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

Gavampati in Southeast Asia

(3,343 words)

Author(s): François Lagirarde
Gavampati, Kaccāyana, and the “Fat Monk” Gavampati is a multifaceted figure, of central importance in Southeast Asia. Originally one of the Buddha’s disciples, his role expands far beyond this, and his visual depictions find a prominent place in the art of the region, especially in the form of the “Fat Monk.” No matter whether one focuses on his history from the perspective of archaeology or the Buddhist textual sources of the Theravāda countries of Southeast Asia, or from ethnography, one must consid…

General Abbreviations

(149 words)

  app. appendix approx. approximately Bact. Bactrian BE1 Buddhist Era BE2 Burmese Era BE3 Thai Buddhist Era Bur. Burmese c. circa cent./cents. century/centuries Chn. Chinese comp. compare dem. demonstrative e.g. for example esp. especially ET English translation etc. etcetera exp. ed. expanded edition ext. extended f./ff. following fasc. fascicle(s) fl. floruit fol./fols. folio(s) Gandh. Gandhari Grk. Greek GT German translation i.e. that is Ita. Italian Jpn. Japanese Khot. Khotanese Kor. Korean l./ll. line/lines lit. literally Mid. Pers. Middle Persian Mong. Mongolian ms./m…

General Abbreviations

(145 words)

app. appendix approx. approximately Bact. Bactrian Bur. Burmese c. circa cent./cents. century/centuries Chn. Chinese comp. compare CUL Cambridge University Library dem. demonstrative d.u. date unknown e.g. for example esp. especially ET English translation etc. etcetera exp. ed. expanded edition ext. extended f./ff. following fasc. fascicle(s) fl. floruit fol./fols. folio(s) Gandh. Gandhari Grk. Greek GT German translation h. here i.e. that is Ita. Italian Jpn. Japanese Khot. Khotanese Kor. Korean Kych Kychanov l./ll. line/lines lit. literally MIA Middle Indo-Aryan Mid. P…

Genshin

(3,169 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Robert F.
Genshin (源信; 942–1017), also known as Eshin sōzu (慧心僧都, Bishop of the Eshin Cloister), was a Japanese Tendai monk of the Heian period. He is most famous as the author of the Ōjōyōshū (往 生要集; Collection of Essentials for Pure Land Birth, T. 2682), a seminal text in the development of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. Because of the tremendous impact of the Ōjōyōshū, most studies on Genshin highlight this aspect of his writings (Andrews, 1973), but Japanese studies (Hayami, 1988; Obara, 2006) have shown that he was not only a devout Pure Land practitioner but also…

Ge sar of Gling

(4,608 words)

Author(s): FitzHerbert, S.G.
Gling Ge sar (Mong. Geser Qagan) is the hero of an elaborate epic cycle maintained through oral and (to a lesser extent) literary tradition across the Tibetan and Mongolic cultural regions. It is typically performed solo in chantefable style without musical accompaniment, with third person narration interspersed by songs sung in the first person as the narrator takes on the role of the various characters (whether good and bad, human, animal and spirit) in turn. Although the Buddhist orientation of this epic – particularly evident in its eastern Tibetan manifestations –…