Teaching Buddhism




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Books and Book Reviews
Textbook Reviews
Bibliographies and On-line Resources for Buddhism Textbooks

Textbook Reviews

The following is a list of books often used in courses on Buddhism, accompanied by review information and comments from professors of Buddhism and Asian Religions. We would like to encourage discussion regarding these textbooks, so if you would like have your comments about these books, or others you have used, posted on the site, please send them to asiaedit@po-box.mcgill.ca.

Andreasen, Esben. Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion and Culture (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998).

Alejandro Echevarria. Education About Asia 4.2 (Fall 1999) : 56.

Basho, Matsui. Basho’s Narrow Road: Two Works by Matsuo Basho, trans. Hiroaki Sato, (Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, 1996).

Michael Guest. Education About Asia 3.2 (Fall 1998) : 71.

Bechert, Heinz and Richard Gombrich, eds. The World of Buddhism: Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Society and Culture (London: Thames and Hudson LTD, 1984)

Werblowski, RJZ. Numen 33.2 (1986) : 241-269.

Chappell, David W, Buddhist Christian Studies. 6 (1986) : 163-166.

Jackson, Roger, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. 8 No. 1 (1985), p. 126-133.

Collins, Steven, Expository Times. 96 (Ap. 1985)., p. 221-222.

Conze, Edward, Buddhism: Its Essence and Development. (New York: Harper, 1959)

Reichelt, Gerhard M. International Review of Mission 50 (1961) : 473-475.

______ International Review of Mission 42 (1953) : 103-104.

Kitagawa, Joseph M. Journal of Religion 32 (1952) : 144.

"A classic, by which I was introduced to Buddhism--but dated now."
Asian Religions Professor

Corless, Roger J., The Vision of Buddhism (New York: Paragon House, 1989)

Chapple, Christopher. Dialogue and Alliance 7 (Fall-Winter 1993) :124-125. 

Nattier, Jan History, "Subjectivity, and the Study of Buddhism," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 60 (Fall 1992) : 525-536. 

Nefsky, Marilyn F, Buddhist Christian Studies 11 (1991) : 311-315.

Mayer, Robert, Religion 21 (July 1991) : 299-300.

"A valuable personal take on Buddhism by a Western insider, but not really appropriate as an introductory textbook."
Asian Religions Professor

De Deugd, Annelies, IIAS Internet Guide to Asian Studies (Leiden: International Institute for Asian Studies, 1996)

Edward J. Lazzerini, Education About Asia 2.2 (Fall 1997).

Gach, Gary. What Book!? Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop. (Berkely: Parallax Press, 1998).

Several reviews posted at http://www.levity.com/interbeing/wbreviews.html.

Also described on What Web.

Goldstein, Melvyn C. The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997)

Samuel C. Pearson. Education About Asia 4.2 (Fall 1999) : 63.

Harvey, Peter, An introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, history and practices (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990)

Cox, Collett. Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (O-D 1992) : 665-666.

King, Richard. Scottish Journal of Religious Studies 12 (Spring 1991) : 63-65.

Keown, Damien. Religious Studies 27 (June 1991) : 269-270.

_____. Expository Times 102 (June 1991) : 286.

Gethin, Rupert. Times Literary Supplement 4580 (Jan. 11 1991) : 19.

Heisig, James W. and John C. Maraldo, eds. Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto School, and the Question of Nationalism, (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994).

Brian D. Ruppert. Education About Asia 4.2 (Fall 1999) : 61-62.

Lopez, Donald S. ed. Buddhism in Practice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995)

William Huntley, Education About Asia 3.3 (Winter 1998).

Machida, Soho. Renegade Monk: Honen and Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. (California: University of California Press, 1999)

James L. Ford. AAR: Journal of the American Academy of Religions 68.2 (2000) : 425-427.

Muller CJK-English Dictionary, (Tokyo: East Co. LTD)

Elizabeth Downing. Education About Asia 3.2 (Fall 1998) : 56.

Nyanaponika Thera, ed. And revised by Bhikku Bodhi. Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time (Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society in Collaboration with Wisdom Publications, Boston, Massachusetts, 1998)

Richard Booth. Education About Asia 4.3 (1999) : 73-75.

Rahula, Walpola. What the Buddha Taught (Bedford: Fraser, 1959)

"Another classic. Still useful for early Buddhism, esp. if one contextualizes Rahula and his ‘modern, scientific’ reading."
Asian Religions Professor

Robinson, Richard and Willard Johnson, The Buddhist Religion (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1997)

Stephenson, Alan M.G., Journal of the American Academy of Religion 39 (Sept. 1971) : 377-378. 

". . . quite complete, which means the students complain about how dense and dry it is. It is hard to give relatively complete coverage and sustain student interest."
Asian Religions Professor

Strong, John S., The Experience of Buddhism: Sources and Interpretations (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1995)

"Strong covers the bases well, though I liked some of Beyer's versions better. Could include a little more (Euro-) American Buddhism.
Asian Religions Professor

Tarthang Tulku, Ways of Enlightenment: Buddhist Studies at Nyingma Institute, (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1993)

Robin Kornman. Education About Asia 1.2 (Fall 1996) : 48.

Victoria, Brian. Zen at War, (New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1997)

Michael Ashkenazi, Education About Asia 4.2 (Fall 1999) : 55.

Williams, Paul, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations (London; New York: Routledge, 1989)

De Jong, Jan Willem, Indo-Iranian Journal 34 (Oct. 1991) : 306-307.

Corless, Roger, Modern Theology 7 (July 1991) : 376-377.

Harvey, Peter, Religious Studies 26 (Sept. 1990) : 429-431.

Hodge, Stephen, Middle Way 64 no. 3 (Nov.1989) : 175-176.

Bibliographies and On-line Resources for Buddhism Textbooks: 

Annotated Bibliography of Scholarly Books on Buddhist Ethics and Ethics-Related Topics Published in the 1990s
Compiled by Charles Prebish and Damien Keown for the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.

Digital Learning Group
Provides interactive and updated on-line textbooks for introductory college level courses.

American Buddhism: A Bibliography on Buddhist Traditions and Schools in the U.S.A. and Canada
An extensive bibliography of scholarly books, articles and some Web sites Compiled by Martin Baumann of the University of Bremen.

This page contains a world-wide collection of on-line library catalogs arranged geographically or by vendor.

Electric Bodhidharma (IRIZ Web site)
Bibliographies of works on Zen in several European languages.

Garin-Michaud Roger’s Buddhist Bibliography
A comprehensive bibliography of ancient and modern Buddhist works in English, French, German, Sanskrit and Tibetan with on-line links to distributors.

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review provides on-line copies of its book reviews as well as information on Buddhist bestsellers.

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