The History of Buddhism: Facts and Fictions

ebook Historical Facts and Fictions

By Geoffrey C. Goble

cover image of The History of Buddhism: Facts and Fictions

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One of the world's most popular religions, Buddhism is also one of the most misunderstood. This reference overviews misconceptions related to Buddhism and reveals the truths behind the myths.
Buddhism is practiced by millions of adherents around the world. Originating in ancient India, it spread throughout Asia and then to the West, and it exists in multiple traditions. Despite its popularity, it is also the subject of many misconceptions. This book examines those misconceptions along with the historical truths behind the myths.
The book begins with an introduction that places Buddhism in its historical and cultural contexts. This is followed by chapters on particular erroneous beliefs related to the religion. Chapters explore whether Buddhism is a singular tradition, if it is a religion or a philosophical system, if it is rational and scientific, whether the Buddha was an ordinary human, and other topics. Each chapter summarizes the misconception and how it spread, along with what we now believe to be the underlying truth behind the falsehood.
Quotations and excerpts from primary source documents provide evidence for the mistaken beliefs and the historical truths. The book closes with a selected, general bibliography.
The History of Buddhism: Facts and Fictions