Revising his 1996 illustrated primer, Asma (The Gods Drink Whiskey) explores the key tenets of Buddhism in the style of a graphic novel. A sparse text punctuated by extensive illustrations—some cartoonlike and others more serious and detailed—describes Siddhartha Gautamas enlightenment, what the Buddha taught and how Buddhism developed as the Buddhas followers encountered various Asian cultures. Asma, a professor of philosophy at Chicagos Columbia College, argues that Buddhist ideas are deeply misunderstood in the West, and he distinguishes these from Buddhist culture. Placing Buddhism in the context of Hindu philosophy, Asma explores the four noble truths, the eightfold path, the five aggregates, the concept of no-self and other ideas critical to this Asian religion. He liberally references specific Hindu and Buddhist scriptures and tackles such tricky subjects as how reincarnation can occur if an immortal self doesnt exist. Asma also briefly touches on the role of women as Buddhism developed. His take on which current forms hold closest to the Buddhas teachings may provoke disagreement from some practitioners. This brief, irreverent tour of Buddhism and the sometimes humorous, sometimes grotesque, illustrations wont be to all tastes; the book includes adult images. (Jan.)Â
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Stephen T. Asma is a professor of philosophy at Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of several books, including The Gods Drink Whiskey and Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Having read extensively on both Buddhism and Hinduism over the last five years, I had some interest in the promise this book offered on an examination of "philosophical... Read morePublished 7 months ago by John
I did not enjoy the smug dismissal of Jesus, the belief in a personal soul, etc., as found in this comic book. If Mr. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bran Dubh
This book was very readable, making it a fun and enjoyable introduction to Buddhism. I would recommend it to anyone that want to approach the topic in a light easy manner.Published 19 months ago by Rebecca Flowers
I found the book very complicated although I have been learning about Buddahism for a while. I am glad I had read other things first but still didn't help.Published on June 30, 2013 by Michael D. Stevens
I only read half of this - the author is way too full of himself. Talk about ego. I've been reading a lot about Buddhism for the last several years and am put off by this kind of... Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Alice Folkart
This item arrived on time and it was just as described! Highly recommended and great to do business with! Thanks.Published on February 16, 2013 by doodlebug