lived reality touched with hints of humour, offering intriguing perspectives on all of Buddhism’s bewildering diversity. The effect is somewhat breathtaking – so much covered so apparently effortlessly.’
– Kate Crosby, Professor of Buddhist Studies, King’s College London
‘Written with great clarity and sensitivity... this work is a welcome addition to the genre of books that survey the development of Buddhism across Asia.’