Page 1 of 1

Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:10 pm
by Queequeg
What would be a good reading list for someone just starting to explore Mahayana Buddhism?

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:41 pm
by Könchok Thrinley
Well, for common mahayana I'd definetly suggest the Bodhisattvacharyavatara and its commentaries and The Heart Sutra and its commentaries. For vajrayana I'd go for Gampopa's The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Patrul Rinpoche's Words of my Perfect Teacher and maybe some Lamrim book, it depends on the school one follows.

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:31 am
by Wayfarer
If they're coming from a secular western background, I would recommend some of the standard University-level texts that explain the development of Buddhism and provides an introduction to Mahayana in that context. I'm thinking of books like Rupert Gethin Foundations of Buddhism and Conze's Buddhism its Essence and Development.

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:02 am
by passel
Paul Williams' "Mahayana Buddhism"

https://www.amazon.com/Mahayana-Buddhis ... 447&sr=8-1

You can probably find it cheaper if you dig around. I'm guessing there's a free pdf out there.

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:38 pm
by Astus
For a general overview:

Buddhist Teaching in India by Johannes Bronkhorst
Mahayana Buddhism by Paul Williams
Inquiry Into the Origin of Humanity by Peter N. Gregory
Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:05 pm
by jake
For about a year I helped out with a "Buddhist study group" that met in a local public library once a month. The club read through Williams' Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition. It seemed to help some folks but others found the book overly academic.

I was later told of the article: Stephen C. Berkwitz (2016) Textbook Buddhism: introductory books on the Buddhist religion. I found it to be a helpful review of existing Buddhist 101-style textbooks. https://www.academia.edu/24957142/Textb ... t_Religion

Abstract: Text books on Buddhism comprise a large,varied genre and have long been used to introduce the religion to students in academic settings. This review essay examines ten text books on the subject, noting their distinctive features, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the types of courses that are well suited to each work. Additional information from a survey on Buddhism text books conducted by the author is used to supplement our understanding of which sources are regularly used in Buddhism courses and why. Unresolved tensions over whether to stress the coherence or diversity of Buddhism, and how comprehensive a text book should be, are noted. Arguing that ‘Textbook Buddhism,’ as a product of scholarly imagination, is a distinctive form of the tradition, it behooves specialists to be more reflective about their use of text books and to be more intentional in helping students to read them critically.

He reviews:

Cantwell, Cathy. 2010. Buddhism: The Basics. London: Routledge.

Gethin, Rupert. 1998. The Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harvey, Peter. 2013 [1990]. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lewis, Todd, ed. 2014. Buddhists: Understanding Buddhism Through the Lives of Practitioners. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

Mitchell, Donald W., and Sarah H. Jacoby. 2014 [2002]. Buddhism: Introducing theBuddhist Experience. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Prebish, Charles S., and Damien Keown. 2010 [2006]. Introducing Buddhism. 2nded. London: Routledge.

Robinson, Richard H., Willard L. Johnson, and Thanissaro Bhikkhu. 2005 [1970]. Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/ Thomson Learning.

Strong, John S. 2015. Buddhisms: An Introduction. London: One world Publications.

Trainor, Kevin, ed. 2004 [2001]. Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. 2nd ed. Oxford:Oxford University Press.

Wynne, Alexander. 2014. Buddhism: An Introduction. London: I.B. Tauris.

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:51 am
by thomaslaw
The following book may be useful for studying both early Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism:

Choong Mun-keat. The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sutra-anga portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya and the Chinese Samyukta-agama (Series: Beitrage zur Indologie Band 32; Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000).
:buddha1:

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:59 am
by thomaslaw
thomaslaw wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:51 am The following book may be useful for studying both early Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism:

Choong Mun-keat. The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sutra-anga portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya and the Chinese Samyukta-agama (Series: Beitrage zur Indologie Band 32; Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000).
:buddha1:
One of the reasons regarding why the above mentioned book may be useful for studying Mahayana Buddhism is that the sutra-anga portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya (SN) and the Chinese Samyukta-agama (SA) is connected with the sūtra-mātṛkā (sūtra matrix) in "the Vastu-saṃgrahaṇī of the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra" (Chinese version T30, no.1579, 772c-868b; Peking edition of Tibetan Tripiṭaka, vol. 111, text no. 5540). The sūtra-mātṛkā is essentially a commentary on a portion of SA/SN. The Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra belongs to the Mahayana Yogacara tradition.

Re: Buddhist Syllabus

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:31 pm
by 如傑優婆塞
Perhaps, for those exploring General Chinese Mahāyāna in particular, these are some for starters: 1 2 3