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Historical Buddha: The Times, Life and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism (Buddhist Tradition S.) (English and German Edition) Hardcover – January 8, 2004


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Historical Buddha: The Times, Life and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism (Buddhist Tradition S.) (English and German Edition) + The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Canon
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Product Details

  • Series: Buddhist Tradition
  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass; New edition edition (January 8, 2004)
  • Language: English, German
  • ISBN-10: 8120818172
  • ISBN-13: 978-8120818170
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''written in a simple language that makes it easy for even a lay reader to comprehend, the author relies heavily on the Pali canon, the book with its illustrations is a biography examining the social, religious and political conditions that gave rise to Buddhism.'' --The Afternoon, Mumbai

''...a splendid contribution on the scholarship about Gautama Buddha using various Buddhist and non Buddhsit sources.....a book which should be a must for every student of Buddhsim....Schumann has produced a remarkable biography of the Buddha. There is much to learn from it.'' -- --Hsi Lai Journal of Humanistic Buddhism Vol: 6, 2005

''...a splendid contribution on the scholarship about Gautama Buddha using various Buddhist and non Buddhsit sources.....a book which should be a must for every student of Buddhsim....Schumann has produced a remarkable biography of the Buddha. There is much to learn from it.'' -- --Hsi Lai Journal of Humanistic Buddhism Vol: 6, 2005

''...a splendid contribution on the scholarship about Gautama Buddha using various Buddhist and non Buddhsit sources.....a book which should be a must for every student of Buddhsim....Schumann has produced a remarkable biography of the Buddha. There is much to learn from it.'' -- --Hsi Lai Journal of Humanistic Buddhism Vol: 6, 2005

''...a splendid contribution on the scholarship about Gautama Buddha using various Buddhist and non Buddhsit sources.....a book which should be a must for every student of Buddhsim....Schumann has produced a remarkable biography of the Buddha. There is much to learn from it.'' ----Hsi Lai Journal of Humanistic Buddhism Vol: 6, 2005

About the Author

H.W.Schumann studied Indology, comparative religions and social anthropology at Bonn University and earned his Ph.D. degree for a thesis on Buddhist philosophy. He lectured at the Hindu University in Benaras, India, joined the Foreign services of the Federal Republic of Germany and served in consular and diplomatic capacities at the West German missions in Kolkata, Rangoon, Chicago and Colombo. He was in charge of the India desk at the German Foreign Office and retired as the Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. currie on December 14, 2007
Excellent, historical, anthropological, sociological analysis of the Buddha & his times. Won't necessarily find out what Buddhism is with this book & you won't find out much about meditation. But you will have a better feel for what that time period was like. The author uses careful textual deconstruction & analysis of the Pali Canon to draw a picture. This work is very similar to the Jesus Seminar scholars. If you like that work you'll like this. This book is a classic!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Creb on January 16, 2011
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H. W. Shumann, in his book The Historical Buddha, provides an excellent summary of information regarding the Buddha's life and teachings as contained in the Pali Cannon. As such, it represents a significant contribution to the literature pertaining to the history of Buddhism. The purpose of this review is to inject a measure of historical realism regarding the depiction of the Buddha presented by Schumann and what is actually known about Siddhattha Gotama (hereafter, the Buddha).

It is inevitable that comparisons will be made between the work of Schumann and those who study the historical Jesus. Both figures left no writings of their own and what we know, or think we know, about them is based on the writings of their followers. In the case of Jesus, these writings (the four gospels) were written approximately forty (the gospel of Mark) to sixty (the gospel of John) years after his death. One of the criteria for historical validity established by John Dominick Crossan is the temporal proximity of when a gospel was written to the time of the events it purports to describe. Regarding the gospels, Mark contains some of the earliest information while John has very little information of historical value.

When one compares the texts that come to us from both Jesus and Buddha, we are immediately struck with differences in the scales of time. Whereas the texts related to Jesus were written 40 - 60 years after his death, the Pali Cannon was first written approximately 450 years after the death of the Buddha and some 500 years after his first sermon. As difficult as it is to view as valid an oral tradition that lasted decades prior to writing, it is much more difficult to attribute historical credibility when this gap expands to almost five centuries.
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By Lu Thang on December 22, 2014
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Very googd
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