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Buddhism presented with renewed relevance for 21st century audience




Today, Buddhism is one of the major world religions, with approximately 500 million followers worldwide. Beginning with Buddha’s Enlightenment in north India in the 5th century, Buddhism was adopted across Asia through the three large schools of Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana. Buddhism is well known and widely practised in the West today.


Buddhism accompanied an exhibition of the largest ever display of the British Library’s Buddhist treasures, and follows the key concepts of the exhibition in four main chapters: the life of the historical Buddha, Buddhist philosophy, the spread of Buddhism and Buddhist practice. The chapters are interspersed with short entries explaining the significance of specific items.


Scrolls, manuscripts and printed books are highlighted in the publication, while the idea of the ‘Middle Path’ - promoting mindfulness, compassion, tolerance and non-violence - is presented with a renewed relevance for a 21st-century audience.


Buddhism: Origins, Traditions and Contemporary Life

J. Igunma & S. San May (eds)

Published by: British Library Published: October 2019 Price: £26.00