Monday, November 5, 2012

Beyond Buddhism by J. Isamu Yamamoto

book cover
Beyond Buddhism
by J. Isamu Yamamoto

ISBN-13: 978-0877849902
Hardcover: 141 pages
Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press
Released: 1982

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Back Cover:
Born between two worlds--the Buddhist faith of his grandfather and the Christian faith he came to embrace--J. Isamu Yamamoto reflects on the ancient religion of his ancestors. He begins with the life and times of the historical Buddha, discusses three major philosophies of Buddhism, and gives a brief history of the religion.

Then Yamamoto explains the schools of Buddhism, including Zen, which are significant to American society. Finally, he delineates the fundamental differences between Buddhism and Christianity, concluding with his own experiences in Japan. His reflections form an introduction to Buddhism and then point beyond to a faith which he believes satisfies the longing of the human heart.

My Review:
Beyond Buddhism is a book that introduces readers to the history of Buddhism and the basic beliefs of the many forms of Buddhism found over time and over the world. He then contrasts those beliefs to some foundational teachings of Christianity.

The author views Buddhism with respect because he saw that his Buddhist grandfather was a kind and gentle person. However, he pointed out several critical differences between the teachings of Buddhism and Christianity and explained why he choose Christianity.

The focus of this book is not really "how to argue a Buddhist into converting," but the author does educate the reader on what various Buddhists believe and the main differences between that and Christianity. It's an easy, quick read while still being very informative. I'd recommend it to any Christian how knows a Buddhist and who would like to better understand them.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Table of Contents:
1 Portrait of Grandfather

2 The Buddha
  Siddhartha Gautama
  The Historical Buddha
  The Dharma, The Teachings of the Buddha
  The Sangha, The Buddhist Monastic Order

3 Philosophies of Buddhism
  Theravada Buddhism
  Mahayana Buddhism
  Vajrayana Buddhism

4 The History of Buddhism

5 Contemporary Buddhism Movements
  Theravada Buddhism
  Chinese Buddhism
  Jodo Shinshu
  Nichiren Shoshu
  Tantric Buddhism
  Zen Buddhism

6 Jesus Christ
  A Question of Suffering
  Different Paths to Different Summits
  Beyond the Grave

7 Reflections in Japan

No comments: