Today, Buddhism is often presented as a religion without dogmas and commandments, without God, and without any need to believe, tolerating all and everything, as no religion at all, but as a way of life most suitable to the needs of post-modern Westerners. But is this an accurate image? In this book, Buddhism is introduced as a genuine religion, gentle and powerful, being as demanding as it is consoling. Buddhism is certainly not a theistic faith, but neither is it a form of atheism or materialism. Rather it is a challenge to both: a rich source of metaphysical, ethical, and spiritual insight that has shaped and nourished countless generations of followers all over Asia and that is now taking firm roots in the West. As with all titles in the Understanding Faiths series, Understanding Buddhism is directed at serious inquirers or students of comparative religion who are seeking a sympathetic, scholarly, and reliable introduction.
Perry Schmidt-Leukel is Professor of Systematic Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow