The Foundations of Buddhism Short Essay - Answer Key

Rupert Gethin
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1. According to the author, what does the term 'Buddhism' refer to?

According to the author, the term 'Buddhism' refers to a vast and complex philosophical tradition. This tradition spans over some 2,500 years and stretches from Persia to Japan to Mongolia to Russia.

2. What does the author say is the 'textbook' view of Buddhism?

The author says the 'textbook' view of Buddhism sees it divided into principally the Theraveda and Mahayana sects only. The traditional Mahayana was a reaction against the monasticism of Buddhism.

3. How does the author feel he acts as a spokesman for Buddhism?

The author feels he acts as a spokesman for Buddhism in order to articulate its principles. He also says that he comments on the critical and scholarly issues of the religion.

4. What are some of the features of Tibetan Buddhism?

Some of the features of Tibetan Buddhism indicate that it is broadly based on the Mahayana school of thought. Its more specific orientation is that of the 'Vehicle of the Diamond Thunder,' also known as Tantric Buddhism.

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