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Buddhism | [The Great Courses]

Buddhism

Buddhism has captivated many millions of people around the world, its vitality and adaptability enabling it to transform the civilizations of India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan, and also become a lively component in the cultures of Europe, Australia, and the Americas. But have you ever wondered how a religion that doesn't even have a god could have accomplished this?
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Publisher's Summary

Buddhism has captivated many millions of people around the world, its vitality and adaptability enabling it to transform the civilizations of India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan, and also become a lively component in the cultures of Europe, Australia, and the Americas. But have you ever wondered how a religion that doesn't even have a god could have accomplished this?

Now you have the opportunity to have your questions answered, as this series of 24 lectures by an award-winning teacher traces the history, principles, and evolution of a theology that is both familiar and foreign.

You'll learn the astonishing story of Siddhartha Gautama - who was to become the Buddha, or "enlightened one" - the Indian prince who abandoned wife, son, and a privileged life to seek the meaning of life and death, and whose "awakening" and subsequent teachings have since impacted the world as few others have.

And you'll learn what happened after his death, as his followers began to share his teachings about the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Path" to Enlightenment. You'll see how Buddhist beliefs underwent significant and even radical change, with different varieties of Buddhism having to take shape as those beliefs spread across India, Central Asia, China, Japan, and virtually every corner of the Western world, such as becoming more respectful of one's duties to family and ancestors in China or becoming reconciled with local deities in Japan.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jennifer Johannesburg, South Africa 07-14-14
    Jennifer Johannesburg, South Africa 07-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accessible and informative"
    Any additional comments?

    This a really good introduction to the subject. The narrator has a clear skill in making some of the complex cencepts of Buddhism (at least to a western mind) understandable. He is passionate about the subject, speaks clearly and his lectures have a good balance between 'story telling' and theory. I will be keeping this audiobook in my library to listen to again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Cape Town, South Africa 11-10-13
    Craig Cape Town, South Africa 11-10-13 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    "Informative, entertaining and personal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very informative lectures. The balance between being high level and providing too much information is well maintained. The author is clearly an expert on the subject, he draws from personal experience and tells us many anecdotes about his personal experience with Buddhism.

    Informal and relaxed lecture style; very easy to listen to. I highly recommend this lecture series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Buddhism?

    He is very passionate about the subject.


    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Croby 04-21-15
    Croby 04-21-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Balanced and Well Presented"
    Would you listen to Buddhism again? Why?

    As a Buddhist, it solidified the process of the dissemination from India to China and Japan and the philosophical concepts were well explained.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The presentation was well-paced and not rushed.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Malcolm David Eckel – was your favorite?

    Professor Eckel's knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic is evident in his presentation.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are curious about Buddhism this is a good survey course that will leave you with a solid foundation for further exploration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug 01-28-15
    Doug 01-28-15
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    "Great listen"

    The instructor clearly has a passion for sharing Buddhism and putting it in lay terms. I'll definitely be revisiting this book/lecture series again!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan D. Stringer Bay Springs, MS United States 02-11-15
    Jonathan D. Stringer Bay Springs, MS United States 02-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Much ado about Nothingness."
    What did you love best about Buddhism?

    This series of essays did a fantastic job of highlighting the differences between the various forms of Buddhism practiced today. As someone who came into these lectures with only a superficial knowledge of Buddhism, I was struck by just how many different interpretations of Buddhist teaching there are in the world. It makes the Protestant/Catholic divide look more like a small ditch in comparison.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Buddhism?

    The bits on Vajrayāna Buddhism were certainly the most memorable parts of the lecture, primarily due to the tradition's enigmatical style of teaching . Contrasting the esoteric tendencies of Vajrayāna with the relative simplicity of Zen is almost like comparing apples and oranges, but it's this rich diversity that I found to be the most compelling aspect of the study.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Malcolm David Eckel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Professor Eckel's love of the subject shone through my speakers. He approached the lecture with a zest that I wish more of the Great Courses lecturers possessed. His diction is equal parts scholastic and conversational, with a genial loquaciousness that wouldn't sound out of place coming from the mouth of a Hotei statue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Anne Robson
    4/22/15
    Overall
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    "Brilliant"

    Clear, cohesive, comprehensive and just the right level of challenge!

    Great course, thoroughly enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • marion swaffield
    3/22/15
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Absolutely deserves it's sub title of a 'Great Course' - an astounding breath of knowledge shared in a truly accessible way. I hope there will be more...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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