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.

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Hymns and Short Poetry: South Asia

(6,612 words)

Author(s): Jens-Uwe Hartmann
Traditional Indian terminology does not provide a collective word for hymns and short poetry. They are subsumed under the general category of kāvya, “ornate poetry.” Therefore a range has to be defined, and in the present article, short poetry is taken to comprise hymns ( stotra, stava, and stuti), letters ( lekha), religious talks or sermons ( parikathā), instructions ( nirdeśa), and songs ( gīti). Again, these terms establish no independent genres in Indian literary history, but their traditional Buddhist use allows subsuming a number of works characterize…