The A-Z Photo Dictionary: Japanese Buddhist statuary: Gods, Goddesses, Shinto Kami, Creatures and Demons website is an online photo library of over 1,000 images of sculptures and other representations of Buddhist and Shinto deities and related items in Japanese temples and shrines. The majority of the images are from Kamakura, but Kyoto, Nara and other places are also represented. The images can be searched or accessed via an alphabetical index or via a Buddhist deity classification. As well as statues, there are images of rock gardens, stone lanterns, gravestones and other aspects of Japanese temples and shrines. The Bibliography section includes a well-annotated list of books and magazines, as well as many links to online dictionaries and glossaries, museums (online Buddhist art galleries), and other relevant websites. The site is maintained by Mark Schumacher, a long-time resident of Kamakura with a strong interest in Buddhist sculpture and iconography.
Access to Insight is a website that provides a large collection of extracts from the Pali Canon, the core literature of Theravada Buddhism, translated into English. Theravada Buddhism, although a specific school, has become almost synonymous with the early Buddhism of Northern India and coextensive with the term Hinayana Buddhism. This is Buddhism that emphasised personal salvation. The site provides an outline of the Pali Canon and over 700 translations of selected suttas, indexed by name, proper names, subject and similes. The translations have been contributed by several respected translators of Pali texts. In addition to the translated suttas, the compiler of the resource has provided an introductory guided tour of the Buddha's teachings, called 'The Path to Freedom', and information about other sources on the Web that are concerned with Theravada Buddhism. The site is maintained by John Bullitt, who runs it strictly as a non-profit venture, motivated to provide free access to the Pali Canon for students and teachers of Buddhist thought, as well as the interested non-academic.
Amaravati is the English teaching centre of the Thai 'forest tradition' within Theravada Buddhism, located not far from Hemel Hempstead. The forest tradition teaches a fairly demanding style of meditation and tends to place more emphasis on ascetic practices than other Theravada lineages. It has become one of the more popular lineages in the West. Amaravati's sister monastery at Chithurst is not open to the public and is occupied by serious long-term practitioners. The website offers information about the centre, including a schedule of teaching and retreats, as well as some background on the forest tradition in Thailand and the UK. The clear and striking visual design of the website is delightful in itself, and reflects the ethos of the forest tradition. Without seeming bloated, the site contains a remarkable amount of information. However, any general claims made here about Buddhism should be carefully tested - so, for example, the description of ordination is accurate only for the Theravada tradition.
The travelogue of the monk Xuanzang (600-664) recounts his journey via Central Asia to India from c.627-645 and preserves invaluable information on the society and religion of the polities he visited. Together with the records of Faxian (c.320-420) and Yijing (635-713), Xuanzang's travelogue is the most detailed description of ancient India and Central Asia we have. Samuel Beal's translation of the Datang xiyu ji by the monk Xuanzang, was one of the early important breakthroughs in Asian studies. His detailed annotations reflect the highest standard of 19th century scholarship and have served generations of researchers. The digitisation of Beal's translation of the Datang xiyu ji is part of an ongoing effort by the Chung-hua Institute of Buddhist Studies (Taiwan) to make the Buddhist textual tradition more accessible through the use of IT. In particular it forms a part of the Silkroad Project that tries to introduce Buddhist history along the silk-road. This resource is available via the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website, and can be downloaded as a zipped file in XML format.
Ancient Japan is intended as a student introduction to the history, culture, and beliefs of the Japanese up to the end of the Heian period (1192 AD). Beginning with the earliest pre-historic settlers, the historical section of the site narrates the developments, events, and waves of immigration that had an impact upon the islands. The site describes the Yayoi and Jomon cultures, the Yamoto State, the origins and beliefs of Shinto, and the classical age of Japanese history covering Nara Japan and the Heian period. The website also includes a section on Japanese Buddhism, and discusses a number of aspects of ancient culture. There are pages on the language and writing; sections on literature, music, and the visual arts; and an introduction to women's communities and women's role in ancient Japan. Other resources include an historical timeline and maps, a picture gallery, and a glossary of terms. Several excerpts from primary texts are available at the site, including Shinto creation stories, the Taika reform edicts of 645 AD, and the story of Jimmu Tenno.
There is also a substantial list of links; unfortunately, however, this does not seem to have been updated recently, and consequently a high proportion of the links are broken. This site forms part of an online courseware unit from Washington State University's World Civilizations project. It is targeted at students about to begin university and first year undergraduates. The Ancient Japan site is one of the most detailed and extensive units in the project.
The website 'Art of Newar Buddhism' is part of the website of the Huntington photographic archive of Buddhist and related art at Ohio State University. The site starts off with a number of texts about Buddhism and its links to Nepal and then proceeds into images of art works, including some showing the manufacture of sacred arts during their production. The images, available as both thumbnails and large copies, show ancient artefacts, architectural features, modern works and the festivals and rites in which they feature today. These are all presented in sections which cover ongoing artistic traditions, festivals and pujas, early sculpture, Asokan Caityas/Stupas, Bahas and Bahis, Avalokiteswara/Macchendranath/Lokesvara shrines and Yogini shrines. The site is easy to navigate, (although the first time you enter a gallery it is a little confusing, as most of the page is blank waiting for a thumbnail picture to be selected so that the larger image can be displayed in the empty space) and gives excellent access to an important collection.
The Asian Classics Input Project (ACIP) is a major source of primary texts in Tibetan for the study of Tibetan Buddhism. ACIP aims to make available texts belonging to the Tibetan tradition from 500 B.C. to the present day. All materials are available free of charge for order as a CD-ROM or for downloading from the site (although a donation is requested to cover costs). These include over 50,000 pages of sacred woodblock art and manuscripts with texts from the Kangyur (the sutras and tantras of the Tibetan Buddhist canon), Tengyur (commentarial works) and Sungbum (collected works of major authors), as well as the ACIP Graphics Collection of carved illustrations and monastic seals. Also available online is a catalogue of Tibetan texts held in the libraries of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of St. Petersburg, a listing of Tibetan texts held in the US Library of Congress, Tibetan dictionaries and Sanskrit study tools. The site also provides the fonts required for viewing the texts, various search and viewing utilities such as the AsiaView program, and a user manual (in PDF) which provides guidance on searching the database. Each release of the ACIP database contains all the materials from previous releases. Previous releases are available on the website of the Princeton University Computing Center.
This truly superior online collection of citations and bibliographic material has been compiled by Barend J. ter Haar at the University of Leiden. The main introductory page of his Bibliographies on Chinese History and Culture leads to eight different extensive (and usually annotated) bibliographical resources on Chinese society. While this includes references for literacy and education, violence, and protest and dissent, many categories are specifically devoted to religious themes including the Yao religion, Shamanism, and the Falun Gong movement, as well as more general collections on twentieth century religious life and culture in mainland China. The bibliographies are organised in a series of logical sub-divisions, and include details of electronic resources. However, a basic search engine to retrieve references by author or exact subject would be a welcome addition to the site. In any case, undergraduates and academics at all levels who wish to enlarge their knowledge of Chinese secondary sources will find these lists useful, whether they are searching for books or material on the Web. New lecturers may also wish to avail themselves of the Teaching Aids section, which takes the form of an extended annotated exploration of Internet, encyclopaedic and print resources.
The Bibliography of Western Language Publications on Chinese Popular Religion (1995 to present) is an online listing of primarily English journal and book references, addressing a wide variety of geographical and cultural aspects from Oriental belief systems. Compiled by Philip Clart, Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Leipzig, the bibliography started life as a collection of citations taken from his own articles published in the journal 'Minjian zongjiao' (volumes 3-5, 1995-1997). Since then, Clart has continuously added new material to the list of resources to keep it up-to-date. Presently, resources are organised under 20 different subject categories that include topics as diverse as folklore, deities, gender issues, and rituals. These categories include three local studies sections, covering Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the mainland. Separate year-by-year lists are also given for the most recent publications. Unfortunately, the site currently lacks any internal search facility. Despite this, researchers at all levels and in every subset of religious studies in the east are likely to find this resource valuable.
This website serves as a source of information and news about Bihar (or ancient Magadha), a state in central eastern India that has Patna as its capital. Bihar has always been considered the birthplace of Buddhism and Jainism. Hence apart from useful information on topics like the history and politics of Bihar; places to visit in Bihar; languages; cultural regions; and famous Biharis; viewers are able to get valuable information about the state's religious landscape. The latter include discussions on the history of Buddhism and Jainism; and the sites and celebrations associated with both of these faith traditions. The site is user-friendly and would be particularly interesting to those seeking a basic understanding about the origins of Buddhism and Jainism.
'The Bristol Buddhist Death Ritual Project' is the home page of a three-year (2007-2009) research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The award was granted to staff at the Centre for Buddhist Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Bristol University. The work examines from a comparative perspective the death rituals and funerary practices in Southeast Asia (focusing on Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka) and China. This website contains a series of preliminary questions which the researchers used to guide their study; links to relevant websites; and photographs from their fieldwork (with commentaries). The project is led by Paul Williams, Professor of Indian and Tibetan Philosophy. Other researchers include Drs John Kieschnick, Rita Langer and Patrice Ladwig.
Buddha-1 is the oldest surviving email list dedicated to the study of Buddhism. Started in 1991 as a BITNET list, it has been moderated by Richard Hayes together with, since 2001, a changing team of co-editors. Membership is entirely open, and the community of Buddha-1 readers and posters is more than a thousand individuals. The purpose of the list is for, to quote Richard Hayes, "serious (and sometimes seriously playful) discussion". It crackles with debate, humbles the arrogant and receives the newcomer with genuine friendship. The moderators are careful to keep the discussion on-topic and to squelch any slanging matches, but otherwise the discussions range from pacifism and just war to the nature of inference. Buddha-1 has built its community in part by refusing to draw a line between scholars and practitioners of Buddhism. While it is not the place to discuss what you saw in this morning's meditations, it is one of the more important debating grounds for working out a modern, scientific basis for Buddhist beliefs.
Richard Hooker's Buddhism website provides a historical introduction to this religious tradition. Beginning with the birth of Siddhartha Gautama in the 6th century B.C., the site describes the founding of the religion and its major concepts and beliefs. There are sections describing the origins and differences of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, and a page on the development of Tantric ideas. The site also examines the reasons behind the decline of Buddhism in India, and looks at the growth and development of the various schools of Buddhism in Japan, including Zen. A proposed section on Chinese Buddhism has unfortunately not been completed, and work on the site seems to have stopped. The site includes extracts from the Dhammapada ('The Path of Dharma'), the most important collection of the sayings of the Buddha. There is also a list of links to other websites, although this does not appear to have been maintained, and consequently few of the links still function. This site forms part of an online courseware unit from Washington State University's 'World Civilizations' project. It is targeted at students about to begin university, and first year undergraduates.
Roger Garin-Michaud, not affiliated to any university or monastery, has been publishing a steadily updated online bibliography of books and articles on Buddhism for several years. The page has, sadly, become commercialised over the years with some advertising. However this does not detract from the bibliography itself, and Roger's compilation of Buddhist websites. There is no attempt to categorise the material, and his efforts to distinguish the 'basic' from the 'advanced' are not universally applied, so the most basic material is listed right alongside highly technical articles. Furthermore, he often lists inferior editions or translations where superior ones are available, as well as materials which might not otherwise be described as 'Buddhist' (such as Rajneesh texts). Nonetheless, when searching for a particular topic or key word, this can be a useful resource. It does include items published in French and German, as well as English, and for that reason alone is always worth consulting. The bibliography is available both online and as a downloadable file, which may be useful for those who keep a directory of resources for local searches. Unlike many similar sites which stand as somewhat dusty monuments to now-lapsed efforts at covering the entire field, these lists do really get updated. It is possible to retrieve the bibliography as an email.
The Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) is an organisation for the promotion of socially engaged Buddhism, including peace and human rights campaigning and environmental work. The site offers full details of the Fellowship's aims and activities, but academic users are likely to find the resource centre and the Think Sangha pages of most use. The former offers a bibliography of works on socially engaged Buddhism, and a series of essays and reflections. Think Sangha is a think tank affiliated to the BPF, offering papers and programme reports on a range of issues related to social action, justice, and Buddhism. This is a helpful resource for those interested in exploring this aspect of the Buddhist tradition.
As part of publishing one of the standard textbooks in the field, the 4th edition of Richard H. Robinson and Willard L. Johnson's The Buddhist Religion, the suggested readings section was put online and remains a useful if slightly dated bibliography of resources for Buddhist studies. The directory is conveniently divided into a number of sections, including works on the Buddha, Buddhist texts, Buddhism in different countries, and various forms of Buddhism. There are also references to general works, and to other bibliographies of Buddhism. The authors include a brief introductory discussion of the various issues surrounding the compilation of the bibliography, and the putative distinction between religious and scholarly texts. The site is clearly presented and easy to use. It would be of value to both students and scholars seeking texts in specific areas of Buddhism and Buddhist studies.
The extensive website of the Buddhist Scriptures Information Retrieval project (BUDSIR) offers searchable digitised versions of 45 volumes of the Pali Tipitaka (the collected sayings of the Buddha), and the 70 volumes of the Atthakatha commentaries, along with some other important scriptures. The texts are available for purchase on CD-ROM or free of charge online (although registration is required). It is recommended that the site be displayed in Internet Explorer, as some other browsers seem to encounter problems. The texts are available in Thai and Roman script, as well as Devanagari, Singhalese, Burmese, and Khmer. Although the user interface may be displayed in English, the texts themselves are not translated. The website also offers an introduction to Buddhist teachings, and essays about Buddhist beliefs and their application in contemporary society.
The website of the Buddhist Society of the UK offers a guide to Buddhism (suitable for those new to the subject), plus details of the history and current activities of the society. Founded in 1924, the society exists to provide information about the principles of the major schools and traditions of Buddhism, and to encourage the study and practice of those principles. The society is not affiliated to any particular school of Buddhism, but aims to represent them all. There appear to be occasional sections of the site that lack content, but on the whole, this is a useful resource for those seeking an introduction to Buddhism as it is practised in the UK.
This is a set of teaching and learning resources which introduces Buddhism from a Theravada modernist perspective. It is targeted at primary and secondary students and their teachers, but will also be very useful for FE students and undergraduate generalists. Although there is a tremendous amount of material, it is presented in a clear and coherent fashion. Navigation is easy and consistently presented. There are shorter essays introducing Buddhism, and links to longer works, PDF files of entire books, and even colouring books. The story collections (under ebooks) are particularly good, and a valuable resource for anyone trying to understand how Buddhism is passed on to children in traditional Buddhist societies. The unevenness of the material here reflects the diversity of the traditions which Buddhanet tries to cover. Thus the page listing Mahayana schools only covers Chinese Mahayana; no mention is ever made of Newar, Central Asian or Indonesian Buddhism; and the chronology of the spread of Buddhism puts both Mahayana and Vajryana too late, and misrepresents the originality of Theravada, which in fact emerged as a distinct school from early Nikaya Buddhism at about the same time as the earliest Mahayana sutras developed. Finally, the topical essays on karma and rebirth reflect, without openly stating the problem, the present controversy between demythologising modernists - who wish to interpret the realms of rebirth as states of mind - and traditional elders, who maintain the existence of several distinct realms, such as heavens and hells, into which one may be reborn.
The Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library is a substantial gateway to Buddhist resources on the web. Over 300 resources relating to Buddhism are detailed ranging from research and teaching projects, email lists and FTP sites, through to electronic journals and other gateways. All links are evaluated before they are added to the collection. The site was founded, and is primarily maintained, by Dr T. Matthew Ciolek of the Australian National University, Canberra.
Buddhist-Christian Studies is a scholarly journal (ISSN: 1527-9472) published by the University of Hawaii Press. It features articles, conference reports and book reviews on Buddhism and Christianity, and on the historical and contemporary interrelationships between the two religions. This homepage contains information about the editorial board and the journal's submission policy. It also allows visitors to view the table of contents of all volumes published since 1999, but the full contents are only available to subscribers. The site nevertheless gives free access to one sample issue. The journal is edited by Father Francis Tiso.
A descriptive catalogue of the tantric Buddhist material found in the Stein collection of Tibetan manuscripts at the British Library. These are the earliest extant Tibetan manuscripts, and therefore the earliest sources relating to Tibetan tantric Buddhism. This resource is available as a downloadable zipped file in XML format from the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website. The resource is available in English, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese languages.
This is the website of the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association, providing information about the work of CBETA in making available the scriptures of Chinese Buddhism in electronic form, and links to related sites, as well as access to an electronic version of the Taisho Tripitaka (the Chinese canon of Buddhist scriptures). Some introductory sections are in English, but most pages and the electronic Tripitaka itself require Chinese fonts. Users can download the contents pages of Buddhist texts, by selecting the particular section that they require, and the script in which they prefer it to be displayed. The website also links to the CBETA newsletter and its archives. The resource would be of value to any researcher of Chinese Buddhist primary sources, or for final year undergraduate students of Chinese philosophy and religion.
The Contemporary Papers on Japanese Religion website is a collection of studies by Japanese academics on various aspects of religion in Japan, translated into English by Norman Havens and made available here online. The papers were originally published in the late 1980s and 1990s by the Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. Topics include: festivals (matsuri) and rites; new religions; folk beliefs (including shamanism); and kami (deities). The site also provides brief profiles of the Japanese authors, with links to their universities. Full print versions of the papers can be obtained by contacting the Institute via the website.
Correspondences: Jewish Mysticism, Indian Philosophies is a dissertation by Axel Randrup and Tista Bagchi. The work can be downloaded in HTML format from the Oxford Text Archive website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)). The authors examine correspondence between eight significant traits of Jewish mysticism and traits of Buddhism and other systems of Indian religion and philosophy in the literature. This is a study in comparative religion, but some important relations between these Indian and Jewish belief systems and modern science are also discussed. The work is freely available, although users are asked to agree to a brief terms and conditions statement before downloading it.
This brief article is a review of the two-volume book, The Dating of the Historical Buddha, edited by Buddhist scholar Heinz Bechert. It was originally published in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. There is considerable variation amongst different Buddhist countries and regions as to the exact dates of various significant events in the life of the Buddha (such as birth, death, and the achievement of nirvana). Bechert's book contains a series of articles concerning the dating of the historical Buddha, as well as various papers related to the history of research into this topic and the chronological systems deployed in various countries. The reviewer, L.S. Cousins, provides a brief summary of the work and the conclusions reached, along with some critical assessment. The website is divided up into a number of sections, and may provide a useful introduction to the beginning scholar of Buddhism who is not yet familiar with this issue, and is seeking a brief overview.
The Diamond Sutra Web page, published by the British Library, contains essential information about and a digital version of the Diamond Sutra (in Sanskrit, the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sutra from the Sūtrapiṭaka of the Tripiṭaka). Created in 868 CE, the work is the earliest complete dated printed book in existence. It was found hidden in the Dunhuang caves in China in 1907. The actual book is formed by "seven strips of yellow-stained paper printed from carved wooden blocks and pasted together to form a scroll over 5m long". The Chinese text translates the teachings of the Buddha, which had reached China from India following the Silk Road. The book is now conserved at the British Library, which also publishes research and educational resources on the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) and the Silk Road.
The Turning the Pages edition of the Diamond Sutra is available in different formats according to the hardware and software capabilities of the computer accessing the resource. In the most advanced version, there is a short audio introductory note and it is possible to read the book as it was originally intended, scrolling the text from left to right. There is no translation. An audio file and transcript of the Dunhuang Project Director Dr Susan Whitfield talking about the Diamond Sutra is also available. This resource will interest anybody researching the history of printing and Buddhist influences into China.
The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism contains terms from Chinese, Japanese and Korean Buddhism. Topics covered include temple, schools, and people found in Buddhist canonical sources. The dictionary is a collaborative effort, and regular users are encouraged to contribute data. Contributors are given free unlimited access to the resource; other users may perform a limited number of searches per day by logging in as a guest. Alternatively, a subscription may be purchased. The text is encoded in Unicode and a browser which supports Unicode is required to use the dictionary effectively. The dictionary is fully searchable, and the site also includes browsable indices, presentations about the dictionary, and details of contributors. There is an email list for announcements about the dictionary.
The Digital Library and Museum of Buddhist Studies, from the National Taiwan University Library, is an online resource centre that supplies textual information on Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist teachings, and the languages used in them. Users can search an online database of bibliographies, online full-text publications, ejournals and ebooks using keywords or more specific search terms. The website provides online guides to the main languages used in Buddhist texts, including Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan lessons. Those interested in the Tibetan language should note that its dedicated page is only available in Chinese (traditional characters). The main page acts as a gateway to Buddhist scriptures available online from international websites. Chinese scriptures can be downloaded directly from the digital library in PDF format. Scholars of Tibetan Buddhism will find the online tools section useful. This includes links to an online Tibetan to English translation tool, and to electronic text initiatives and dictionaries related to Buddhist studies. Scholars will also find a news section, containing dates of academic conferences and events around the world. The website as a whole would be of interest to researchers and students alike, although users with a solid grasp of written Chinese will have an advantage when using the resource.
The Early Buddhist manuscripts project oversees research on a total of 55 fragments of Buddhist text dating from the first to the third centuries CE. The fragments themselves are held in various collections around the world, the greater portion (29 fragments) are held at the British Library, while others are at the University of Washington and the Library of Congress. The website is a forum for the dissemination of research into these texts as well as for the presentation of images of some of the fragments. The website gives a list of publications resulting from the project and full-text downloads of two dissertations. There is a description of the technology used in the reconstruction of the fragments, the extraction of text and the use of fonts in the project. Of most interest, however, are the images presented on the website, some with translations, of the fragments themselves. The images are rendered as .jpg files and there is an option to zoom in on them.
Echoes of Incense: A Pilgrimage in Japan is a complete online version of the English text of Don Weiss's book of the same title about his walk of the classic Buddhist pilgrimage around the 88 temples of Shikoku in 1993. The text is supplemented with many photos and line drawings of temples and other places, mainly in Shikoku. The Resources page provides some practical information about undertaking the pilgrimage, a short list of useful books, and a well-annotated list of links to other relevant websites.
This site, published by the Burmese community in the San Francisco Bay Area, makes available audio files of sermons and chanting by famous Burmese monks. There are also links to Burmese monasteries worldwide. The Burmese tradition is without exception Theravada. Since the sharp repression of democratic freedoms in Burma, it has been difficult for expatriate Burmese to stay in contact with the Saydaws (monks) still in Burma. There are nonetheless a fair sprinkling of Burmese monasteries and monks outside Burma. The vast majority of the recordings here are in Burmese. By selecting 'English' from the three choices in the upper-left corner, you will see those talks available in English. Clicking the 'Myanmar' choice will confront you with a page in Burmese; as very few browsers are configured to handle this, it is not a good way to practise reading Burmese script. The files are all RealAudio files, encoded at relatively low bitrate, and thus the download speed is good from the server.
The Electronic Buddhist Text Initiative (EBTI) is a group of representatives from various institutions involved in the development of digital resources relating to canonical Buddhist text collections. The group is organised around co-chairs from Europe, North America, Japan, Korea and Taiwan and a number of advisors. Meetings are held annually and the meeting report is made available via the website. The site provides details of groups and institutions which report to the EBTI and information on projects (e.g. art, archaeology and multimedia; text databases; dictionary projects). The EBTI also includes a link to the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative.
The eMuseum website provides highly detailed images and brief descriptions of national treasures and important cultural properties held by the museums of Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara. A large number of Japanese artefacts together with earlier Chinese paintings and documents are presented. All the information on the site is available in five languages: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English and French. Although the home page is only in Japanese, clicking on any of the icons for the different categories leads to an easy-to-use graphical interface in all five languages. Images are organised into the following categories: Japanese painting (11th-13th centuries and 15th-19th centuries); Chinese paintings (Song and Yuan dynasties); Swords and Blades; Others (includes Buddhist statues, votive and ritual objects and vessels); Buddhist sutras and Chinese classics; Japanese Classic and Historical documents; Japanese and Chinese calligraphy; Textiles. Once a category is selected the user is presented with a list of all objects within that section, which leads through to a more detailed record for each object. This contains a thumbnail image, information of an object's date, period, material and provenance and a brief description. Navigation buttons also allow the user to browse an entire section without returning to the initial list. The thumbnail image provides access to a larger version image of the object that can in turn be enlarged further and viewed in detailed segments. Certain objects on the website also have the option to view them from different angles using the 'Image Browser' option. The eMuseum website is easy to use (but also includes a multilingual 'how to use' section) and provides easy access to very high quality images of a large number of important objects.
Essential readings on Chinese philosophy is an annotated bibliography of mainly printed books intended for use by experienced philosophers seeking a core reading list. The subject headings include: general histories; specialised studies; Neo/Confucianism; Taoism; Mohism; comparative studies; I Ching; Buddhism; and Chinese science. Where available links are made to websites by or about authors. Annotations vary from short statements to more lengthy paragraphs. The author of the site, Bryan Van Norden, is an assistant professor in the Philosophy Department at Vassar College.
The website From primitives to zen is an online reproduction of the reference work by Mircea Eliade, originally published in print in 1966. While the title of the book hints that the principal focus of the book would be on Buddhism, it is in fact a very large, comprehensive investigation of ancient religions of the world, divided into sections which are geographically based. The omission of Judaism and Christianity is explained in the introduction. The following five chapter headings given on the home page lead to lists of links to further pages. The first of these chapters looks at creation myths from around the world. After this section the emphasis is more strongly on the Ancient Near East, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Zen. This presentation of the book is offered with no further commentary but is rather a faithful reproduction of the original text.
'The Gospel of Buddha' Web page offers an electronic version of a book of the same name, compiled from ancient texts by Dr Paul Carus, and first published in 1894. The work, written in a hundred chapters, is an attempt to assemble material taken from the Pali Canon (the Buddhist holy texts) into a unified account of the Buddha's life and philosophy. It is a combination of extracts taken from these texts verbatim, other abbreviated or freely rendered extracts, and some original exegetical work. The reader should note that the work makes some philosophically contentious statements, and often simplifies material. Nevertheless, the resource remains valuable as an entry point into the Buddhist philosophical canon, as it presents the original texts in a coherent, accessible, and relatively compact manner.
H-Buddhism is a mailing list dedicated to the history of Buddhism. While anyone may read postings, membership in the list is tightly vetted and in general only those with, or acquiring, their doctorates will be allowed to join. It is easy to read back postings, however (click on the 'Discussion Logs' link), or to search through the archive of all postings (type a term into the search box). This makes it a valuable read-only resource for beginning students of Buddhology who want the chance to read the most recent research. This is not a list for lively debates. In general threads are started by a request for information or help with a translation, and the responses are precise and controlled. Nonetheless, it has become an important forum for the discussion of topics which cover the entire breadth of Buddhist studies in all its regions and languages. Several scholars in Japan are regular contributors, and thus this list is one of the few reliable bridges between Western and Japanese Buddhology. There are periodic announcements of jobs and conferences, as well as announcements of specialised Internet resources. H-Buddhism also solicits and publishes book reviews; these are kept separately, and can be accessed through the 'Book Reviews' link on the front page.
The H-Buddhism Graduate Programs in Asian Philosophy and Religion Web page, which was created in 1997 by Charles Muller, provides an alphabetical list of institutions around the world that offer postgraduate studies in Asian religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism. Each entry contains the name and address of the department; a description of the course(s) it offers; and the names of the primary and affiliated instructors and their areas of speciality. There are also links that take visitors to the home pages of the respective institutions. The site is clearly presented and its contents are updated by the H-Buddhism Web team. The resource should be a very useful starting point for those investigating graduate study in this area.
The Himalayan Art Resources website is a comprehensive reference for Tibetan art of all periods and styles. The virtual gallery online is made up of contributions from some 34 concrete institutions ranging from the Musée Guimet to the Tsering Art School in Kathmandu, and includes over 17000 items. There are also some Newar pieces. To guide you through the vast collection, there are interpretive essays by specialists in Tibetan art history and philosophy, as well as the opportunity to 'slice' the collection by period, style and region. The tools available for inspecting each piece are flexible and powerful. If you have a Java-enabled browser, you can zoom right in close (much closer than you could in a real gallery!) and crawl across the surface of these very detailed paintings, looking at the detailed portraits of lineage masters and minor deities that often crowd the edges of Tibetan artworks. The site is thus a serious research resource for Asian historians as well as a genuinely pleasant place to go for an aesthetic break.
This website provides extensive information relating to the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso. These include: his biography (as well as that of the preceding 13 Dalai Lamas); a list of FAQs; the latest news on and the schedule of his public engagements; his messages and speeches (on issues like Buddhism; science and religion; Buddhism and women; compassion; religious harmony; and world peace); webcasts of his teachings; photographs; and a Q & A page. This website is maintained by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama which is based in India. It should be a useful resource for those seeking an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.
'The History, Philosophy and Practice of Buddhism' website is an interesting learning and teaching resource on Buddhism. Within its pages, the origins and geographical expansion of Buddhism are discussed. Descriptions are further given of the various principles, concepts and practices important to this faith tradition, such as the Four Noble Truths; the Three Characteristics of Existence; the Eightfold Path; Karma and Intention; Rebirth and Nirvana; vegetarianism; and the Sutras. There are links to relevant sites. Visitors are also invited to make use of the 'Meditation Room' (a series of images requiring a Java-enabled browser) although the link for this appeared broken at the time this record was reviewed. The site as a whole makes use of frames.
Although not published since 1995, the website of the International journal for Tantric studies is nevertheless a useful site for scholars, containing freely available full-text articles from ten years of publishing. Given that there was a three-year gap between the publication of volumes six and seven, it is quite possible that more will be issued in the future. The journal, published by the Asiatica Association, features articles on Tantric Buddhist texts, religion, practices and culture and is a valuable addition to an under-populated field. A link on the site allows users to subscribe to an alerts list to give notice of future issues.
The International research institute for Zen Buddhism (IRIZ), based at Hanazono University, Japan, undertakes research into Zen Buddhism, trains scholars in Zen studies, publishes materials, and encourages international scholarly exchange. Its website is available in English and a more comprehensive Japanese version. The Institute has a particular focus on the life and writings of the Japanese Zen master Ekoku Hakuin. A major activity is the publication of Japanese and Chinese Zen texts in electronic form, initially released on CD-ROM and currently distributed via the Web (Japanese language). Collections available include Taisho shinshu daizokyo and Zokuzokyo. The Institute also distributes dictionaries, concordances and indexes relating to the text collections, and maintains a list of international Zen centres. The site includes a series of articles and details of other publications, including contents of the Institute's (now discontinued) journal, 'Electronic Bodhidharma', on creating electronic texts in east Asian languages, and its journal IRIZ Studies. The Japanese version has a searchable database including: brief biographies of key figures; quotations; sect doctrine; Pure Rules; inscriptions and chants; Zen literature; analects; and koan. Details of seminars (forums) and news about the Institute's activities also appear in the Japanese version.
The Internet Indian History Sourcebook consists of an annotated gateway to primary resources relating to Indian history from the ancient period to post-independence. Many of the resources are hosted locally, with those marked Web being external sites. The sourcebook has been compiled from the ancient history, medieval, and modern history sourcebooks compiled by Paul Halsall at Fordham University. The guide is conveniently divided into sections covering particular periods and themes. Texts and images hosted locally include: The Laws of Manu; The Bhagavad-Gita; King Bhartrihari's One Law There Is; sources on the Buddha's life and death; The Arthashastra; The Rock Edicts; Strabo's geography of India; the Indian section of Pliny's Natural History; sources concerning European contacts and colonialism; Robert Clive's The Battle of Plassey; Edmund Burke's Speech in Commons on India; Thomas Babington Macaulay's On Empire and Education; Monier Monier-Williams' Camp Life in India; Dadabhai Naoroji's The Benefits of British Rule; Elisa Greathed's Account of the Opening of the Indian Mutiny at Meerut; Robert Traill Spence Lowell's The Relief of Lucknow; Bal Gangadhar Tilak's address to the Indian national congress; Jawaharlal Nehru's Marxism, Capitalism and Non-Alignment; British Government statements; and the 1966 Declaration of Pakistan and India on Jammu and Kashmir. There is also a section on gender and sexuality. This is an extensive site that should be of use to students and scholars studying the history of South Asia and the Indian subcontinent. At the time of review (2010) the site hadn't been updated since 2007.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
The Shinto and Japanese religions section of the Internet sacred text archive presents key texts associated with Shinto as well as texts relating to other aspects of Japanese spirituality, beliefs and ethics: Buddhism, Confucianism, animism and folklore. There are also a number of Ainu folklore texts. All are originally written in or translated into English.
The Shinto texts are: the Kojiki (full and abridged translations by Basil Hall Chamberlain); excerpts of the Nihongi (also known as the Nihon Shoki), translated by W.G. Ashton; the Yengishiki (Shinto rituals); and the Kogoshui: Gleanings from Ancient Stories, translated by Kenchi Gotō and Hikoshirō Hoshino.
Texts under the Japanese Spirituality heading include: several books by Lafcadio Hearn (ghost stories and a history of Shinto); books by Kazuko Okakura on the tea ceremony and Japanese art and Buddhism; Inoze Nitobe's book on bushido, the samurai ethical code; Arthur Waley's translation of Noh plays; fairy tales; a collection of haiku; and the Hyakunin Isshū collection of tanka poetry.
The Ainu texts are: transations of folk tales by Basil Hall Chamberlain and John Batchelor; Yukara, epos of the Ainu; and Arthur Waley's translation of the epic Kutune Shirka.
'Islam and Tibet: Cultural Interactions (8th - 17th centuries)' is a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is based at the Warburg Institute of the University of London and is headed by Charles Burnett, Professor of History of Islamic Influences in Europe. The project aims to study the cultural interactions between the Islamic and Tibetan cultures, and examines how religious ideas of the two cultures developed. This website contains: background information about the project and the people behind it; details of past and forthcoming events connected to the project (e.g. presentations; lectures; seminar training; conferences; and workshops); a thematic bibliography of print-based works on Islam and Tibet; images; and links to relevant websites. This resource should be of interest to those researching on the interactions between the Buddhist and Islamic traditions in Tibet, as well as to those with a general interest in inter-faith work. The website will be continuously updated as the project develops.
The Japanese Journal of Religious Studies is an academic journal devoted to the study of Japanese religions. The journal's website offers open access to the essays and books reviews published since its inception in 1974; these are available for download in PDF format. The back issues are fully searchable and well indexed. Also available are its submission policy and subscription details for the print version of the work. The journal currently appears twice yearly, published by the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture. Links are provided to the Institute's and Nanzan University's home pages.
This is the website of the Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art. The Archive contains almost 300,000 photographs and slides of Asian art and architecture, taken by John and Susan Huntington, art historians at Ohio State University. Approximately 30,000 of these have been digitised and can be browsed, searched, and viewed in detail via the site (large zoomable images are delivered in Flash format). The site also includes research resources and links to related institutions and collections. Electronic projects include: maps of Asia; guide to lost and stolen images of Afghanistan and Nepal; art of Newar Buddhism, Nepal (with over 1,500 images); and Buddhist art of China. In addition, the Archive has mounted a number of online exhibitions on more specialised topics, including: the Rezk Collection of Tibetan Art; Chinese jade; posters of the Cultural Revolution; and elements of Hindu devotion. Although the Huntington Archive focuses on Buddhist art and architecture, there are also images related to Hinduism, Jainism and Islam. The Archive is an associate of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative.
The Journal of Buddhist Ethics (JBE) is a wholly-online, peer-reviewed journal (ISSN: 1076-9005). It is divided into annual volumes which run back to 1994. Areas dealt with include: Vinaya and jurisprudence; medical ethics; philosophical ethics; human rights; ethics and psychology; ecology and the environment; social and political philosophy; cross-cultural ethics; ethics and anthropology; and interfaith dialogue on ethics. The journal also carries a substantial number of book reviews. The website presents full information about submitting to the journal, plus details of the editorial board, policy, and coverage. The Journal of Buddhist Ethics is also a gateway to online resources for the study of Buddhism in general. There is an extensive (though unannotated) list of websites, and the scholarly resources section includes links to bibliographies and other reference materials. The site further acts as the primary distributor of a public domain version of the Pali Canon in electronic form (in association with the Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project). Additional fonts may be required in order to display the texts in Pali. The site also includes a search engine.
Edited by Paul Allen Williams (University of Nebraska at Omaha) the Journal of Religion and Film is an electronic peer-reviewed publication offering reviews and articles about the literal and symbolic relationship between the film industry and faith. Directed towards an array of scholars from the humanities interested in the cultural, sociological, religious, and symbolic links between faith and film, the journal not only delineates religious themes in such recent popular movies as Star Wars and the Matrix, but also examines philosophical issues such as the role of postmodernism in modern cinema and our perceptions of sacred texts. Visitors to the site may reflect upon some of the on-going discussions between contributors and even submit a question directly to some of the authors. Material on the website can be searched via a number of indexes: of articles, authors, films and directors. Details of how to submit material to the journal are also provided. Given the overwhelming dominance of Christian imagery against any other faith in mainstream cinema the journal articles tend to reflect this reality, however, a few contributions do address Buddhist and Jewish influences.
This small, but well-formed website covers the history of the Kalmyk (Kalmuck) community in Belgrade to 1944, when, as a result of the Soviet presence, the Kalmyks of Belgrade went through a further diaspora. The Kalmyks are sometimes called the first European Buddhists. During the Russian Revolution, a number of Kalmyks sought refuge and settled in Serbia, and by 1934 they had built a temple. The author has carefully researched his topic and provides numerous images, culled and restored from old newspapers, of people, plans, and events. While the exact relationship of Kalmyk Buddhism to Mongolian, Buryat, or Tibetan is not covered, there is a page of information on distinctively Kalmyk rituals performed at the temple. There is also ample bibliographic material allowing the curious to go further.
This is the online version of Descriptive Catalogue of the Korean Buddhist Canon. Since the 11th century, Korea has housed one of the largest collections of Buddhist texts, in the form of carved blocks from which xylographs are printed. More than 1400 volumes of material, largely Chinese and Tibetan texts, were printed and distributed in the 1960s, and the purpose of The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue was to order, assess, and record the wealth of riches that this important collection represents. The Catalogue was published in 1979. The online version of the Catalogue is not a mere digital facsimile of the print version; the digital editor's preface discusses the challenges and opportunities that arose from putting the Catalogue online, including the chance to correct print and digitisation errors. Also included is the original introductory matter from the editor of the print version of the catalogue, which provides some background to the history and significance of the Korean Buddhist canon. The Catalogue itself can be downloaded in PDF format or as a zip file, or can be viewed as a whole or in sections. An extensive index and bibliography are also included. In all, this is a valuable resource for advanced scholars of Buddhism.
Leaves from the Buddha's Grove is a website offering an astonishing number of Buddhist texts in English translations, including some larger texts not easily found elsewhere. The texts are organised into four broad categories: Poetry and Stories, including stories of the Buddha's former births and some modern poetry; Theravada Writings, including modern teachings as well as Pali material; Zen writings, Chinese as well as Japanese; and Other Mahayana Writings, which includes the full text of several major treatises and sutras. The site appears not to have been substantially updated since 2003, but this is hardly a criticism given the sheer size of the archive. Many of the translations are uncredited, however, and there is little or no discussion of the relative merits of any translation, nor links to the material in its original language where that is available. Nonetheless this is an extremely useful place to go for searchable and readable raw material in English. The site also offers a list of links to other Buddhist websites.
The Lotus Research Centre (LRC) runs conferences, publishes books and maintains a useful website on Newar Buddhism, the indigenous Vajrayana Buddhism of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Under the Resources tab, the website makes several useful articles and conference proceedings available online, as well as a substantial bibliography. The site also provides information about the activities they have been involved in to date.
This is a very simple site - it consists only of a list of links to translations of the principal texts of Buddhism. Many of the texts are offered in more than one translation - there are eleven different versions of the Heart Sutra, for example. There are also two links to other Buddhist resource sites. THe site's only 'feature' is that clicking on the image of the Amitabha at the top of the page takes the user to a page with a larger version of the image and an explanation of its provenance. Despite its simplicity, however, this is a very thorough, carefully presented anthology which would be of great value to any scholar of Buddhism.
The Zen Journal is an online full-text journal, hosted by the Maria Kannon Zen Center, a non-profit organisation 'which offers a setting for people of various backgrounds and faith traditions to practice Zen'. The journal is likely to be of interest to researchers beginning the study of religion and philosophy and those considering the role of philosophical disciplines today, as the articles are aimed at understanding the ways of Zen and applying them in the context of the modern world. Recent articles include a four part series on The Four Bodhisattva Vows, by Ruben L. F. Habito, Practising Zen in Iraq, by Sheila Provencher, and Our Undivided Way by Flint Sparks. Issues of the journal going back to 1996 are available as PDF files.
This is the website of the Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods, which is dedicated to the restoration and promotion of the Nepalese Buddhist tradition. Nepalese Buddhism emerged hundreds of years ago and forms the basis of various Tibetan Buddhist schools. The Newari form of Buddhism as practised in Nepal forms much of the focus of the Institute's concerns. The website itself provides a wealth of information on Newar Buddhism in the form of articles and other publications. The Institute runs its own journal, Buddhist Himalaya. Contents of current and past issues are freely available online (with some articles in PDF). In addition, there is a newsletter of the Institute's activities, a description of courses that they offer, an account of current projects, and membership and conference information. Access to the catalogue of the Institute's library is made fully available, and links to further sites of interest are provided. The Institute has a mailing list, which can be joined by following the instructions in the Buddhist Directory section. In all, this is a very through and well-organised site providing access to information on a unique and often neglected part of the Buddhist tradition, and may prove of interest to scholars and laypersons alike.
This is the website of the Numata Center which was established in Berkeley as part of a major philanthropic effort that also includes the establishment of Numata Chairs in Buddhist Studies at major universities worldwide. The particular remit of the Numata Center is the production of authoritative English translations of the Chinese canon. The Chinese canon contains some 3400 works, ranging in size from a few pages to thousands in English translation. The site is interesting as a monument to this astonishing task, which will very likely last well into the 22nd century. A database shows the volumes which have been, or will be, published, and the books are available to order from this site. There is no other source for these texts and the translations are of very high quality. The Numata Center also co-ordinates the production of the 'Teachings of the Buddha', a handy collection of Buddhist texts distributed to hotels and resorts in the same style as the Gideon's Bible. It is now available in some 40-odd languages, including Uzbek and Swahili.
The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies (OCBS) is a project of the Society for the Wider Understanding of the Buddhist Tradition (So-Wide) and a recognised independent centre of the University of Oxford. It aims to promote research into Buddhism and to disseminate the results as widely as possible. The centre's academic director is Professor Emeritus Richard Gombrich, formerly the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. This homepage contains the centre's academic policy and information about the projects they engage in. Access is also given to a number of articles and the transcripts of lectures. These are presented in PDF, thus Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. The site also provides information on past and forthcoming events (including on its Numata Distinguished Guest Speaker Series), and holds a search engine.
This is the website of the Pali Text Society, founded in 1881, which exists to promote the study of the Pali canon, the principal works of Theravada Buddhism. The website gives details of the work of the society and has a list of society members which scholars new to the field will find particularly useful. There are also a number of translation exercises and tutorials on the site which will be helpful for new learners. The principal focus of the website are the lists of publications. None of these are available online, but the site gives details of prices and how to place an order, which can be done directly through the site.
The Pali Tipitaka site, a project of the Vipassana Research Institute, makes available texts from the Pali Canon or Tipitaka (Sanskrit: Tripitaka), the collection of Buddhist scriptures preserved in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. Commentaries, sub-commentaries, and other related Pali texts are also available on this site. The texts are in Pali, an ancient Indian language derived from Sanskrit. Texts contained on this site use diacritical marks for representing Roman Pali characters. Fonts for viewing the texts are available for download. The texts are also available on the Chattha Sangayana CD-ROM, details of which can be found on the Vipassana Research Institute site. This CD-ROM (which is free of charge apart from postage costs) contains the entire Chattha Sangayana (Sixth Council) edition of the Tipitaka (approved by the Buddhist Council 1954-1956), including the Tipitaka, the Atthakathas (commentaries) and the Tikas and Anu Tikas (sub-commentaries), the Vissudhimagga and its commentaries. It allows the full-text to be viewed in Devanagari, Roman and Myanmar scripts, and may be searched by word or phrase (including the use of wildcards). It is also possible to search by the volume or page number of the printed editions on which the electronic texts are based. The volume and page numbers are displayed within any results retrieved. Cross-references exist between the Tipitaka text and the Atthakathas and Tikas. The Vipassana Research Institute is based in Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri, near Mumbai, India. Its primary aim is to conduct research and publish information related to Vipassana meditation. This site will interest those wanting primary sources for Buddhist studies.
Unlike many other resources on religious trends within the United States which focused specifically on the Judeo-Christian tradition, The Pluralism Project, directed by Diana Eck at Harvard University, seeks to consider and evaluate the growing diversity in religious expression found across the nation. A variety of textual resources are made available through this site including: a series of scholarly articles; directories of religious centres; and a series of excellent bibliographies and guidelines for conducting contemporary research on religious denominations, applicable to research on religious pluralism in both North America and Europe. There is a link advertising the project's CD-ROM On Common Ground: World Religions in America, (Second Edition). An interesting sub-set of this project is World Religions in Boston, which describes the variety of religious expression and interaction all within one major American city, and can be downloaded or viewed on the web. Unfortunately, the site lacks any extensive demographic material on religious growth and developments.
The Pure Land Buddhism WWW Virtual Library provides access to Web resources on this topic. It offers links to resources about the various Pure Land schools, bibliographical information about Pure Land Buddhism, plus an introductory essay. This introduction is clear and well written, and provides a useful account of how Pure Land Buddhism (one of the most popular schools within the Far East) is located within the wider picture of Buddhist philosophy. This resource is easily navigated and invaluable to those interested in research of this particular area of Buddhist thought. The site is part of the more general Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library.
This is the English language home page of Reiyukai, the oldest of the Nichiren-inspired Japanese New Religious Movements. The site presents itself as that of an international non-governmental organization, though it is actually a religious movement with some 2 million followers in Japan. It does engage in substantial charitable outreach work worldwide. It is remarkably difficult to discover the specific religious character of Reiyukai from this site. The "Philosophy" button leads to a simple statement about Buddhism, and the site is dominated by a bland rhetoric of self-improvement. One would have to look elsewhere to discover that Reiyukai, as with other Nichiren schools, places great emphasis on the recitation of short prayer to the Lotus Sutra, called the nembutsu. Nonetheless, study of these pages does reveal the tight integration of social structure and religious praxis. The Reiyukai as an institution tends to demonstrate its faith through deeds, such as funding major research centres in Nepal and Japan. Links to these resources are available through the 'International' or 'History' buttons. Links to the Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese language sites are just at the bottom of the left-side frame. Reiyukai has a substantial presence in Peru and Brazil.
As an introduction to Buddhism, by the BBC, this site is extremely useful and gives a great deal of information and links to other sites which will be of interest to those beginning their investigation into Buddhism and its followers. There are links to other BBC site about important people in the Buddhist religion, to pages about the basic tenets of Buddhism, Buddhist texts, explanations of Buddhist holy days, practices and customs, and history. Buddhism-related news is also offered, as is a podcast of an excellent episode of the programme 'In our time' with Melvyn Bragg and a number of experts discussing the life and influence of the Buddha. There are also links offered to pages outside the BBC investigating Buddhism. Well worth a visit for those new to the subject.
Religion Compass (ISSN: 1749-8171) is an online journal dedicated to original peer-reviewed surveys of research and other works from across the discipline. Published by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing and edited by Tamara Sonn, the resource is targeted at teachers, researchers and students of religion, as well as non-specialist scholars. The materials can be browsed according to Authors' names and the following section themes: African Religions; Ancient Near East; Buddhism; Chinese and Japanese Traditions; Christianity; Indian Traditions; Islam; Judaism; New Religions; Native Religions of the Americas; and Theory and Method. Although subscription is needed to access the materials in full, this website makes available their abstract alongside information about the journal's editorial board.
Religion in South Asia is a section of the American academy of religion whose aim is to promote the academic study of religions around the world. The website of the organisation offers users a number of resources - mailing lists, membership details, notices about forthcoming meetings, lists of publications, a few of which are available in full text on the site. There are also pages with bibliographies of South Asian religions and others which give access to a wide range of teaching resources. The links page is useful, but unfortunately the page which promises to be the most interesting, promising video and multimedia resources, does not open. This site is quite useful - more so for the specialist than the interested researcher - but it is in need of some design work and a test of the links.
This site gives a bibliography of printed materials for the study of religion in South Asia. The site is divided into nine different sections: eight giving resources available for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism and one final section which features works in which two or more of these religions are compared. The list is not at all comprehensive, but determinedly selective. Entries have, on the whole, been quite stringently assessed before inclusion using book reviews, other bibliographies and the 'World bibliographical' series. The bibliography is further restricted based on the holdings of the various libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is, however, a worthwhile list and useful for anyone studying the religions of South Asia.
Originally constructed for the benefit of students of San Francisco State University, this site has been left online for use by scholars of Buddhism around the world. The site contains a number of useful resources from class reading lists, links to online versions and translations of Sutras and other Buddhist texts, articles about Buddhist history and about the interaction of the religion with modern society. There are also sections looking at Buddhist teachings and Buddhism and science. The site is simply laid out and easy to navigate. Although there is a warning at the top of the home page that the site is no longer monitored, so some links might be out of date, this has not yet happened in too many cases. As a result this is a useful introduction to the religion and to the academic study of Buddhism and its practices.
Charles Muller's Resources for the Study of East Asian Language and Thought website holds a collection of resources, each of which is significant in its own right. Most consist of primary texts (with English translations) relating to Buddhism in the Far East. There are also a Buddhism discussion list; a Chinese-Japanese-Korean-Vietnamese-English dictionary; and some materials relating to web development, such as XML/XSL application kits for bibliographies and articles. The first resource is the 'Digital Dictionary of Buddhism', containing around 30,000 terms. Access to the dictionary requires registration, although users may log in as a Guest for restricted access. The main page includes links to other related dictionaries.
Another resource is the Five Chinese Classics translated by Muller. The featured texts are the Analects of Confucius; Great Learning; Doctrine of the Mean; Mencius; and the Daode jing (or Tao Te Ching). There are annotated translations of The Two Principal Texts of the Buddhist-Confucian Debate in Korea - Bulssi japbyeon, and Hyeonjeong non. An introductory essay accompanies the translations. Also available on the site are a large number of Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist electronic texts, indexes, and bibliographies. There is an overview and bibliography of Korean Buddhism, and a site about Yogacara Buddhism. The sheer scope and size of this site should ensure that there will be something of interest to any student of Oriental Buddhism or Confucianism.
'Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries' is an online exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. It displays the images of some of the most significant findings from the chance discovery made in 1996 in Qingzhou, a northeastern province of Shandong. There, workers levelling a school sports field came across a pit loaded with over 400 Buddhist statues dated between 525 and 577. The findings not only revised understanding of medieval Buddhist practices, their significance have even been equated with that of the Terracotta Army. Apart from the close-up images of some of the limestone statues found, this attractive and well-presented website provides an overview of: the discovery; the significance of colour in Buddha sculptures; and the characteristics of the Buddha and stylistic changes.
Part of the Internet Sacred Text Archive, this website offers online versions of English translations of a wide selection of Buddhist scriptures and other important writings. Available works include: the suttas; the Vinaya texts (part of the Pali canon, or Tipitaka); Dwight Goddard's 'Buddhist Bible' (an anthology of key Zen documents); selections from the Jataka (a collection of Buddhist fables); and 'The Book of Tea' (about the Japanese tea ceremony). To aid navigation, the texts are divided into three categories: modern works; Southern Buddhism; and Northern Buddhism. A valuable resource for anyone engaged in the study of Buddhism.
The SAT Daizōkyō Text Database website makes available online the full text of the 85 volumes of the Taisho Tripitaka, the most recent edition of the Buddhist canon in Chinese, used by Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhists. The database is the product of a long-term project led by the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo, allowing users to search the text and to view individual pages; a range of other facilities are planned for the future. It is a tremendous research resource for students of East Asian Buddhism who have the requisite language skills (most of the site is in Japanese). The English version of the website (which of course excludes the text) is accessible via the top menu bar, which is in black on dark green and therefore very difficult to read, but running the cursor along the bar will highlight the buttons. The site requires a system able to view Japanese fonts, and a Japanese-capable word processor is needed to use any downloaded files. The database is also linked to the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, access to which is by user authentication or by logging in as 'guest'.
It is unfortunate that the site does not at least contain a catalogue of titles with English and Sanskrit equivalents, in the manner of Lancaster's Catalogue of the Korean Buddhist Canon. For those who are curious, the Sanskrit word Tripitaka means 'three baskets' and is a traditional term for the Buddhist canon in any version. The Sanskrit at the top of the front page means 'The Taisho Tripitaka made machine-useable'.
The Shingon Buddhist International Institute promotes the understanding of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism (Mikkyō). Although it is based in California, it has strong links with Koya-san (Mount Koya) in Japan, the centre of the sect. Apart from a brief description of the Institute in Japanese, the site is in English. It has sections on: the history of the sect, founded by Kōbō Daishi (Kūkai) in the 9th century; teachings (also in an archive library section); deities; ritual; about SBII; the Shingon priesthood; and links to other Shingon websites in both English and Japanese. The section on resources was still under construction at the time of review. The site is a useful introduction to this important Japanese Buddhist sect.
'Shurangama Sutra: Text, Commentaries, and Articles' is a website maintained by Professor Ron Epstein. It makes available: the Chinese text of the Shurangama Sutra (Surangama Sutra) - an early text of Mahayana Buddhism; together with an English translation of the sutra by the Buddhist Text Translation Society; comment on the sutra and mantra by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua; and a number of articles by Epstein himself. The sutra is also given its Chinese title Da Fo Ding Shou Leng Yan Jing (Leng Yen Ching). This is part of the Chinese Buddhist canon (Taisho Tripitaka, No. 945).
The Society for the Study of Japanese Religions (SSJR) is an international academic association affiliated with the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), and its website provides information on its activities and publications, as well as links to online teaching resources and other relevant sites. The Society's annual forum is held as part of the AAS conference, and the full presentations given at the forums are published in annual Supplements that can be downloaded in PDF format from this site. The biannual Bulletins (newsletters) can also be downloaded. The Announcements section includes details of: forthcoming conferences and exhibitions; research grants and fellowships; and job vacancies. Although there is a bias to the USA, where the Society is based, the information in this section will be of more general interest too.
The Teaching Resources section consists mainly of links to other sites for video resources, the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Syllabi Project, and other online resources. However, there is also a useful photo library of temples, shrines, Buddhist statues and festivals. The Links Related to Japanese Religions section includes Japan-related journals and more general sites on Japanese society and culture, as well as religion-specific sites; the links are well annotated.
The Soka Gakkai International website is the home page of one of the largest religious movements in the world. The website offers information about this form of Buddhism, relevant news items, and details of the organisation's activities (which include work for peace, development, and humanitarian relief). Soka Gakkai, which arose in 20th century Japan, follows in the tradition of several schools of East Asian Buddhism that emphasise the chanting of a short prayer from the Lotus Sutra, the 'Nam-myoho-renge-kyo' or daimoku. It adheres to the teachings of the Japanese monk Nichiren, the founder of the Jodoshin school in the 13th century. The website, which is attractively presented and easy to navigate, is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
This is the website of the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist lay movement which follows the precepts of the 13th century teacher Nichiren Daishonin. In addition to information about the organisation's activities, this site offers an online introductory study programme (with downloadable notes in PDF format) which explains the basic principles of this form of Buddhism. These focus on the Lotus Sutra (a series of sermons delivered by the Buddha towards the end of his ministry), and in particular on the practice of chanting its name. Although the primary intended audience of this site is the believer rather than the academic, this is a useful resource for those beginning to study this branch of the religion.
The website of the temple of the sacred tooth relic in Kandy provides users with access to the full programme of religious events and festivals held at the temple. It also, however, has a large collection of photographs detailing these events in past years as well as a number of pages detailing the history of the temple and its founding, the significance it holds for Sri Lankan buddhists and the stories of the various deities associated with it. Most interestingly, the website also presents a selection of articles investigating the role of religion in society and in particular the future of religious ceremony and tradition.
This website offers an electronic version of the Pali Canon, distributed by the Journal of Buddhist Ethics in association with the Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project. The texts are in the original Pali rather than English. Data files, fonts, and other utilities for viewing the texts are available on this site. The Pali Canon, or Tipitaka (Tripitaka in Sanskrit), is the collection of Buddhist scriptures preserved by the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. The edition used as the basis for this was the Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series in fifty-eight volumes, published under the patronage of the government of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) during the 1960s and 1970s.
The website 'Sutta reading' gives visitors an opportunity to hear translations of selected Buddhist texts read by Buddhists at an American monastery. The readers are invited by the site's designer to present a reading of a Sutta of their own choice, so the texts available on the website are somewhat random. They are taken from some of Buddhism's most important works: the Majjhima Nikaya, the Samyutta Nikaya, the Anguttara Nikaya, the Khuddaka Nikaya and the Dhammapada. Many of the Suttas are also presented in translation in text form as well. The recordings and translations are given with extensive metadata, and biographies are available for all the readers.
The Taoism Information Page is a gateway to mainly scholarly English-language resources relating to the study of Taoism, one of the three religions usually associated with China. The other two, namely Buddhism and Confucianism, are also briefly touched on. The gateway is divided into sections which include: Tao Te Ching; Chuang-tzu; I Ching; The Sun-tzu Art of War; Taoism and Martial Arts; and Taoism and Modernity. Each link is accompanied by a brief annotation. The site is an associate site of the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library and is edited by Gene R. Thursby, Associate Professor, Department of Religion at the University of Florida.
This website, hosted by the University of Virginia Library, catalogues the exhibition held at the library in 1997 on the sacred Tibetan Buddhist texts concerning death and dying. While the site fulfils a useful function in documenting this exhibition, its most helpful contribution for the student of religious studies lies in its introductions to Tibetan Buddhist sacred texts: their history, content, and teaching. The site is divided into several related sections, including: the Sutras; the Tantras; the Art of Dying; Scroll Paintings; Statuary; and Ceremonial. Providing excellent commentaries on the texts, as well as photographs of sample pages from the manuscripts themselves, the Tibetan Book of the Dead site represents a helpful introduction to these works.
The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center site describes the work of the TBRC in the discovery, identification, collection and cataloguing of the texts of Tibetan Buddhism, and provides online access to its database. Some texts are available for browsing in compressed JPEG format and can be ordered as high quality PDF files free of charge. Digital copies of other scanned texts can be ordered, and it is also possible to sponsor the scanning of texts. The database may be searched by titles, persons, subjects, places, or outlines, or browsed by famous people or places. The teachers and students of key figures are listed on their web pages, along with links to their important writings. Names are transliterated into the Roman alphabet.
This site gives access to translations of key Buddhist texts. It is part of the website 'Access to insight', but this is the part that deals exclusively with the Pali canon, rather than broader issues of the Buddhist religion. The site explains the origins of the texts and their relationship with each other and gives an explanation of how they are divided into the various parts that constitute the Tipitaka. Useful on the history and provenance of the Tipitaka, the main purpose of the site, however, is the presentation of the translations. These can be accessed either by browsing the ordered lists of the three Pitakas, or through a comprehensive index which places the suttas in alphabetical order. The translations are well referenced and fully searchable and there are also links to translations of the paracanonical texts and to suggested further reading. This is a site which will be of great use to scholars of Buddhism.
This is the home page of Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism. It is a quarterly magazine published by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and edited by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. It publishes articles and book reviews on issues relating to peace, social justice, environmental awareness and social awareness. It has a particular interest in works that are grounded in personal experience and which inspires activism. Each issue has its own theme and contributors to date include Robert Aitken; Joanna Macy; Sulak Sivaraksa; Thich Nhat Hanh; Norman Fischer; and Susan Moon. This website contains the magazine's submission guidelines and allows access to a number of articles or extracts from issues published since 2000. These are mainly presented in PDF. There are also details of how all articles published since 1990 can be purchased.
The UCLA Asia Institute comprises six member centres; together, they promote Asian Studies at UCLA and greater understanding of the various countries and cultures of East Asia, South East Asia and South Asia. The website provides information on the Institute's activities, which are broadly categorised as research support, community outreach work, and public programmes. The three main sections in the list on the left of the home page are Initiatives, Programs and Publications. Initiatives include: research and training exchange programmes; seminars, workshops and film screenings on specific themes; and workshop series. Programs include workshops for teachers and seminars for academics and students on Asia-related careers. The Institute has three online publications: the daily Asia Media, with news and feature articles on all aspects of the media; Asia Pacific Arts, which covers literature, cinema, music, art, and many other forms of art and entertainment; and a bi-monthly enewsletter on Asia-related events in California; this section also gives information on the Asia Pacific Monographs series.
News and upcoming events are highlighted on the home page, but there is also a separate Events section, highlighted in the list across the top of the page. Links to the websites of the member centres (concerned with Buddhism, China, Japan, Korea, India and South Asia, and Southeast Asia respectively) are also found here, along with sections on: People (academic and other staff); Study (undergraduate and postgraduate programmes);' Funding (grants and fellowships); and Resources, a short annotated list of links.
The website of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies provides information about this organisation, which is open to academics, postgraduate students, independent scholars, and interested Buddhist practitioners. The Association exists to facilitate communication and collaboration between those with an interest in the academic study of Buddhism in the UK and worldwide. The website provides: information on becoming a member of the Association; a statement of the aims and the constitution of the Association; and details of the Association's annual conference. Also offered are a list of UK higher education courses relating to Buddhism, and a list of links to relevant online resources, although at time of cataloguing these had not been updated for some time. The design of the website is somewhat basic, but the information is presented in a clear and straightforward manner.
The Virtual Religion Index (VRI) is an extensive catalogue of online religion resources. It provides an ideal starting point for both researchers and students of religious studies. The site is topic-led with topics including: archaeology and religious art; ancient near eastern studies; comparative religion; all the major world religions; and the philosophy and psychology of religion. Each link within the catalogue has a short annotation and links are according to topic on a single page. Users may join the site's email list if they wish to be kept up-to-date with new additions and alterations.
'Visions of Enlightenment: Understanding the Art of Buddhism' is an award-winning website which draws on the Buddhist art collection of the Pacific Asia Museum (California) to help convey the spirit of Buddhism to visitors. Accessible in Flash and HTML, resources include: a series of text and photo-sound essays (on themes like The Buddha; Compassionate Beings: Bodhisattvas, Deities, Guardians, Holy Men; Buddhist Places; Signs, Symbols, Ritual Objects; 21st Century Buddha Path and Hollywood Buddha: Pop Culture Appropriation); teaching materials (e.g. discussion questions, activities, suggestions for curriculum development, and a list of online and print resources); a glossary of terms; timelines and maps; and a forum which informs users of Buddhist art events taking place around the world.
The World of Xuanzang and Silk Road website focuses on the Silk Road as it was during the voyages of Xuanzang (596-664), a translator of Buddhist scriptures that visited India. The website (mostly in Chinese) contains bibliographic databases; news; interactive maps of the Silk Road, with short articles; galleries of pictures on arts and artefacts; a timeline; the biography of Xuanzang and the records of the Western Regions. There are also games and other educational materials, as well as a few videos. Unfortunately, the website was plagued by several broken links at the time of review, but the available contents are sufficient to recommend it to researchers.
The Zen Buddhism WWW virtual library is a gateway to online resources for the study of Zen Buddhism. There are annotated links to over 100 sites world wide. This resource, which is a part of the Buddhist studies WWW virtual library, is maintained by T. Matthew Ciolek and Vladimir Keremidschieff.