This is a really enjoyable series of books on Eastern
religions. The book on Buddhism originally caught my eye, because of
its nice design, brevity, and beautiful photos. Then recently I found
both of these. Reading them simultaneously was especially insightful.
Turns out Taoism and Confucianism are similar in some respects, but couldn't
be different in others. Both are central to Chinese history and modern
identity. But while Taoism (Tao = The Way) focuses on spiritual and metaphysical
issues, Confucianism is grounded and lays out plans for correct behavior,
especially in government. Taken together, they complement each other
and provide a moral basis for every aspect of life.
The books are nice and short and fairly readable. I
do think the chapter organization is a bit odd, as it seems to jump around
to different aspects of the religion, rather than a nice flowing order.
But each chapter has a good excerpt from their writings, which are all
nice. And the photos are gorgeous.
And I've just ordered the book on Shintoism from Amazon.