In this valuable introduction, Michael Carrithers guides us through the complex and sometimes conflicting information that Buddhist texts give us about the life and teaching of the Buddha. He discusses the social and political background of India in the Buddha's time and traces the development of his thought. He also assesses the rapid and widespread assimilation of Buddhism and its contemporary relevance. Well-paced and informative, this introduction will enlighten not only those who study Buddhism and comparative religion but anyone intrigued by the remarkable philosophy of one of the greatest religious thinkers.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.