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Breaking the circle : death and the afterlife in Buddhism

Author: Carl B Becker
Publisher: Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In this much-needed examination of Buddhist views of death and the afterlife, Carl B. Becker bridges the gap between books on death in the West and books on Buddhism in the East. Other Western writers have dealt with the mysteries surrounding death and the afterlife, but none have approached the topic from a Buddhist perspective. Here, Becker addresses questions that have troubled scholars since the beginning of  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Becker, Carl B., 1951-
Breaking the circle.
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, ©1993
(OCoLC)988861907
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Carl B Becker
ISBN: 0809318458 9780809318452 0809319322 9780809319329
OCLC Number: 27145877
Description: x, 194 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Rebirth in early Buddhism --
The Nirvana alternative --
The afterlife in Pure Land Buddhism --
Finding the Pure Land oneself --
Tibetan Buddhism and the Book of the dead --
Models for survival --
Buddhist ethics of death and dying.
Responsibility: Carl B. Becker.
More information:

Abstract:

"In this much-needed examination of Buddhist views of death and the afterlife, Carl B. Becker bridges the gap between books on death in the West and books on Buddhism in the East. Other Western writers have dealt with the mysteries surrounding death and the afterlife, but none have approached the topic from a Buddhist perspective. Here, Becker addresses questions that have troubled scholars since the beginning of Buddhism: How can Buddhism reconcile its belief in karma and rebirth with its denial of a permanent soul? What is reborn? And when, exactly, is the moment of death?"--BOOK JACKET. "By systematically tracing Buddhism's migration from India through China, Japan, and Tibet, Becker demonstrates how culture and environment have affected Buddhist religious tradition. For example, the Chinese changed the Buddhist emphasis from cyclical rebirth to a single rebirth in a heavenly realm. The strength of Japanese traditions of this-worldliness, family life, and seafood also came to replace the Buddhist concerns for asceticism, celibacy, and vegetarianism."--BOOK JACKET. "Becker uses metaphors and examples to illuminate obscure ideas. In defense of the reincarnation hypothesis, for instance, he cites the example of an Indian girl who remembered things that could only have been known by an old man she claimed to have been in a previous existence. She also exhibited language and other skills possessed by the old man that she had not acquired in her present lifetime."--BOOK JACKET. "In addition to discussing historical Buddhism, Becker shows how Buddhism solves controversial current issues as well. In the face of modern medicine's trend toward depersonalization, traditional Buddhist practices imbue the dying process with respect and dignity. At the same time, Buddhist tradition offers documented precedents for decision making in cases of suicide and euthanasia."--BOOK JACKET. "Translations of sacred terms accompany Becker's clear presentations of complicated Buddhist concepts. His exhaustive bibliography includes classical Buddhist texts and works by leading Buddhist scholars, both Eastern and Western."--BOOK JACKET.

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