Gr 5-10 Because Buddhism, like Christianity, flourishes in a wide variety of forms, a succinct overview of the religion's history and practice is difficult to achieve and must necessarily focus on the broad outlines. Netzley does an admirable job of conveying both the origin and spread of Buddhism as well as the prominent divisions within it, including Mahayana, Theravada, Vajrayana, Tibetan, and Zen. She provides a lengthy introduction to the historical Buddha, his path to enlightenment, and the core teachings that grew out of his experience. Likewise handled very well is her consideration of the centuries after Buddha's death, in which his oral teachings began to be written down, divisions appeared among his followers, and councils were held to address controversial issues. After establishing a solid grounding in the history of the religion, the author describes its spread northward and eastward into China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and eventually the western hemisphere, documenting the ways in which it grew in new environments with the influx of new thoughts. This narrative and descriptive approach renders a more lucid account than the somewhat scattershot method used in Anita Ganeri's Buddhism (2001) and What Do We Know about Buddhism? (1997, both Peter Bedrick) for younger readers. Likewise notable is the fluid working into the main text of numerous quotations from Buddhist writers of various traditions. The notes, index, and list for further reading are extensive, and the black-and-white photographs complement the text. -Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
|Author:||Patricia D. Netzley|
|Publishing Date:||January 2002|
|Number of Pages:||112|
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