Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online

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Since publication of the first volume, in 2015, Brill's steadily growing Encyclopedia of Buddhism has been widely acclaimed as the long-awaited authoritative, reliable, and up-to-date reference work.

Illustrated with maps and photographs, and supplemented with extensive online resources, the print version of the thematic encyclopedia presents the latest research on the main aspects of the Buddhist traditions in original essays, all written by the world’s foremost scholars. 

Ultimately consisting of six volumes, the Encyclopedia presents a balanced and even-handed view of the Buddhist traditions across Asia, offering the most reliable up-to-date accounts of well-known issues. At the same time it fills many gaps in heretofore-neglected areas. Contributions emphasize time and again that Buddhism is simultaneously constituted by a plurality of regional traditions, as well as a far-reaching phenomenon spanning almost all of Asia, and, more recently, far beyond.

The 1000-page first volume (Literature and Languages, publ. 2015)  is available online now.

The online edition of volume 2 (Lives, publ. 2019) will be added in 2021, with further volumes following after their original publication in print.

More information: Brill.com

Early Scripture Commentary

(6,248 words)

Author(s): Oskar von Hinüber
A complete set of commentaries and subcommentaries on the Theravāda Tipiṭaka is preserved in the original language (Pali). This commentarial tradition begins with texts embedded in the Tipiṭaka and ends in late subcommentaries written during the 19th century. Theravāda commentaries are listed together with the basic text (Tipiṭaka) in H. Smith (1948). Commentaries of other schools usually survive only as translations, with the exception of important fragments of very early commentaries in Gandhari.It is impossible to date the first Theravāda commentaries. However, i…