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A Guide to Religious Studies

Reference Works - A Place to Begin



Robert E. Buswell, Jr., ed. Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson/Gale, 2004)


G. P. Malalasekera, ed. Encyclopaedia of Buddhism (Colombo: Govt. of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, 1961-2009)




Olson, Carl. Historical Dictionary of Buddhism (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009)

Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003) 

Soothill, William Edward. A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: with Sanskrit and English equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali index (London; New York: Routledge Curzon, 2004).


Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Prebish, Charles S. The A to Z of Buddhism (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001)

Inagaki, Hisao. A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms: Based on references in Japanese literature (Kyoto: Nagata Bunshodo, 1984)

A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts (Tokyo: Nichiren Shoshu International Center, 1983)

Soothill, William Edward. A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms, with Sanskrit and English equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali index (Taipei: Ch'eng Wen Pub. Co., 1975); reprint of 1967 ed.

A Dictionary of Buddhism (New York: Scribner, 1972)

Humphreys, Christmas. A Popular Dictionary of Buddhism (London: Arco Publications, 1962) & 2nd ed (1976)

Nyanatiloka, Bhikkhu. Buddhist Dictionary; manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines, 2d rev. ed. (Colombo: Frewin, 1956)

Edgerton, Franklin. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953



Reynolds, Frank. Guide to Buddhist Religion (Boston: Hall, 1981)

Yoo, Yushin. Books on Buddhism: An annotated subject guide (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1976)

Satyaprakash. Buddhism: A select bibliography (Gurgaon: Indian Documentation Service, 1976)

Hanayama, Shinshō. Bibliography on Buddhism (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1961

Shojun, Bando. A Bibliography on Japanese Buddhism (Tokyo: CHB Press, 1958)

Hamilton, Clarence Herbert. Buddhism in India, Ceylon, China and Japan: A reading guide (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1931)

LoC Subject Headings

A keyword search ("Word(s)") in the Washington WashU 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:


BuddhismBuddhism and cultureBuddhist ethics 

Politics and Nationalism 

Buddhism and politicsBuddhism and stateViolence -Religious aspects--Buddhism;  Buddhism--[nation: e.g. China, Korea, Japan, etc.]--History; Nationalism--Religious aspects--BuddhismReligion and civil society kw: BuddhismSocial conflict -- Religious aspects kw: BuddhismPolitical violence -- Religious aspects kw: Buddhism 

Social Engagement 

Buddhism -- Social aspectsBuddhism and social problems"engaged Buddhism"Human ecology--Religious aspects--BuddhismEcology --Religious aspects--BuddhismPeace--Religious aspects--BuddhismNonviolence--Religious aspects--BuddhismSpeciesism--Religious aspects--BuddhismBuddhism and politicsBuddhists--Political activity 

Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Feminism--Religious aspects--BuddhismFeminist theology kw: BuddhismWomen--Religious aspects--BuddhismBuddhist womenBuddhist monasticism and religious orders for womenWomen in BuddhismRace relations--Religious aspects--BuddhismSex--Religious aspects--BuddhismSex role--Religious aspects--BuddhismEthnicity--Religious aspects--Buddhism 

Mindfulness and Medicine

Mindfulness (Psychology)Mindfulness-based cognitive therapyHealing--Religious aspects--BuddhismMedicine--Religious aspects--BuddhismNeurosciences--Religious aspects--BuddhismBuddhism--PsychologyHealth--Religious aspects--BuddhismMedical ethics--Religious aspects--BuddhismBioethics--Religious aspects--BuddhismAbortion--Religious aspects--Buddhism

Media and Popular Culture

Buddhism in motion picturesMotion pictures--Religious aspects--BuddhismMass media -- Religious aspects kw: Buddhism

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 WashU 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