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ISBN: 9780192800626
With over 2,000 wide-ranging entries, this dictionary is the most up-to-date and comprehensive reference of its kind. Written by a leading expert in the field and incorporating research by regional specialists, this dictionary covers both historical and contemporary issues in Buddhism and includes all Buddhist schools and cultures. Elegantly illustrated with line drawings of religious structures, iconography, and ritual objects, the Dictionary of Buddhism includes entries on the history and doctrines of the major Buddhist schools, information on the spread of Buddhism in Asia and the West, and coverage of issues of contemporary concern such as human rights, abortion, euthanasia, and the role of women in Buddhist teachings. An ultimate reference, the dictionary also contains appendices that include a chronology of important dates, a guide to canonical scriptures, and a pronunciation guide for difficult names and terms. Beliefs, doctrines, major teachers and scholars, place names, and artifacts are all covered in a clear and concise style making the Dictionary of Buddhism an invaluable resource for students and practitioners alike. Although Keown regretfully concedes that the vast subject of Buddhism cannot be 'compressed into the pages of a volume such as this,' and that his illustrated dictionary is 'far from exhaustive,' it may well be the most judicious encyclopedia of Buddhism ever to be crammed into a single volume. The entries cover Buddhist terms (20% of the text), biography (18%), scriptures (12%), important places (8%) and schools (7%), with the remaining portions given to brief discussions of ethical issues and other matters. The entries are short--'dharma,' for example, merits only a single paragraph, and 'Mahayana' gets just two--but such accessibility is the very reason why this should be on the bookshelf of every student of Buddhism. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. The Buddhist tradition is a venerable one, widely practiced and studied. Yet, until recently, substantial reference works have lagged behind the interest in the subject. Most available in English are single-volume works that address terms, concepts, or deities. Oxford's new dictionary, although also a single volume, treats doctrines, practices, biography, scriptures, schools and sects, art, architecture, and more.