Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition with a history that stretches over 2,500 years, and which is now followed by around 115 million people. In this introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices which constitute the common heritage of the different traditions of Buddhism (Thervada, Tibetan, and Eastern) that exist in the world today. From the narrative of the story of the Buddha, through discussions of aspects such as textual traditions, the framework of the Four Noble Truths, the interaction between the monastic and lay ways of life, the cosmology of karma and rebirth, and the path of the bodhisattva, this book provides a stimulating introduction to Buddhism as a religion and way of life.
What is "book of the month"?
One good way to use this site can be to study books together, and post any questions from those books that we may have. The idea is that the text should be one that will stimulate our question-asking faculties, which we then apply by asking questions about the content of book of the month on Buddhism.SE. In the beginning of every month, we start a thread here on meta to suggest and vote for a book. By the 15th, the top voted suggestion is selected. Everyone is free to participate.
Last month, the book selected for reading was "Women in Buddhism - Question & Answers".
Enjoy the reading!