Trevor Ling helped pioneer the comparative study of religion in Britain. This book deals with the Buddha’s religious and political context, his core message, the cultures and economies in which his message took root, the social structure of sangha, and the spread of Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka.
The book was originally published in 1973 by Charles Scrivner’s Sons with the title The Buddha: Buddhist Civilization in India and Ceylon. It was re-issued on its fortieth anniversary by Pariyatti with a more attention-catching subtitle and a new introduction. Paul R. Fleischman’s introduction seeks to contextualize Ling’s contribution, which he argues continues to be strongly relevant.