Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought

6th Edition

Patrick S. Bresnan

Published September 5, 2017
Textbook - 544 Pages - 24 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138063952 - CAT# Y331962

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Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought engages students with lively anecdotes, essential primary and secondary sources, an accessible writing style, and a clear historical approach. The text focuses primarily on India, China, and Japan, while showing the relationships that exist between Eastern and Western traditions. Patrick Bresnan consistently links the past to the present, so students may see that Eastern traditions, however ancient their origins, are living traditions and relevant to modern times. Updates to the Sixth Edition include a new introduction as well as new approaches to problem areas throughout the text, but with special emphasis in Chapter 5 (Ashtanga Yoga), Chapter 10 (Basic Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha), Chapter 12(Mahayana Buddhism: Madhyamaka section) and Chapter 18 (Chan Buddhism: regarding the relationship of Chan Buddhism to Zen Buddhism). In addition, all references and source material have been brought up to date. The companion website includes two new videos and many new photos, produced by the author.

New to this Sixth Edition:

• A new introduction that provides a helpful overview of each of the nineteen chapters and important connections between them;

• An improved explanation of the nature of Vedanta philosophy, and a more logical organization of the Key Elements of the Upanishads in Chapter 3;

• An extensive rewrite of Chapter 5, which deals with the subject of Ashtanga Yoga as expressed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali;

• A greatly improved presentation of Buddha’s “Four Noble Truths” in Chapter 10;

• A total recasting of the teaching of Nagarjuna in the Madhyamaka section of Chapter 12;

• A clearer and easier to understand presentation of the teaching of the Dao De Jing in Chapter 14;

• A major revision of Chapter 18 so as to clearly distinguish Chinese Chan from Japanese Zen;

• Greater emphasis throughout, where pertinent, on the role of meditation practice in all Eastern traditions;

• Revised and updated Questions for Discussion at the end of each chapter;

• New photos and two newly produced videos prepared by the author for the book’s companion website:




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