Understanding Eastern Philosophy provides an accessible critical introduction to how some of the key philosophies of the East compare with those in the West. Starting from a discussion of the problems of distinguishing between religions and philosophies, Ray Billington presents a clear picture of the key tenets behind Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism and Confucianism.
Moving on to compare the key themes of religious philosophy that cut across East and West, such as a belief in God, the soul, moral decision-making, nature and authority, Understanding Eastern Philosophy presents a fascinating and controversial picture of the contribution theistic religions have to make. With its belief in a personal God bestowing a particular version of 'truth', Ray Billington concludes that the universal mysticism characteristic of Eastern thought provides a more realistic and rewarding path than is commonly supposed in the West.
Understanding Eastern Philosophy assumes no prior knowledge of religion or philosophy.

chapter 1|8 pages

Eastern philosophy or Eastern religion?

chapter 2|10 pages

The concept of God

chapter 3|12 pages

Hinduism I: Its scriptures and systems

chapter 4|12 pages

Hinduism II: Its basic teaching

chapter 5|8 pages

The heterodox systems I

chapter 9|12 pages

Chinese philosophy I: Taoism

chapter 10|10 pages

Later developments in Taoism


chapter 11|11 pages

Chinese philosophy II: The Yin–Yang School


chapter 12|16 pages

Chinese philosophy III: Confucianism

chapter 15|10 pages

Ethics and human behaviour

chapter 16|8 pages

Nature and community

chapter 17|9 pages

Authority and faith

chapter 18|10 pages

Coexistence of coinherence?