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


(1,919 words)

Author(s): Brian Ruppert
Research on the life of the Shingon monk Raiyu (頼 瑜; 1226–1304) has made great strides in the past two decades. Two collections of scholarly essays have been devoted specifically to this figure (Chisan Denbō’in, 2000; Chisan Kangakukai, 2005) and another voluminous set of studies was undertaken on the Shingi Shingon set of lineages (Sanha Gōdō Kinen Ronshū Iinkai, 2002), which Raiyu consolidated upon his departure from Mount Kōya (高野山) in 1288. As a leading scholar-monk ( gakuryo [學侶]) within the Shingon esoteric lineages of his day, Raiyu is known for having crystallize…


(3,409 words)

Author(s): Seton, Gregory Max
Renowned as the “Omniscient One of the Degenerate Age” ( kalikālasarvajña; Sankrtyayana, 1935, 35n4) and as guardian of Vikramaśīla’s eastern gate during its golden age (Chimpa & Chattopadhyaya, 1970, 295; Roerich, 1949, 206; “southern gate” in Dowman, 1985, 99), Ratnākaraśānti – also known as Ratnākara, Śāntipā, Śāntipa, Śānti, Rin chen ’byung gnas zhi ba , and Dkon mchog ’byung gnas (c. 970–1045 CE) – was considered the preeminent scholar and one of the foremost tantric adepts ( siddha) of his time (D 4085, in the colophon by Śāntibhadra; see below). His reputation as …


(1,312 words)

Author(s): McAllister, Patrick
Ratnakīrti (Tib. Rin chen grags pa) is known as a Buddhist scholar (colophons call him a mahāpaṇḍita) and the author of several treatises on central issues of Buddhist logic and epistemology ( pramāṇa). He was active at Vikramaśīla, a large Buddhist monastery founded in the 8th century CE by the king Dharmapāla and located in modern-day Bihar. His floruit lay between 1000 and 1050 CE. Ratnakīrti was a contemporary of two other famous Buddhists at Vikramaśīla, Ratnākaraśānti (also Śāntipā or Śāntipāda) and Jñānaśrī (also Jñānaśrīmitra), with both of whom Ratna…