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The Buddha

Life and Afterlife Between East and West

Author(s): Philip C. Almond

ISBN: 9781009346795
Publication Date: 30/11/23
Pages: 300
Format: Hardback
Regular price £30.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £30.00 GBP

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Alongside Jesus and Muhammad, the Buddha is the most significant figure in the history of religion. Philip Almond's engaging new book is the first to combine a history of early traditions about Siddhartha Gautama's life with an authoritative account of how he and the tantalizing philosophy inspired by him came to the attention of the West. It takes the reader on a remarkable journey encompassing (among other topics) Alexander the Great, the courts of the Mongol Khans, Jesuit missions to China and Japan, and intrepid European travellers and scholars from the modern era. Melding Pali and Sanskrit sources with vivid reception, Almond presents the Buddha's story as multi-layered: one of transition from a world of angels and demons, water and tree spirits, to an altogether different context where Buddhism mixed with the cultural preoccupations of those who tentatively – sometimes following false trails – tried to make sense of its fascinating complexity.

  • The new book by the author of The British Discovery of Buddhism: arguably the most celebrated work of Western Buddhist reception
  • The first general account of how Buddhism reached the West and what happened to the religion as it did so: will have considerable appeal to non-specialists as well as scholars
  • A masterly summation of the key facets of Buddhist history, of great value to students
  • Synthesises the complex Buddhist texts in a form easily intelligible to the generalist
  • Crossover appeal to an audience in intellectual history as well as comparative religion
  • The author is regularly reviewed in periodicals and broadsheets outside his own discipline
  • Brings together a wealth of current literature on the life of the Buddha and his reception over the past 2,500 years which will appeal to all those with a passing interest in Buddhism