Title:Historical Dictionary of Buddhism
Author:Charles S. Prebish
Publisher:Sri Satguru Publications
Edition:First Indian Edition
Size:142 x 222 mm
The history of humankind is inextricably linked to religion. That Buddhism is one of the oldest active religions makes it the perfect subject for the first volume in this series, Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements, published by Scarecrow. The book is divided into three parts: a lengthy introduction, the dictionary itself, and an extensive bibliography.
The introductory material includes a pronunciation guide, a list of Buddhist scriptures from its various branches, a chronology of Buddhist history, and a map. The pronunciation guide clarifies the differences between Sanskrit and Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese languages and their transliteration into English. The list of Buddhist scriptures is divided into the canons of the various cultures and branches of Buddhism. The five-page chronology covers the growth of Buddhism by century from 6 B.C. to the twentieth century. The author's introduction opens with a biography of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, then expounds upon the information in the chronology and the scripture lists.
The dictionary itself has approximately 700 entries, each at least a paragraph in length; some take a whole page. Cross-references are noted parenthetically at the end of an entry in capital letters. Entries include westerners significant in Buddhism, such as Edward Conze and Caroline Rhys-Davids, as well as such Eastern Buddhists as the Dalai Lama and Nichiren; definitions of Buddhist terms and ideas: and important historical events such as the various councils and eras.