Buddhism: its essence and development
"To a person who is thoroughly disillusioned with the contemporary world, and with himself, Buddhism may offer many points of attraction - in the transcending sublimity of the fairy land of its subtle thoughts, in the splendour of its works of art, in the magnificence of its hold over vast populations, and in the determined heroism and quiet refinement of those who are steeped into it. Although one may originally be attracted by its remoteness, one can appreciate the real value of Buddhism only when one judges it by the results it produces in one's own life from day to day." - Edward Conze
Today our disillusionment may be stronger than ever before. This timely new edition of a Buddhist classic reminds us that true happiness is not to be found in material comfort and earthly satisfaction but in the pursuit of a higher ideal.
Demonstrating throughout his heartfelt response to the fundamental wisdom of the Buddha, Edward Conze presents a readable introduction to the doctrines, methods, and literature that have developed within the many schools of Buddhism as a result of their different approaches to the goal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
About the author
Dr Edward Conze was born in 1904, in London, of mixed German, French and Dutch ancestry. He was educated at various German universities and developed a command of fourteen languages, including Sanskrit, by the age of 24. He strongly oppose the rise of Nazi ideology and consequently in some danger, he returned to England in 1933.
Eventually becoming disillusioned with politics he discovered Buddhism at the age of 35 and devoted the rest of his life to it. He wasn’t just a scholar in the academic sense; during the war he lived on his own in a caravan and practiced meditation and achieved some degree of success. Buddhism: its Essence and Development was first published in 1951. Over the next twenty years he was to translate over thirty texts comprising the Prajnaparamita Sutras, the fundamental scriptures of the Mahayana, including two of the most well known of all Buddhist texts, the Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra.
"Dr Conze was one of the great Buddhist translators, comparable with the indefatigable Chinese translators Kumarajiva and Hsuan-tsang. He was a forerunner of a whole new breed of Western scholars in Buddhism who are actually practising Buddhists." - Sangharakshita
About the Author
1 Common Ground
2 Monastic Buddhism
3 Popular Buddhism
4 The Old Wisdom School
5 The Mahayana and the New Wisdom School
6 The Buddhism of Faith and Devotion
7 The Yogacara
8 The Tantra, or Magical Buddhism
9 Non-Indian Developments
Tables of Dates