Buddha: Karen Armstrong
Published: 2002 | Unabridged | Running Time: 6 Hrs. 32 Min. | MPEG-1 Layer 3.48 kbps
A former Catholic nun's short biography of the Buddha explains the elusive Eastern sage in terms that even drama-hungry Westerners can understand.
Armstrong ("A History of God," "Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths"), a former Roman Catholic nun and arguably the most lucid, wide-ranging and consistently interesting religion writer today, manages to pull it off. And she does it so successfully that "Buddha" is the first book in the Penguin Lives series to make the New York Times bestseller list. Buddhists will probably find this book sketchy and overly detached (Armstrong clearly isn't a believer), but they aren't its intended audience. Instead, Armstrong has set herself the task of explaining one of the East's most enigmatic spiritual figures to a Western audience accustomed to encountering the divine with an entirely different set of cognitive tools. She places Gautama in his historical context (the most exciting, earthshaking few hundred years in religious history) and deftly compares his teachings with those of more familiar Western sages: Jesus and the authors of the Gospels, the Hebrew prophets, Socrates and Mohammed. She unpacks some of the more baffling Buddhist concepts, elucidates aspects of the religion that Westerners often find off-putting and, where earthbound reason can't take us, attempts to suggest an outline of the ineffable.
A Good Buddhism Folder Here:
Mirrors OK, but try to use my plinks, please
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