One of the world's great religious traditions, Buddhism has become an increasingly potent spiritual force in the West, having attracted thousands of followers. This concise introduction provides an accessible and lavishly illustrated account of the key themes of the Buddhist faith - the life of the Buddha, spiritual and ethical teachings, ritual and ceremony, art and architecture, sacred writings, karma, meditation and enlightenment, death and the afterlife. It traces the course of Buddhism, from its origins in ancient India to its place in Western society today, providing a unique distillation of this richly varied tradition - a marvellous introduction for all those who wish to move one step closer to the spirit of the Buddha.
Malcolm David Eckel is Associate Professor of Religion and Director of the Core Curriculum at Boston University. He has lectured widely and contributed many articles to scholarly journals, and is the author of To See the Buddha: A Philosopher's Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness and Bhaviveka and His Buddhist Opponents.