The Dhammapada, the Pali version of one of the most popular texts of the Buddhist canon, ranks among the classics of the world's great religious literature. Like all religious texts in Pali, the Dhammapada belongs to the Therevada school of the Buddhist tradition, adherents of which are now found primarily in Kampuchea, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Dhammapada, or 'sayings of the dhamma', is taken to be a collection of the utterances of the Buddha himself.
Taken together, the verses form a key body of teaching within Buddhism, a guiding voice along the struggle-laden path towards true enlightenment, or Nirvana. However, the appeal ofthese epithets of wisdom extends beyond its religious heritage to a general and universal spirituality. This edition provides an introduction and notes which examine the impact that the text has had within the Buddhist heritage through the centuries.
Hinduism is practised by nearly eighty per cent of India's population, and by some seventy million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott offers a succinct and authoritative overview of this major religion, and analyses the challenges facing it in the twenty-first century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of Brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in thetransmission of divine truths, and the cultural and moral importance of epics such as the Ramayana.
In this second edition Knott considers the impact of changes in technology and the flourishing of social media on Hinduism, and looks at the presence of Hinduism in popular culture, considering pieces such as Sita Sings the Blues. She also analyses recent developments in India, and the impact issues such as Hindu nationalism and the politicization of Hinduism have on Hindus worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.
These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Koran is a book apart, not only as Holy Scripture for Muslims, but as the supreme classic of Arabic literature. In its 114 Suras, or chapters, it comprises the total of revelations believed to have been communicated to the prophet Muhammad as a final expression of God's will and purpose for man. The revelations were received over a number of years, the first dating from AD 610, the last shortly before Muhammad's death in AD 632, and the definitive canon wasestablished some twenty years later.
The Koran is neither prose nor poetry but a unique fusion of both. In his attempt to convey the sublime rhetoric of the original, Professor Arberry has carefully studied the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from the message itself - serve to explainthe Koran's undeniable claim to rank among the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe.
Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Plants have profoundly moulded the Earth's climate and the evolutionary trajectory of life. Far from being 'silent witnesses to the passage of time', plants are dynamic components of our world, shaping the environment throughout history as much as that environment has shaped them. In The Emerald Planet, David Beerling puts plants centre stage, revealing the crucial role they have played in driving global changes in the environment, in recording hidden facets of Earth's history, and in helping us to predict its future.
His account draws together evidence from fossil plants, from experiments with their living counterparts, and from computer models of the 'Earth System', to illuminate the history of our planet and its biodiversity. This new approach reveals howplummeting carbon dioxide levels removed a barrier to the evolution of the leaf; how plants played a starring role in pushing oxygen levels upwards, allowing spectacular giant insects to thrive in the Carboniferous; and it strengthens fascinating and contentious fossil evidence for an ancient hole in the ozonelayer. Along the way, Beerling introduces a lively cast of pioneering scientists from Victorian times onwards whose discoveries provided the crucial background to these and the other puzzles.
This understanding of our planet's past sheds a sobering light on our own climate-changing activities, and offers clues to what our climatic and ecological futures might look like. There could be no more important time to take a close look at plants, and to understand the history of the world through the stories they tell. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
An engrossing and definitive narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions, The Hindus elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account: many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated even within a century; its central tenets karma, dharma, to name just two arise at particular moments in Indian history and differ in each era, between genders, and caste to caste; and what is shared among Hindus is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the things that are unique to one group or another. Yet the greatness of Hinduism - its vitality, its earthiness, its vividness- lies precisely in many of those idiosyncratic qualities that continue to inspire debate today.
Wendy Doniger is one of the foremost scholars of Hinduism in the world. With her inimitable insight and expertise Doniger illuminates those moments within the tradition that resist forces that would standardize or establish a canon. Without reversing or misrepresenting the historical hierarchies, she reveals how Sanskrit and vernacular sources are rich in knowledge of and compassion toward women and lower castes; how they debate tensions surrounding religion, violence, and tolerance; and howanimals are the key to important shifts in attitudes toward different social classes.
The Hindus brings a fascinating multiplicity of actors and stories to the stage to show how brilliant and creative thinkers - many of them far removed from Brahmin authors of Sanskrit texts - have kept Hinduism alive in ways that other scholars have not fully explored. In this unique and authoritative account, debates about Hindu traditions become platforms from which to consider the ironies, and overlooked epiphanies, of history.
The Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be the word of God, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago. Recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, the sacred text has nevertheless remained difficult to understand in its English translations. First published in 2004, M.A.S.
Abdel Haleem's translation has been acclaimed for its success in avoiding archaism and cryptic language to produce a version that is both faithful to the original and easy toread. Now for the first time it is published with the original Arabic text to give a greater appreciation and understanding of the holy book. The traditional Arabic calligraphic pages are displayed alongside the English translation, which has been revised for this new edition.
A useful generalintroduction on the revelation, stylistic features, issues of interpretation and translation of the Qur'an is included, together with summaries of each sura, essential footnotes and an index. The verses are individually numbered to facilitate comparison with the Arabic. It is an edition both for those familiar with the Qur'an and for those coming to it for the first time; the message of the Qur'an was directly addressed to all people regardless of class, gender, or age, and this dual-languageedition is equally accessible to everyone.