Monday, April 6, 2009
Unmasking Buddhism - Bernard Faure
A controversial study of Buddhism that looks to debunk Oriental stereotypes by highlighting the complexity and diversity of Buddhism in all its forms. This book challenges us to strip away existing preconceptions we may have about Buddhism. It considers questions such as: Can we talk about Buddhism as a unified religion or are there many Buddhisms? Is Buddhism a religion of tolerance and pacifism as many people think? And is Buddhism a religion without gods, or is it more of a philosophy than a religion? It also investigates questions such as whether the belief in karma leads to fatalism, whether Buddhism denies the existence of a self, whether Buddhism teaches reincarnation, whether it is compatible with science, whether it advocates vegetarianism, whether it is a religion of monks etc.
"Many people know something about Buddhism, but, for interesting historical reasons, much of what they know is wrong. In Unmasking Buddhism, Bernard Faure offers a clear catalogue of these misconceptions and then compassionately dispels the darkness of ignorance.