Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Will » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:51 am

Only dipped into it so far, this Preface by Lopez/Buswell will give the outline of contents:

http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/p10099.pdf
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:14 am

Some comments from Shi Huifeng, who was happy to have his Facebook "first impressions" reproduced. [One or two of the lines are from others, but generally I've tried to just reproduce Shi Huifengs comments, with some editing to make it flow..]

Shi Huifeng wrote:Just received my very impressive copy of <The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism>, after briefly flicking through it, maybe it should be renamed <The Princeton Dictionary of Western Buddhism>, or something like that. Well, fair enough, it is in English. But some very major content from Chinese Buddhism is totally overlooked, for example, and some other rather minor things of interest to the Western scholar are well detailed. Ho hum....

As for content, it was a brief flick through, as I said. But, being who I am, I thought that I'd look up the name of what is most likely the largest Chinese Buddhist organization in the late 20th century to the present (apart from the 中國佛教協會 that is), ie. Fo Guang Shan / Buddha Light International. Not a mention.

Nor a mention of the founder, Ven. Hsing Yun, despite being a huge force in the modern revival of Buddhism in Taiwan, Mainland China, and the entire Sinosphere, and major moving force behind "Humanistic Buddhism".

Nor a mention of Ven. Yinshun, one of the most influential scholar-monks of modern Chinese Buddhism, another of said movement.

Or Tzu Ch'i / Ciji.

Or Ven. Sheng Yen.

It's like the sources for Chinese Buddhism stop around 1950 or something...

But, then we have a whole half page for Evans-Wentz.

Looks like they also left out Mou Zongsan.

There is a Chogyam Trungpa, nearly half a page. No Hsuan Hua / Xuanhua?

Ven Xuyun gets a quarter page, and Laiguo... zip.

Part of the problem is the somewhat ineffectual connection between contemporary Chinese Buddhist scholars and the West. Much better these days, by and large, but in the mid to late 20th cty, a rather glaring hole. Two intellectual worlds with few standing in between to bridge the gap. </rantoff>

Alas, I don't have the many hours that would be required to do a full review. I also don't want to sound sour about it, either. Much of the other material looked very solid and sound. I think it's more modern Chinese, that is the problem. The classic stuff seems to be there. This may reflect a fairly well known trend in Western Buddhist studies, which looks at much Chinese material from a Japanese (or less likely, Korean) point of view. So, the later material, which didn't influence the Japanese seems to be skipped over.

But just check the size of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean cross reference material in the back. The latter two are larger than the former. Now, I don't want to begrudge the latter two, but on sheer length of history, geographical size, etc. surely Chinese Buddhism should have more material, no? This really does seem to be a hole in Western Buddhist studies, as far as I can see. </rant2off>


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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:22 am

Shi Huifeng wrote:There is a Chogyam Trungpa, nearly half a page. No Hsuan Hua / Xuanhua?

That's your avatar, isn't it Will? :(

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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Will » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:03 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Shi Huifeng wrote:There is a Chogyam Trungpa, nearly half a page. No Hsuan Hua / Xuanhua?

That's your avatar, isn't it Will? :(

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Mike


Correct Mike; and I was also irritated and puzzled that Master Hua & his DRBA or even the City of 10,000 buddhas was ignored.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Will » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:40 pm

But folks in whatever field like to work with familiar (and cheap) co-workers. Thus the profs use their grad students and never mind consulting any of the english literate monastics available.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:34 am

It is interesting that there seem to be a lot of "amateurs" (non-academics) who have a lot of knowledge that the western academic community doesn't seem to have much of a grasp of. A big difference between Buddhist studies in the West and other areas, such as science or engineering, is that the academics generally are not practitioners. Whereas a science academics will generally be engaged in some kind of scientific research --- only a very small minority would just write about what scientists do...

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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:52 am

The idea that western academics of Buddhism are not practitioners may be a bit of a generalization and cliche, for a while it is definitely the case that not all of them are practicing Buddhists, a large number definitely have strong empathy and inclination toward a fair amount of Buddhist ideas. One would probably have to know these people personally to see this, because personal life is something that does not appear in academic writings.

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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:38 am

Thanks for the clarification, Venerable. I was thinking of people I have come across personally, such as expat kiwi Paul Harrison (now at Stanford) and comments I've read or heard from American academics who are practitioners. It did seem that the situation was rather different in Asia, but perhaps that impression is also incorrect...

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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Will » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:54 pm

The 2008 Encyclopedia of Buddhism edited by Irons has more on Chinese teachers and centers. There may be a pdf out there.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Tenzin & Söpa » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:42 pm

If you read French* (not sure if an English translation exists), maybe the following dictionary of Buddhism would be more to your liking:

Dictionnaire encyclopédique du Bouddhisme
Philippe Cornu
Èditions du Seuil, 2001

Individual entries do focus on technical terms, deities or notable figures from the past (up to the XIX century I would say), but then there are extensive entries of several dictionary pages about the history of Buddhism in specific countries - China for example, in which for example Fo Guang Shan is mentioned.

I find this dictionary to show a good balance of entries from Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan traditions. There are also some useful glossaries from/to Sanscrit/Pali/Tibetan/Chinese/Japanese.


(*) A Spanish translation and an Italian one exist as well.
ཁོང་ཁྲོ་སློང་མཁན་མེད་ན། བཟོད་པ་སུ་ལ་སྒོམ།

When there is no one to provoke anger, how shall we practice patience?
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby WuMing » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:23 pm

Despite the criticism, isn't it an achievement?! Of course, I am quite aware that there a dictionaries in Asian languages, e. g. the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Dictionary or Japanese Buddhist dictionaries, which are much more comprehensive than this one, but still, I think it is quite an achievement, maybe one that will be build upon in the future.

By the way, isn't the Fo Guang Shan Dicitionary in the process of being translated into English?

mikenz66 wrote:... big difference between Buddhist studies in the West and other areas, such as science or engineering, is that the academics generally are not practitioners. ...


Isn't Buswell a Buddhist himself? At least, he was a Buddhist monk in Korea for some time, wasn't he?
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby WuMing » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:52 pm

今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:08 am

WuMing wrote:
By the way, isn't the Fo Guang Shan Dicitionary in the process of being translated into English?



Do you mean the Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary? If so, then no, not at this point at least.
Though we are translating a 22 volume Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts, coming out this year 2014.

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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:11 am

WuMing wrote:Introduction of the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism at the University of the West


Yes, I was there, and did indeed raise some of my questions. The response didn't leave me particularly satisfied. They said that they really don't do any living teachers, but actually there are a couple in there. Also, while that answer may be applicable to Ven. Master Hsing Yun, that left out the issue of FGS itself. It was ironic, I thought, considering that there we all were at the University of the West is a fully accredited (WASC) Buddhist based university in the US, set up and run by FGS. And they'll be doing the same at Hsi Lai Temple in a week or two.

But yes, on the whole, any effort like this is very impressive, and deserves commendation. It's a very handy volume, and will be put to good use.

~~Huifeng
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Re: Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

Postby WuMing » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:43 pm

Huifeng wrote:
WuMing wrote: By the way, isn't the Fo Guang Shan Dicitionary in the process of being translated into English?


Do you mean the Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary? If so, then no, not at this point at least.
Though we are translating a 22 volume Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts, coming out this year 2014.
~~ Huifeng


Yes, that's the one I thought is in the process of being translated. But obviously rumors were wrong - too bad!

Maybe it will be the next big translating project after translating and publishing such a huge Buddhist Art Encyclopedia!?
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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