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Buddhist Studies Review

Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland
Alice Collett, York St John University

Book Review Editor
Sarah Shaw, Oxford University

Please send books for review in Buddhist Studies Review to:
Sarah Shaw
Manor Barn,
Elsfield Manor,
Oxford, OX3 9SP
United Kingdom

Buddhist Studies Review is published by Equinox on behalf of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies. The Association was founded in 1996 and two years later took over publication of Buddhist Studies Review, which had been run since 1983 by Russell Webb and Sara Boin-Webb. Membership in the Association includes a subscription to the journal among other benefits.You can join the Association through the membership pages on their website.

The journal seeks to publish quality articles on any aspect of Buddhism, with submitted papers being blind peer-reviewed by two experts prior to acceptance. Relevant fields for the journal are: the different cultural areas where Buddhism exists or has existed (in South, Southeast, Central and East Asia); historical and contemporary aspects (including developments in 'Western' Buddhism); theoretical, practical and methodological issues; textual, linguistic, archaeological and art-historical studies; and different disciplinary approaches to the subject (e.g. Archaeology, Art History, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Comparative Religion, Law, Oriental Studies, Philosophy, Philology, Psychology, Religious Studies, Theology). It will consider articles from both established scholars and research students, from the UK or elsewhere.

Articles of Note from Recent Issues

Richard Gombrich, University of Oxford
Fifty years of Buddhist Studies in Britain, 2005, Vol. 22
Martin T. Adam, University of Victoria
Two Concepts of Meditation and Three Kinds of Wisdom in Bhāvanākramas: A Problem of Translation, 2006. Vol. 23
Jane Angell, University of Sunderland
Women in Brown: a Short History of the Order of Sīladharā, nuns of the English Forest Sangha, 2006, Vol. 23
Marcus Bingenheimer, Dharma Drum Buddhist College (Taiwan)
in the Chinese Saṃyuktāgamas, with a translation of the Māra Saṃyukta of the Bieyi za ahan jing (T.100), 2007, Vol. 24
Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies
Dhāraṇīs of the Mahāvyutpatti: Their Origin and Formation, 2007, Vol. 24
Horiko Kawanami, Lancaster University
The Bhikkhunī Ordination Debate: Global Aspirations, Local Concerns, with special emphasis on the views of the monastic community in Burma, 2007, Vol. 24
Anālayo, University of Hamburg
The Conversion of Aṅgulimāla in the Saṃyukta-āgama, 2008, Vol. 25
Ann Heirman, University of Ghent
Becoming a nun in the Dharmaguptaka tradition, 2008, Vol. 25
Martin Seeger, Leeds University
Phra Payutto and Debates "On the Very idea of the Pali Canon" in Thai Buddhism, 2009, Vol. 26
T.H. Barrett, School of Oriental and African Studies
Rebirth From China to Japan in Nara Hagiography: A Reconsideration, 2009, Vol. 26
Jeff Kuan, Yuan Ze University (Taiwan)
Rethinking Non-Self: A New Perspective from the Ekottarika-āgama, 2009, Vol.26
Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland
The Four Ariya-saccas as “True Realities for the Spiritually Ennobled”- the Painful, its Origin, its Cessation, and the Way Going to This – Rather than “Noble Truths” Concerning These, 2009, Vol. 26
Gisela Krey, University of Bonn
On Women as Teachers in Early Buddhism: Dhammadinnā and Khemā, 2010, Vol. 27
Anālayo, University of Hamburg and Dharma Drum Duddhist College (Taiwan)
Channa’s Suicide in the Saṃyukta-āgama, 2010, Vol. 27
John Kelly, Aide to Bhikkhu Bodhi with his Aṅguttara Nikāya translation
The Buddha's Teachings to Lay People 2011, Vol. 28
Richard Burnett, Teacher and Housemaster, Tonbridge School, Kent (UK)
Mindfulness in Secondary Schools: Learning Lessons from the Adults, Secular and Buddhist, 2011, Vol. 28
Ian Reader, University of Manchester
Buddhism in Crisis? Institutional Decline in Modern Japan, 2011, Vol. 28
Naomi Appleton, University of Cardiff
The Multi-Life Stories of Gautama Buddha and Vardhamāna Mahāvīra,2012, Vol. 29
John S. Strong, Bates College
Explicating the Buddha's Final Illness in the Context of his Other Ailments: The Making and Unmaking of some Jātaka Tales, 2012, Vol. 29
Khristos Nizamis, Independent Scholar (Australia)
"I" without "I am": On the Presence of Subjectivity in Early Buddhism, in the Light of Transcendental Phenomenology,2012, Vol. 29

Indexing and Abstracting

Bibliography of Humanities and Social Sciences Literature, K.G. Saur Verlag
Scopus Abstract and Citation Database
Web of Knowledge (Arts & Humanities Citation Index and Current Contents/Arts & Humanities)
ATLA Religion Database®

Publication and Frequency
May and November
ISSN: 0265-2897 (print)
ISSN: 1747-9681 (online)

Editorial Address: Peter Harvey, School of Art, Design, Media and Culture, Priestman Building, Green Terrace, Sunderland SR2 3PZ.

Most Viewed Articles


The Bhikkhunī Ordination Debate: Global Aspirations, Local Concerns, with special emphasis on the views of the monastic community in Burma

This paper examines the recent events following the bhikkhunī revival in Sri Lanka, and looks at the position of the Burmese Saṅgha, which has traditionally seen itself as the custodian of an ‘authentic’ Buddhist legacy, thrown into a debate by the action of a Burmese bhikkhunī who was recently ordained in Sri Lanka. It introduces the early initiatives of revivalist monks in Burma as well as the viewpoints of Burmese Saṅgha and the nuns in regard to the bhikkhunī issue. Since most debate on the position of nuns take place without much reference to the local political contexts in which they stand, the state monastic organization in Burma is introduced to aid understanding of the framework in which the nuns operate today. At another level, the paper draws attention to the tension created between the international bhikkhunīs who promote liberal ideologies of gender equality, individual rights and universalism
into a faith based community, and local nuns who adhere to the traditional norms of religious duty, moral discipline and service to the community, and questions the ultimate aim in endorsing such secular ideals.
Posted: 2007-10-08More...

Popular Buddhist Ritual in Contemporary Hong Kong: Shuilu Fahui, a Buddhist Rite for Saving All Sentient Beings of Water and Land

Shuilu fahui (水陸法會) is a Buddhist rite for saving all sentient beings (pudu, 普度) with a complex layer of ritual activities incorporating elements of all schools of Chinese Buddhism, such as Tantric mantras, Tian Tai rituals of asking for forgiveness (chanfa, 懺法), and Pure Land reciting of Amitābha’s name. The ritual can be dated to the Tang Dynasty (c. 670–673 CE) and has been one of the most spectacular and popular rituals in Chinese Buddhism. Shuilu fahui is still performed in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, and continues to be very popular amongst such Chinese communities. This study is an aid to understanding how Chinese Buddhism is practised by monks and nuns in Hong Kong, and how they interact with lay Buddhists through Shuilu fahui. This rite constructs and represents a unified religious world that contains many important and profound religious meanings, and it continuous to ­develop in order to accommodate the various demands of people in Hong Kong.
Posted: 2008-05-18More...

Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice , Ian Harris (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, 2005), 352pp, $62/£39.95, ISBN 0824827651

Posted: 2007-10-08More...

Zen Classics: Formative Texts in the History of Zen Buddhism, eds Steven Heine & Dale S. Wright (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006),viii + 283 pp, £14.99, ISBN 0-19-517525-5

Posted: 2007-10-08More...

Buddhist Studies Review Tables of Contents 1983-2008

A complete listing of contents and editorial boards for the journal from Volume 1, 1983 to Volume 25, issue 1, 2008.
Posted: 2007-02-03More...

Most Recent Articles


A Radical Buddhism for Modern Confucians: Tzu Chi in Socio-Historical Perspective

The new Taiwanese religious movement Tzu Chi raises interesting issues for the study of religions. First, as a Chinese form of Buddhism, it embodies an attempt to reconcile or even merge the cultures and mindsets of two utterly different civilizations, the Indian and the Chinese. Secondly, it casts doubt on the presupposition that a sect, as against a church, demands of its members exclusive allegiance. Thirdly, it shows that an emphasis on orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy may be modern as well as archaic. Fourthly, it also suggests that the view that secularization is tantamount to a narrowing of the domain of religion cannot be taken for granted. In the case of Tzu Chi there is probably some overlap between the last three issues, in that they show that generalizations about sects formulated by western sociologists have taken Christian sects as their model and may not be universally applicable.
Posted: 2014-01-01More...

A Note on the Term Theravāda

With the present article I study the trajectory of the term theravāda from its earliest occurrence in the Pāli canon to its present day usage as a designation of the form of Buddhism found in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. My presentation begins with the term theravāda in the Pāli discourses, followed by turning to the Pāli commentaries and chronicles. Next I examine the role of the Pāli canon in the Theravāda tradition and the conception of Theravāda as a monastic lineage, after which I discuss current usage and survey alternative terms.
Posted: 2014-01-01More...

Defining Engaged Buddhism: Traditionists, Modernists, and Scholastic Power

Thomas F. Yarnall’s 2003 categories of ‘modernist’ and ‘traditionist’, used to classify accounts of the origins of engaged Buddhism, have proven useful as methodological tools but today need considerable reevaluation. This article investigates two more recent accounts dealing with engaged Buddhism — David Loy’s The Great Awakening and Sallie B. King’s Socially Engaged Buddhism — in order to critique and ultimately to go beyond Yarnall’s categories. It touches on questions concerning the legitimacy and obligations of scholars in defining Buddhism for practitioners and for fellow academics, and makes the case that a significant shift is needed in order to avoid problems of Orientalism at work in some academic accounts of engaged Buddhism.
Posted: 2014-01-01More...

Two Sūtras in the Chinese Saṃyuktāgama without Direct Pāli Parallels — Some remarks on how to identify ‘later additions’ to the corpus

23 out of the 364 sūtras of the Shorter Chinese Saṃyuktāgama (BZA: Bieyi zaahan jing 別譯雜阿含經 T.100) and many more of the Longer Chinese Saṃyuktāgama (ZA: Zaahan jing 雜阿含經 T.99) have no known direct counterpart in Pāli, Sanskrit or Tibetan. These sūtras are especially suitable to introduce common problems regarding the relationship of early Indian sūtras and their Chinese translation. While usually the existence of an Indian parallel helps researchers to narrow down the range of likely forms of names and words, in the absence of Indian versions our understanding of translations and transcriptions becomes all the more conjectural. Āgama texts without a Pāli counterpart must also be suspected to be later additions to the collection and we have to deduce from form and content of the sūtra as well as its position in the collection, when, where and why the text came into being. The article introduces these problems as they appear in two BZA sutras (153 and 184), both of which are translated below.
Posted: 2014-01-01More...

Cultic Relationships Between Buddhism and Brahmanism in the ‘Last Stronghold’ of Indian Buddhism

Cultic Relationships Between Buddhism and Brahmanism in the ‘Last Stronghold’ of Indian Buddhism: An Analysis with Particular Reference to Votive Inscriptions on the Brahmanical Sculptures Donated to Buddhist Religious Centres in Early Medieval Magadha

In this article, an attempt has been made to understand the patterns of cultic relationships between Buddhism and Brahmanism through the prism of dedicatory inscriptions on the Brahmanical sculptures donated to Buddhist religious centres in early medieval Magadha. I have looked into the social background of the donors and the expressed motives for donation of such images. I have argued that the Buddhist Saṅgha accepted the donation of Brahmanical sculptures to effect a maṇḍalic appropriation of Brahmanical cults to Buddhism, though this does not seem to have been how the donors saw it. In the process, it exposed its own flank to a counter-appropriation by Brahmanism.
Posted: 2014-01-01More...


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