Founded in India 2,500 years ago, Buddhism remains the dominant world religion in the East and is becoming increasingly popular in the West. Over its long history, Buddhism has grown into a variety of forms, ranging from an emphasis on religious rituals and the worship of deities, to a complete rejection of both rituals and deities in favor of pure meditation. Yet all forms of Buddhism share respect for the teachings of the Buddha.
When it comes to Buddhism, many people have questions like: What does Buddhism teach about people and the universe? Do Buddhists believe in God? Are they atheists? What of a spiritual realm and an afterlife? What are Buddhism's values, traditions, and ethics? Who are its leaders and what are its followers like? What is Buddhism's history? And what are the symbols of Buddhism and what do they mean?
The table of contents below will direct you to various topics on the Buddhist religion, from beliefs to practices to important literature to symbols. (Note: Category headings go to the home page for that subject.)
Buddhist Beliefs, Practices, Symbols, and More
Most-Viewed Buddhism Pages
Get to know Buddhism with our one-page introduction
to its history, beliefs, practices and sects.
|Introductions to Buddhist rituals
such as mantras and meditation.
What are the basic beliefs of Buddhism?
Is Buddhism really atheistic?
What do Buddhists believe about the afterlife?
|A handy table of facts about Buddhism: adherents, locations, important dates, Four Noble Truths, etc.|
Get to know the differences between
the many different sects of Buddhism,
like Engaged Buddhism.
Also read about Zen Buddhism.
Also see this
Comparison chart of
Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism
|Feature articles on Buddhism and contemporary life, provided by the University of Chicago's
Department of Religion.
Guide to the early history of Buddhism, beginning with the life of the Buddha
Also the formation of the Sangha to its interaction with the Hellenistic world.
chronology of important events
in the history of Buddhism.
||Learn more about Buddhism with books in several categories hand-selected by ReligionFacts.|