Gr 7-10-Ries surveys the basic beliefs of Buddhism, its origin in India with Gautama, and its split into Hinayana and Mahayana forms. He then goes on to explain the various manners in which the religion has changed in different locales and times. The author looks at the spread of Buddhism out of India and into such countries as China, Tibet, and Japan where important new strains developed. He points out how it often combined with local traditions and beliefs, thus allowing for the creation of Tibetan Buddhism, exemplified for most Westerners by the Dalai Lama, as well as such Chinese forms as Ch'an, which melds meditative Buddhism with Taoism, and the more devotional Pure Land Buddhism. Japanese forms like Zen, an outgrowth of Ch'an, and Ryobushinto, in which Japan's native Neolithic religion and Buddhism come together, are also detailed. It is this emphasis on the diffusion, involving trade routes, and on growth that sets this volume apart from others on the topic, along with its sizable glossary. Even though the short text is well illustrated, with plenty of full-color photographs, reproductions, and maps, its concepts are often complex and challenging even for sophisticated readers. A useful title for students who are ready to advance beyond the basics.-Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.