Synopses & Reviews
This comprehensive study explores all aspects of Theravada, its doctrines, literature and practices, examining developments and diversity from its earliest centuries to the present day. Theravada Buddhism
offers an enriching and enlightening overview of the history, teachings, and beliefs of Theravada for students, as well as discussing the findings of recent research for more advanced readers.
Theravada, the Buddhism of Sri Lanka and mainland Southeast Asia, is frequently misidentified with early Buddhism and Hinayana Buddhism. Studies of contemporary Theravada are often limited to the tradition of a single country, but this book treats it as a multifaceted religion that has evolved over two and a half millennia. From the various countries of the region, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, a wealth of material is featured, revealing the rich and varied traditions that encompass Theravada.
“It is a wonderful tour de force. At last here is a book that pays attention to the whole scope of the Theravada tradition, from its historical developments in various cultural contexts, to the diversity of its practices, to the evolution and variety of its doctrines, and to its present-day situations in the modern world.”
—John Strong, Bates College
“[A] wonderful and welcome addition to the field … this book will prove to be the best introduction to the study of Theravada Buddhism available in a Western language for many years.”
—Justin McDaniel, University of Pennsylvania
“There is nothing whatsoever like this on the market: so balanced, comprehensive, easy-to-read, humane, insightful.”
—Steven Collins, University of Chicago
provides a comprehensive introductory overview of the history, teachings, and current practice of an often misunderstood form of one of the world’s oldest religious traditions.
- Explores Theravada Buddhism’s origins, evolution, teachings, and practices
- Considers the practice of Theravada beyond Sri Lanka and Thailand, by exploring a wealth of material from countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam
- Reveals its rich and varied traditions, and corrects common misunderstandings about links to other practices, such as early Buddhism or Hinayana Buddhism
- Incorporates student-friendly features including a glossary and other study aids
This comprehensive introductory overview explores all aspects of the origins, evolution, and current practice of Theravada, the oldest surviving Buddhist school of thought. Theravada Buddhism
offers an enriching and enlightening introduction to the history, teachings, and practice of Theravada for students of Buddhism.
Theravada is frequently misidentified with early Buddhism or Hinayana Buddhism, and its contemporary studies are often limited to its practice in the countries of Sri Lanka and Thailand. To reveal the rich and varied traditions that encompass Theravada, this text features a wealth of material from countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and also addresses its global influence beyond the borders of Southeast Asia.
About the Author
Kate Crosby is a Seiyu Kiriyama Reader in Buddhist Studies in the Department of the Study of Religions at SOAS, University of London, and is also a member of the Centre of South East Asian Studies and the Centre of Buddhist Studies. She is the author or editor of a number of books, including Santideva’s Bodhicaryavatara: Buddhist Path To Awakening (with Andrew Skilton, 1998), and The Dead of Night & the Women (2009).
Table of Contents
Part One Buddha 13
1 The Buddha and Buddhahood 15
2 Buddha Worship 43
Part Two Dhamma 69
3 Literature, Languages, and Conveying the Dhamma 71
4 The Jataka 99
5 The Good Buddhist 112
6 Meditation 138
7 Abhidhamma 174
Part Three Sangha and Society 195
8 Monks, Monasteries, and their Position in Society 197
9 Women in Monasticism 218
10 Women in Theravada Literature and Society 238
11 Feminist Readings of Gender-Related Symbols 250
12 Nonharming, Politics, and Violence 262