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A Guide to Religious Studies

Required and Recommended Texts

If you do not wish to purchase a copy of the required texts for this course, there are additional copies available to be borrowed from either Washington University Libraries or other library systems. A link to the catalog record follows each title. For more information about MOBIUS, see this link (the "MOBIUS" tab of the "Local Libraries" research guide). For more information about local public libraries, see this link (the "Public Libraries" tab of the "Local Libraries" research guide). Borrowing limits apply.


Jacoby & Mitchell, Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience (3rd ed.) - MOBIUS *  WUSTL (1st ed.)

Lopez, Jr., The Norton Anthology of World Religions (vol. 1, Hinduism, Buddhism, & Daoism) - WUSTL * MOBIUS * SLPL 


Gethin, The Foundations of Buddhism - WUSTL print or eBook * MOBIUS 

Subject Headings for Group and Final Projects

A keyword search ("Word(s)") in the Washington University Libraries' catalog is similar to any Web search in that the words you enter could be anywhere on the Web page, or, in the case of a library catalog, the item record. If you do not know the Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) for the topic you are researching, then a keyword search is a good way to start. However, if you want to find EVERYTHING the library owns on a subject, you will want to discover the proper subject headings and peruse the available titles therein. When you see a title and say to yourself: "Hey, that sounds exactly like what I'm looking for!," click on that item record, then click on it's LCSH for all titles in the library under that subject heading.   

The following is a partial and not exhaustive list of relevant subject headings:


Politics and Nationalism 

Social Engagement 

Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Mindfulness and Medicine

Media and Popular Culture

Journal Article Databases

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this course, it is impossible to list all the potentially useful journal article databases to which Washington University Libraries subscribe. Depending upon the focus of your group or final project, you may find history, political, science, or gender and sexuality article databases more useful than religious journals. Therefore, included in this section are links to periodical article databases by general subject areas:

Art History Journal Articles

Performing Arts Journal Articles

Political Science Journal Articles

Psychology Journal Articles

Public Health Journal Articles

Religious Studies Journal Articles

Sociology Journal Articles

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

World History Journal Articles

Resources for Field Visits

If you choose the field visit option for the final project, you may need to resources related to the history and practice of whichever Buddhist tradition you visit. There are centers for Zen, Theravada (Vipassana), Tibetan, and Nichiren (Soka Gakkai) Buddhism in the St. Louis area.


Chapter 2, "D. T. Suzuki, "Suzuki Zen," and the American reception of Zen Buddhism," and Chapter 11, "A dharma of place:" evolving aesthetics and cultivating community in an American Zen garden," in  American Buddhism as a Way of Life 

Chapter 7, "Zen and Its Flagship Institutions," in Buddhism in America

Chapter 2, "Japanese American Zen Temples: Cultural Identity and Economics" in American Buddhism: Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarship 

Chapter 3, "Japanese Zen in America: Americanizing the Face in the Mirror" or Chapter 6, "Korean Buddhism in America: A New Style of Zen" in The Faces of Buddhism in America 

The Social Organization of Zen Practice: Constructing Transcultural Reality 

Namu Dai Bosa: A Transmission of Zen Buddhism to America

Gate of Sweet Nectar: Feeding Hungry Spirits in an American Zen Community (DVD)

One God Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi

Theravada (Vipassana)

Chapter 9, "The Theravada Spectrum" in Buddhism in America 

Chapter 8, "Theravada Buddhism in America: Prospects for the Sangha" in The Faces of Buddhism in America 

Old Wisdom in the New World: Americanization in Two Immigrant Theravada Buddhist Temples 

Chapter 3, "Buddhist modernism and the American vipassana movement" and Chapter 4, "Adaptation of vipassana meditation by convert Buddhists and sympathizers" in Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation


Chapter 8, "The Tibetan Milieu," in Buddhism in America 

Chapter 5, "Tibetan Buddhism in America: The Development of American Vajrayana," in The Faces of Buddhism in America 

Nichiren (Soka Gakkai)

Chapter 6, "Soka Gakkai and Its Nichiren Humanism," in Buddhism in America 

Chapter 4, "Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai in America: The Pioneer Spirit," in The Faces of Buddhism in America