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Historical Dictionary of Buddhism
     

Historical Dictionary of Buddhism

by Charles S. Prebish
 
With a history spanning more than two and a half millenia and over 300 million adherents worldwide, Buddhism is one of humankind's most interesting and populous religions . This book provides a comprehensive framework for understanding Buddhism as a historically compelling religion. Because the study of Buddhism is a difficult task, including so many varied cultures,

Overview

With a history spanning more than two and a half millenia and over 300 million adherents worldwide, Buddhism is one of humankind's most interesting and populous religions . This book provides a comprehensive framework for understanding Buddhism as a historically compelling religion. Because the study of Buddhism is a difficult task, including so many varied cultures, this volume seeks to assist the reader by providing a carefully designed pronunciation guide to Buddhist canonical languages, an overview of the Buddhist scriptures preserved in Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan, a chronology of Buddhist history, a map of the Buddhist world, an extensive introduction to the history, doctrine, and community life of the religion, and an extremely comprehensive bibliography.

Author Biography: Charles S. Prebish (BA, Western Reserve; MA, Case Western Reserve ; PhD, Wisconsin), Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State, has published seven books and several dozen articles in such journals as "History of Religions, Journal of the American Oriental Society," and "Journal of Asian Studies." A past officer of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, he held the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies in 1993 at the University of Calgary.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Prebish (religious studies, Pennsylvania State Univ.), the author of numerous titles on Buddhism, narrows his dictionary topics to significant persons, places, texts, events, doctrines, practices, and movements within the Buddhist tradition. While he focuses on monastic and sectarian traditions, his concise introduction includes Buddha's life, the foothold of Buddhism in India, and its spread via Emperor Asoka's missionaries. Overviews of the Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan canons augment his chronology and extensive bibliography. Capitalized headings can't reproduce every diacritical, but entries do. Referring readers from commonly spelled Tibetan terms to the transliterated headings would have been helpful, since they often begin with silent letters. In addition, there are a few debatable facts. For instance, Prebish states that Tsongkhapa was the uncle of the first Dalai Lama, though his real uncle was Geshe Choshe. Still, Prebish's coverage of over 2000 years of Buddhism, within a small, serviceable dictionary, is worthy of recommendation.-- Dara Eklund, Los Angeles P.L.
Zom Zoms
The history of humankind is inextricably linked to religion. That Buddhism is one of the oldest active religions makes it the perfect subject for the first volume in this series, Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements, published by Scarecrow. The book is divided into three parts: a lengthy introduction, the dictionary itself, and an extensive bibliography The introductory material includes a pronunciation guide, a list of Buddhist scriptures from its various branches, a chronology of Buddhist history, and a map. The pronunciation guide clarifies the differences between Sanskrit and Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese languages and their transliteration into English. The list of Buddhist scriptures is divided into the canons of the various cultures and branches of Buddhism. The five-page chronology covers the growth of Buddhism by century from 6 B.C. to the twentieth century. The author's introduction opens with a biography of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, then expounds upon the information in the chronology and the scripture lists The dictionary itself has approximately 700 entries, each at least a paragraph in length; some take a whole page. Cross-references are noted parenthetically at the end of an entry in capital letters. Entries include westerners significant in Buddhism, such as Edward Conze and Caroline Rhys-Davids, as well as such Eastern Buddhists as the Dalai Lama and Nichiren; definitions of Buddhist terms and ideas: and important historical events such as the various councils and eras (e.g., T'ang Dynasty) The bibliography contains almost 1,000 entries. These are arranged by subject: "Historical Development"; "Texts in Translation"; "Religious Thought"; "Practices"; "Soteriology"; "Biography and Mythology"; "Sacred Places"; "The Social Order"; and "The Arts". Each category is subdivided by geographic area or idea. The vast majority are English titles; a few are in European languages Prebish is a respected scholar of Buddhism and the history of early India. He has given us a remarkable reference tool that will be useful to both the religious and historical researcher and should be in most public and academic libraries.
Booknews
An informational toolbox for scholars, followers and the merely curious. The first in a series that will comprise all the world's major religions, this volume provides--in addition to the dictionary (which covers events, persons, historic places, doctrines, heresies, ritual practices, and the like)--an introduction, chronology, summary of the primary scriptures, pronunciation guide, map, and a bibliography numbering some 90 pages. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810826984
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/1993
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements Ser. , #1
Pages:
425
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

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