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An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics : Foundations, Values and Issues

by Peter Harvey

Buy the book: Peter Harvey. An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics : Foundations, Values and Issues

Release Date: June, 2000

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Peter Harvey. An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics : Foundations, Values and Issues

Excellent intro to Buddhist Ethics, a rare standard.

Peter Harvey, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Sunderland, has a lot of experience in the field of Buddhist Studies and it shows. Starting with the 'Shared Foundations of Buddhist Ethics', he goes on with key 'Buddhist Values.' Then he covers the 'Mahayana emphases and adaptations,' after which he deals with the practicalities of Buddhist ethics: the Natural world, economic ethics, war and peace, suicide and euthanasia, abortion and contraception, sexual equality, and homosexuality and other forms of 'queerness.' It is amazing how he managed to gather so much information on this area, not to mention his impressing knowledge of the texts of most traditions. This sometimes leads to too many traditions cited per chapter, making it hard for the reader to distinguish between them (unless, of course, you are familar with the sources cited.) It can be used most fruitfully when critically taught.

From Amazon.com

A good introduction... though it has its faults....

This is a really good introduction for people who a) are knowledgable about Western ethical theories and want to see things from a different perspective of b) people getting into Buddhism who want a good general introduction into what people have thought about what people have thought that Siddhartha Gotama thought and taught. This book is divided into sections first which illustrate bases of Buddhist ethical practices and then how these practices have effected different issue-areas (the environment, homosexuality, etc.) Thus far, this is a remarkable book.... I like it a lot....

The problems that I have with this book are but a few. First, in the first chapter outlining bases for Buddhist ethics, the author cites a few suttras almost exclusively when others could make the points that he is trying to make better. (Don't worry, reader-- I'm not going to belabor this point....) The Asokavedanta (Life story of Asoka, the, I believe, second to last Mauryan Emporer in India) which is revered in Sri Lanka being foremost of these those I thought of off the top of my head... Another is that he occasionally cites Western sources when the primary texts would do.... These little thinks irked me, but I suppose that the author had a reason for them, and they don't really detract from the strength of the whole of the book....

As to the last reviewer saying that this book provides a good insight into non-theistic ethics... I'm not so sure about that. Off the top of my head, I can think of no titles.... but this book deals with Buddhist ethics... which is a broad enough field.... and not EXACTLY non-theistic (although generally so...)

I'd recommend this book to about anyone though especially to the two groups of people I mentioned at the opening of this review....

From Amazon.com

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