Buddhism for Buddhists
November 28, 2017 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Looking for easy to read but scholarly books or articles on Buddhism and Buddhist theory.

I have been a practicing Buddhist for a good number of years, in the Mahayana tradition. I'm interested in reading more perspective from other Buddhist schools, like Theravada - what they emphasize, what are the main practices, differences between schools, key figures etc. What books or articles could I read?

Not looking for self help or how-to like Pema Chodron / Thich Nhat Hanh / Jack Kornfield, but easy to read scholarly articles. Also interested in different takes in what the enlightenment state is in each tradition. Historical information / historical figures, key texts, relationship to Hinduism and lots of Sanskrit terms and definitions is helpful too! Basically looking to expand and deepen my understanding of Buddhism as a whole. Thanks everyone!❤️
posted by St. Peepsburg to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Jay Garfield's books, notably The Fundamental Wisdom Of The Middle Way, are fantastic.

Bernard Faure's books on Chan/Zen practices are also very engaging; I can recommend Chan Insights and Oversights and The Rhetoric of Immediacy.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 11:39 AM on November 28, 2017

An oldie but goody: Buddhism: Its Essence and Development, by Edward Conze.
posted by Chitownfats at 12:26 PM on November 28, 2017

Matthieu Ricard, The Monk and the Philosopher.

On Vajrayana buddhism: The Myth of Freedom or Cutting through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa.
posted by nanook at 1:09 PM on November 28, 2017

Try Essays in Zen Buddhism by DT Suzuki. DT Suzuki published articles in a scholarly journal called The Eastern Buddhist. The book itself is very academic and he has a number of theories on things (including satori) which he backs up with evidence.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 6:09 AM on November 29, 2017

Anything by Walpola Rahula.
posted by Amy NM at 7:08 AM on November 29, 2017

Seconding Walpola Rahula. Read some of his stuff in foundational teachings classes and it's great stuff, absolutely what you are looking for.

Have you read also The Buddha and His Dharma or other books by B. R. Ambedkar?

Also Theravada is as broad and deep a subject as Mahayana Buddhism, so refining your question to particular places and times might also help dredge up some stuff. Good luck!
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 12:23 PM on November 29, 2017

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