Religious studies buddhism suggested reading?

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emi.hopkins
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I'm starting AS/A level Religious studies in September at college, and at my college they study Buddhism for the course.

So I was wondering has anyone studied this? How did you find it? And If so are there any books or extra reading that you found interesting and useful?
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LouKayenta05
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Which exam board will you be using? I just did Edexcel AS religious studies and am continuing this year for A2, and we study Buddhism! It was my favourite half of our course (the only other unit we studied was ethics).

Damien Keown's 'Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction' is small - less than 200 pages - but really informative, and talks about the Buddha's life, teachings, and their application in the modern world. It's great to kick-start your learning.
I'll probably be revisiting it before I apply to uni (I'm going for theology and religion), so I definitely recommend it given how small yet detailed it is. There's a bunch of 'very short introductions' books by a whole range of authors, and I think you can find more specific ones like ones on Buddhist Ethics in particular if you want to read a little deeper into those areas. They're all on Amazon.

Another book I found in my sixth form's RS department and kept going back to was 'An Introduction to Buddhism' by Peter Harvey, which is more detailed than Keown's. I thought it was good for dipping into for certain topics, and it's written very well (nothing worse than a confusing or overwhelming book). We did a section on meditation and it was good for finding some more information and quotes to use in the essay questions we do, giving my answers more depth. The same goes for our other topics such as the Buddha's life or the monastic Sangha. I haven't read it cover to cover yet, but definitely plan to get my hands on it again this year.

The RS department at your college will probably have a bunch of stuff relevant to your course, so make use of it! Out of my class of 11 I think I was one of the very few who did. Even if you just find a specific chapter rather than reading a whole book, any wider reading will help in some way. You can always ask to borrow books for a while and quite often your teachers will say yes, which saves you some money on buying books too.
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emi.hopkins
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(Original post by LouKayenta05)
Which exam board will you be using? I just did Edexcel AS religious studies and am continuing this year for A2, and we study Buddhism! It was my favourite half of our course (the only other unit we studied was ethics).

Damien Keown's 'Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction' is small - less than 200 pages - but really informative, and talks about the Buddha's life, teachings, and their application in the modern world. It's great to kick-start your learning.
I'll probably be revisiting it before I apply to uni (I'm going for theology and religion), so I definitely recommend it given how small yet detailed it is. There's a bunch of 'very short introductions' books by a whole range of authors, and I think you can find more specific ones like ones on Buddhist Ethics in particular if you want to read a little deeper into those areas. They're all on Amazon.

Another book I found in my sixth form's RS department and kept going back to was 'An Introduction to Buddhism' by Peter Harvey, which is more detailed than Keown's. I thought it was good for dipping into for certain topics, and it's written very well (nothing worse than a confusing or overwhelming book). We did a section on meditation and it was good for finding some more information and quotes to use in the essay questions we do, giving my answers more depth. The same goes for our other topics such as the Buddha's life or the monastic Sangha. I haven't read it cover to cover yet, but definitely plan to get my hands on it again this year.

The RS department at your college will probably have a bunch of stuff relevant to your course, so make use of it! Out of my class of 11 I think I was one of the very few who did. Even if you just find a specific chapter rather than reading a whole book, any wider reading will help in some way. You can always ask to borrow books for a while and quite often your teachers will say yes, which saves you some money on buying books too.
Thank you so so much!!! This is so helpful, I'll definitely be checking these out!
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