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EALC 370: Advanced Topics in Buddhist Studies (HC/BMC)

East Asian Languages and Cultures 370: Advanced Topics in Buddhist Studies: Esoteric Buddhism in East Asia (Glassman) Spring 2022

What this section can do for you

This tab includes further information on handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries and bibliographies. 

  • Handbooks are subject area tools and provide facts, terms, concepts, movements, etc. 
  • Subject dictionaries focus on word definitions in a specific subject area. 
  • Encyclopedias provide basic and general background information on a topic or subject. 
  • Bibliographies are sources that contain detailed information about where to find further information on a specific topic or subject. Sometimes these look like the bibliographies you might compile at the end of a term paper. Sometimes they are books or online resources with a list of resources. Other times they act like annotated bibliographies, with short essays or statements describing the resource and why it might be useful to a researcher. Bibliographies differ from handbooks because they go into further depth on a topic.  They may include critical essays where the author identifies the core literature of a field of study. It illustrates what is available in a given field, while a literature review often opens up questions for new inquiries. 

Background Information: Handbooks, Encyclopedias, Dictionaries

Here is a selected list of materials you may find useful. Handbooks provide readers with a summary overview of a topic and include carefully selected bibliographies.  Be sure to look at the lists for further reading provided by the authors of the entries--they will be especially useful for you as you deepen your research. 

  • Encyclopedia of Buddhism (2007)   Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon     Icon   Routledge publication. 

  • Encyclopedia of Buddhism (2004)    Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon     Icon    2 volume edition. 

  • An Encyclopaedia of Buddhist Deities, Demigods, Godlings, Saints, and Demons   Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon     Icon  With special focus on iconographic attributes (1994).

  • Routledge Handbook of Religions in Asia (2016)    Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon     Icon

  • Companion to Asian Art and Architecture    Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon     Icon  The most relevant chapter is "Revisiting Asian Art" (p. 3) which has an excellent introduction to the ways of seeing Asian art and how to appropriately analyze Asian art in a historical context. 

  • The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts (2014)   Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon    Icon  Chapter on Buddhism but introductory chapters might also prove useful. 

  • The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History (1991)    Connect from Bryn Mawr College     Icon     Icon 


Oxford Bibliographies Online

Literature reviews are a particularly useful kind of article when doing research. They address the issues involved in a particular question and the debates among scholars. They map out the intellectual terrain succinctly and give you the major landmarks in terms of key authors and significant titles.

The Oxford Bibliographies Online    Connect from Bryn Mawr College      Icon     Icon   provide literature reviews for a variety of fields including Asian Studies (they specify the following subject areas: Chinese Studies, Buddhism, International Relations, etc. You can take a look at their subjects and complete a few searches to find what you are interested in).  The essays take the form of an annotated bibliography.  It gives you the benefit of expert advice when identifying what to read for your research. 

Online reference works