Buddha for Beginners

Buddha for Beginners Explains the underlying philosophies of Buddhism introduces the historical Buddha and discusses the philosophical differences between the Theravada Madhyamaika Tantric and Zen forms

  • Title: Buddha for Beginners
  • Author: Stephen T. Asma
  • ISBN: 9780863161865
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Paperback
  • Explains the underlying philosophies of Buddhism, introduces the historical Buddha, and discusses the philosophical differences between the Theravada, Madhyamaika, Tantric, and Zen forms.

    • Buddha for Beginners « Stephen T. Asma
      162 Stephen T. Asma
    • thumbnail Title: Buddha for Beginners « Stephen T. Asma
      Posted by:Stephen T. Asma
      Published :2019-08-25T09:02:57+00:00

    About " Stephen T. Asma "

  • Stephen T. Asma

    Stephen T Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scholar He is the author of Against Fairness University of Chicago Press.In 2003, he was Visiting Professor at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia There he taught Buddhist Philosophy as part of their pilot Graduate Program in Buddhist Studies His book, entitled The Gods Drink Whiskey Stumbling Toward Enlightenment in the Land of the Tattered Buddha HarperOne, 2005 explores the Theravada Buddhism of the region He has also traveled and studied in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Mainland China eventually living in Shanghai China in 2005.Asma is the author of several books Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums Oxford University Press, 2001 , Following Form and Function Northwestern Univ Press, 1996 , and Buddha for Beginners Hampton Roads, 2008 He has written many articles on a broad range of topics that bridge the humanities and sciences, including Against Transcendentalism in the book _Monty Python and Philosophy_ Opencourt Press, 2006 and Dinosaurs on the Ark Natural History and the New Creation Museum in _The Chronicle of Higher Education_ May, 2007 He has also written for the _Chicago Tribune_, _In These Times_ magazine, the _Skeptical Inquirer_, the _Chronicle Review_, _Skeptic magazine_, and Chicago Public Radio s news magazine show _Eight Forty Eight_ His wide ranging natural history of monsters was published by Oxford University Press in 2009 In this book, titled On Monsters, Asma tours Western culture s worst nightmares And his book Why I Am a Buddhist was published by Hampton Roads Publishing in 2009.


  • I had a chance earlier this year to read Columbia College Chicago professor Stephen Asma's Why I Am a Buddhist, and ended up really enjoying it, a no-nonsense and secular-slanted guide to this philosophy/religion that humorously takes the piss out of hippie New Agers; so I've decided to read several other of his books this summer as well, with this being the first one I finished. It's exactly what the title describes, with content that could've easily been in one of those "Buddhism for Dummies" [...]

  • Received this book for free via a Give Away - thank you!Though this is definitely a "beginners" book, it is by no means dumbed down in language, so I appreciate that a lot. A great lets-start-at-the-beginning, informative breakdown of the historical Buddha. Would recommend this book to anyone looking to get a better understanding of the origins of Buddhism or of the historical Buddha vs. the popular Buddha.

  • An excellent short and simple explanation of a complex religion. Focuses on the philosophy (or psychology depending on your viewpoint) of the Buddha himself; not on the mythological religion that has been wrapped around this person. A great beginning point for the study of Buddhism.

  • I think this is the best primer on Buddhism for anyone interested in learning the basic underlying principals, and the ways they relate to western ways of thinking.I recommend this as a starting point to anyone who asks me about Buddhism, or wants to learn more.

  • I actually learned some new things from this wonderfully illustrated book, and I've been studying Buddhism for some time. Surprising and delightful and a good primer that breaks down some of the tougher concepts.

  • This book is good for people like me who have little to no knowledge of Buddhism. It even had some explanations regarding Hinduism and Western monotheism, which may help some readers put Buddhism in perspective. The book covers the basics with some history and covering the Buddha's philosophy/religion and how Buddhism has changed over time in different cultures. There's no filler content, no rambling, and there are pictures (if that helps you), though I did not like the art, it could be helpful. [...]

  • Interesting to see how Buddhism has evolved over the centuries. Occasionally, the author's illustrations helped to drive a main idea home, but I mostly found them to be a distraction from the text. Don't let the "two star" rating mislead you. "Two Stars" means "it was OK". So, I got something worthwhile out of reading it.

  • An interesting and informative discussion of the life of Guatama. Takes a somewhat dismissive tone with regard to Mahayana developments. More historical than philosophical.

  • A great, brief introduction to Buddhism. If you're a quick reader you could knock this out in an hour and a half, maybe an hour. Almost every page has some cartoon or illustration and the chunks of text tend to be short. But the text is by no means shallow. The books covers not only the Buddha's history but the intricacies of Buddhist metaphysics (from the bundle theory of identity to causality and time), the four noble truths, eightfold path, and middle way as well as the later historical devel [...]

  • This book is sweet, it presents deep and complicated themes about Buddhism simplistically and very straight forward. Don't let the title fool you, while it starts from the beginning and doesn't assume you know anything about the subject, its not elementary. But probably the best thing I like about this book is that its filled with pictures and makes for an easy read (it refers to itself technically as a "documentary comic book" which I rather like and find fitting). I love this kind of material [...]

  • A pretty good basic account of some aspects of Buddhist thinking, with strong sections on dependent origination and the two fold understanding of nibbana is very well explained in particular I.e. saupadisesa/anupadisesa. I didn't like some of the drawings at all, which detract from the text, and there's one minor but unforgivable typo which says the Yogacarins arose in the 6th century bCE, which would have predated the historical Buddha. Lots of areas I could criticise but given the type of book [...]

  • Budismo em quadrinhos para principiantes, no título em português. Excelente introdução pra quem pretende conhecer melhor essa filosofia de vida, desde às origens às várias correntes e deturpações que surgiram depois. O leitor fica sabendo, por exemplo, que o Buda histórico era agnóstico - nunca quis responder de forma positiva ou negativa às perguntas dos discípulos sobre a vida eterna, para ele uma questão irrelevante diante dos desafios da iluminação durante a vida. As ilustra [...]

  • This book was very strange. It's a documentary comic book, part of a series that includes Black Panthers for Beginners, The History of Clowns for Beginners, and The Arabs and Israel for Beginners, to name just a few. This volume focused on the Buddha and was a good intro to the Buddha's life in context and the evolution of Buddhism. I thought the illustrations were sort of creepy and the author was surprisingly snarky in places. Three stars, in part because I got this book for free.

  • Steve Asma's intro to the life and thoughts of Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as the Enlightened One, or the Buddha, is a painless way to understand the key concepts of his philosophy. Asma provided his own illustrations, and the book covers the key aspects of Buddhist thought, and what happened to his theories after his death, as his ideas were formed into a "religion."

  • Este libro me ha sorprendido muchísimo. Despeja dudas sobre los distintos tipos de budismo desde su origen y como estos han evolucionado. Lo recomendaría como primera lectura a gente que quiera acercarse al dharma, pero como yo, se encuentra lejos de misticismos y magufos.

  • Simple enough to sit down an read all 150ish pages in one sitting. Complex enough to give you an understanding of Buddha and Buddhism that will allow for a more in depth study - even though Buddha would claim that you don't need to know the dogma.

  • This work is an intriguing primer to the religious and philosophical components of Buddhism. However, at times, the author's overly critical tone was disengaging.

  • So not really a graphic novel but an educational primer for the life of Buddha rich with humor and illustrations. Sort of falling in the grey area that is no pronounced in the graphic novel medium.

  • The illustrations were the best part of this book. Though it gave a concise history of Buddhism, including current day sects and offshoots, it was a very dry read and hard to digest.

  • A great, easy illustrated look into the origins of Buddhism and many of the misconceptions that have arisen in both the East and the West.

  • Read this to help with stress. Agree with some of it. Have to re-read. A lot makes sense to me just need to work on it.

  • Great introduction to the Buddha and an excellent primer to Buddhist philosophy. My full review is here: elephantjournal/2009/0

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