Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online

Get access Subject: Asian Studies

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


(5,798 words)

Author(s): Jonathan A. Silk Leiden, August, 2015
Works sometimes considered to be “Buddhist Encyclopedias” have existed at least since the 7th century in China, compilations such as those of Daoshi (道世; 591?–683 ce), the Fayuan zhulin (法苑珠林; The Pearl Forest in the Dharma Park; T. 2122) and the Zhujing yaoji (諸經要集; Collection of Key Passages from Scripture; T. 2123; for both see Teiser, 1985). But the categorization of such texts as “encyclopedia” indicates something rather different than what we generally intend by the term in modern usage. In traditional China, as earlier in the Wes…