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EALC 247: Death and the Afterlife in East Asian Religions (HC/BMC)

East Asian Languages and Cultures 247: Death and the Afterlife in East Asian Religions (Glassman) Spring 2018

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 - Encyclopedias

The following sources provide overviews of subject areas within Asian Studies, and general works on death and dying.  They are a quick way to find out the basic facts and recent scholarly interpretations.


When using an article in an encyclopedia or handbook, always check the bibliography at the end of the article for further reading. It will provide a selective list of the books, articles, and, frequently, Web resources considered to be the most up-to-date and reliable.

Background Information - Handbooks, Companions, Dictionaries

Getting Started - finding a topic using Oxford Bibliographies

How do you select a really good paper topic that will be narrow enough but also broad enough to suit your needs? Consider looking at Oxford Bibliographies Online   Connect from Bryn Mawr College      Icon     Icon . There are many articles that are about all aspects of East Asian culture, including death and the afterlife. Oxford bibliographies are written by experts in the field and are presented as an annotated bibliography. Each source has a "Find It" button so that you can easily request materials from the library. (Please note: For some of the subjects, Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore students will have to use this resource on Haverford's campus). Contact your friendly librarian, Anna, for more information. Here are a few examples: