The Foundations of Buddhism - Introduction Summary & Analysis

Rupert Gethin
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Introduction Summary and Analysis

"Buddhism" picks out a large number of sub-religions and a long religious and philosophical tradition that is two and a half millennia old. It has included at various points the largest parts of Asia, Afghanistan, parts of Persia to Japan, to Sumatra and Java and Mongolia and Russia. Half of the world's population lives in places where Buddhism was, at least at some point, the dominant religious influence.

Today Buddhism can be divided into three traditions. First, there is the Theravada tradition of Sri Lanka and South-East Asia, or "Southern" Buddhism. It is conservative and it closest in doctrine and practice to the ancient Buddhism in BCE India. It is followed by over 100 million in Sri Lank, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Second, there is Mahayana Buddhism or "Eastern Buddhism," the tradition found in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. It originated...

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This section contains 385 words
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