Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online

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Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism is the first comprehensive academic reference work devoted to the plurality of Buddhist traditions across Asia, offering readers a balanced and detailed treatment of this complex phenomenon in six thematically arranged volumes: literature and languages (I, publ. 2015), lives (II, publ. 2019), thought (III, forthcoming 2022), history (IV, forthcoming 2023), life and practice (V, forthcoming 2025), index and remaining issues (VI, forthcoming 2026).

Each volume contains substantial original essays by many of the world’s foremost scholars, essays which not only cover basic information and well-known issues but which also venture into areas as yet untouched by modern scholarship. An essential tool for anyone interested in Buddhism.
An online resource will provide easy access to the encyclopedia’s ever-growing corpus of information.

The online edition of volume 2 (Lives, publ. 2019) will be added in (mid-)2021, with further volumes following after their original publication in print.
Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism is under the general editorial control of Jonathan Silk (Leiden University, editor-in-chief), Richard Bowring (University of Cambridge) and Vincent Eltschinger (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris). In addition, each volume has a dedicated board of specialist editors.

More information: Brill.com

Commentary: Overview

(6,785 words)

Author(s): Stefan Baums
The writing of commentaries has been and continues to be one of the fundamental literary activities of Buddhists everywhere. For more than two thousand years, going back to the earliest days of the tradition, commentaries have been used to learn and teach the words of the Buddha, to transmit their form and content faithfully, and to systematize and develop Buddhist doctrine.A commentary can be defined as a sustained textual mediation of the meaning and form of a culturally significant root text, or more simply the “continuous explication of text” (Guthmü…


(14,268 words)

Acri, Andrea, (PhD Leiden University, 2011) is Maître de conférences/Assistant Professor in Tantric Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, since 2016. Prior to that he has held research and teaching positions in India, Singapore, Australia, and the Netherlands. His work focuses on Śaiva and Buddhist Tantric traditions in South and Southeast Asia, as illuminated by Sanskrit and Old Javanese texts. Besides several articles in academic journals, his publications include the monograph Dharma Pātañjala (2011; 2nd edition 2017), and the edited volumes From Laṅkā East…