Augsburg Fortress

The Emergence of Buddhism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective

The Emergence of Buddhism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective

This brief survey text tells the story of Buddhism as it unfolds through the narrative of the Brahmanical cosmology from which Buddhism emerged, the stories and myths surrounding Buddha's birth, Buddha's path to enlightenment, and the eventual spread of his teachings throughout India and the world. Jacob N. Kinnard's clear telling of the tale helps students understand such complex concepts as the natural law of cause and effect (karma), the birth/life/death/rebirth cycle (samsara), the ever-changing state of suffering (dukkha), and salvation, the absence of all states (nirvana). Primary documents, illustrations, glossary and biographical sketches illuminate the extraordinary life and legacy of the man called Buddha.

The text's chapters integrate key pedagogy, including introductions, study questions, textboxes, photos, maps, suggested readings, and a glossary and timeline.
  • In stock


  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800697488
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 7.5 x 9.25
  • Pages 200
  • Course Level Introductions
  • Textbook Survey Texts
  • Publication Date October 1, 2010


Chapter 1;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Preface;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Contents;   Adobe Acrobat Document

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"The Emergence of Buddhism is a very suitable place to begin a quest for understanding Buddhism. Written with great clarity, it is more than a concise narrative of the development and decline of Buddhism in India. It is also a kind of compendium, with brief biographies of key historical figures, a gallery of images and reliefs reflecting the trajectories of Indian Buddhist sculpture, a useful glossary, and a suggestive bibliography."
—John C. Holt
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities in Religion and Asian Studies
Bowdoin College

"In an admirably succinct fashion, Jacob Kinnard traces the development of Buddhism in India during the first fifteen hundred years of its history there. In so doing, he sets the stage for the consideration of Buddhist traditions elsewhere. Always attuned to the social, economic, political, and religious contexts in which this development occurred, the author pays particular attention to the lifestory of the Buddha and to the evolution of his ongoing presence in his teachings, his relics, his images, and the pilgrimage sites associated with him. All of this is nicely complemented by brief biographies of prominent Buddhist historical figures and by a judicious selection of translations of Pali and Sanskrit texts. Clearly and engagingly written, this classroom-friendly volume will also be of interest to scholars of religion."
—John Strong
Charles A. Dana Professor of Asian Studies, Bates College
Author of The Experience of Buddhism and The Buddha