Theology: Overview of Buddhism

Good Essays
Introduction Buddhism is a world religion based on the teachings of Buddha, who was born Siddhartha Gautama in Nepal around 563 B.C.E. and lived in Nepal and India. Siddhartha was a privileged man who withdrew from the world, learned and meditated, and achieved the Enlightenment that made him Buddha. Buddhism has undergone schisms and evolutions but has some core beliefs such as Nirvana, Anatta and Dependent Arising. In addition, the Buddha's teaching centered on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to end the cycle of suffering and achieve Enlightenment and Nirvana. Body What is Buddhism? Buddhism is a world religion based on the teachings of the "Buddha," which means "The Enlightened One" or "The Awakened One" (Smith and Novak 4). Buddhism is usually associated with India and Nepal, though it has spread worldwide (Powers 12). It is difficult to trace all Buddhist beliefs back to their original sources because nothing was written about the religion until nearly 150 years after it began (Smith and Novak 50). As Buddhism evolved, its believers split into different factions, for example: Theravadinism, which believes that the Buddha was a great sage but stopped influence the world when he died/entered nirvana (Smith and Novak 68-9); and Mahayanism, which believes that the Buddha is a savior of the world who keeps drawing people to himself even now (Smith and Novak 70). Furthermore, as Buddhism spread, it evolved into different types of Buddhism, such as Vajrayana,
Get Access