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Buddhist Scriptures Paperback – July 30, 1959
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The strength of this book is that it keeps external commentaries to a minimum and lets the sutras and scriptures speak for themselves. Where Conze interposes is where the book is weakest, eg in his summary of the "Morality" passages where his own moral standards ultimately impinge on the translation.
Conze is also a good guide to some of the main scriptures and his selection covers a sufficiently wide enough array of topics to provide any reader with a good starting point for understanding Buddhist teachings.
What I found most invaluable was the introduction, which mapped out roughly the timeline of the past and future Buddhas. I have not seen this elsewhere, and here Conze does a good job of putting the historical Sakyamuni Buddha in perspective of the buddhas of the past, in particular Dipankara, and the next Buddha Maitreya.
The selections of the Past Lives and Birth Stories also gives a good overview to the historical Buddha Sakyamuni's past incarnations and his life story, which include many fantastical details which the Western writer has often obliterated in order to make the Buddha more believable to readers, at the expense of His true magnificence (sadly, even our Asian writeups on the Buddha Sakyamuni in English often sidestep the more supernatural aspects of the Buddha and in this way has led to much ignorance even amongst Asians of the greatness of the Buddha's powers).Read more ›
The "newer version" of this item IS NOT THE SAME BOOK AT ALL!
AMAZON claims that "There is a newer edition of this item:
Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Classics) Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Classics) 4.4 out of 5 stars (7)" - IT IS NOT!
That so-called "newer edition of this item" is a completely different collection based on different organizing principals. It is by Donald Lopez (Editor). It is a very worthy book - with excellent new translations placed in a rather useful but limited context - (it has a faint overtone of a a "fairy-tales collection" approach).
Conze's "Buddhist Scriptures" is intended to counterbalance the "philosophy" approach of his classic "Buddhist Texts through the Ages" with a presentation of "Buddhism as a religious life" approach. This "popular Buddhism angle" is the similarity of these 2 texts, one edited by Conze, the greatest translator of 'Perfection of Wisdom Texts' in our century, one edited by Dr. Lopez, a competent very well respected academic. The first half of his "The Heart Sutra Explained" (Suny Series in Buddhist Studies) was of especial interest to me because later commentaries in Tibet and China often present that text within there-own new context for those ideas.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good quality for the price, that being said I bought this for a class and am not studying it for actual religious reasons.Published 26 days ago by kassie
this also was purchased for another party but again it looks interesting, that's why I selected it.Published 10 months ago by mtn. theologian
This is by far my favorite book on the subject of Buddhism. This is one of a handful of books that just like a great music album, I can go from start to end with on a regular basis... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Sam
A concise collection of maxims that is missing context or any deep explanation. Turn to this book if you want to feel good without thinking too hard.Published 15 months ago by Iron56
Interesting and learned a lot from this book. Book was in nice condition. I enjoyed going through the pages and reading.Published on May 31, 2013 by Ezmerelda Harwood
This was my first, and still is my little favorite, for its selection, translation, erudition, and explanation. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by David A. Burack
This is a comment on the HARDCOVER version only, with the isbn of 0670028924, from Penguin Global in 2005. (Inside the book it says Penguin/Viking. Read morePublished on October 12, 2011 by Jarett
Conze's book has survived many years of use, and still seems to be a very helpful introduction to a massively complex subject: the canon of Buddhist Scriptures. Read morePublished on April 12, 2009 by Will Jerom