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Buddhism and the Coronavirus

The Buddha’s Teaching on Suffering     

Jeaneane Fowler was formerly Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Newport, and later an Honorary Research fellow. Her publications include Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices (Choice Outstanding Title, 1997; revised and enlarged to two volumes in 2019), and in the same series, Humanism, Chinese Religions, T'ai Chi Ch'üan, Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism in Wales; and books on the Philosophy of Hinduism, the Philosophy of Taosim, The Bhagavad Gita, and Causality.

In The Sussex Library of Religious Beliefs & Practices

In the fifth century BCE, Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, put forward Four Noble Truths for the benefit of humankind. His teaching, the Dhamma, has remained central to so much Buddhist practice, and is unique among religions in that it speaks primarily to the presence and nature of suffering in the world. That makes the Dhamma so relevant to the suffering caused by the present pandemic of coronavirus. In just a few months, coronavirus has changed the way of life for the world, for the East and the West, for young and old, for the previously healthy and for those with medical issues. We are all affected – if not from succumbing to the virus one's self, then to witnessing the distress of the wider world. The core Truths


• The Truth of suffering
• The Truth of the cause of suffering
• The Truth of the cessation of suffering
• The Truth of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering

have remained the same for millennia, and now have a deeply necessary role to play in the contemporary world. The author links the Four Noble Truths with the coronavirus experience; explains the way suffering is embedded in the notions of self and the characteristics of existence; and sets out the Brahma-vihara: the four virtues of universal love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-068-2
Paperback Price: £18.95 / $27.95
Release Date: February 2021 
Page Extent / Format: 224pp. 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: No


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