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Research Resources: Class Guides

RST 122: Religions of Asia

Secondary sources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Secondary sources are ones authored by people who were not actual participants in the topic at hand. They are of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different views as a result of time's passage. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies.
Encyclopedia of Religion
Now in its second edition (2006), this is arguably the most comprehensive reference source treating the full spectrum of religious studies. Articles are cross referenced. Contains a synoptic outline and a detailed index.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism
Ref Room BL1105 .E53 2008
Provides significant information about the elite textual traditions of Hinduism. Besides "classical" Hinduism, it also treats current movements and has entries on a growing number of women religious leaders. The editors give equal weight to the Dravidian traditions of South India as well as the northern traditions. Contains article bibliographies. Index has transliterated Sanskrit entries, some with cross references from the English translation.

Historical Dictionary of Hinduism
Ref Room BL1105 .S85 1997
Entries give historical perspective on the development of Hinduism and also provide an understanding of ideas, scriptures, doctrines, and terms in contemporary Hinduism. More than 700 entries arranged alphabetically by subject generally vary from a few lines to half a page. This resource begins with a brief pronunciation guide for Sanskrit terms and a chronology of the history of Hinduism. There is a bibliography arranged by topics at the end.

Dictionary of Hinduism
Published in 2009, this resource has over 2,800 entries covering all the major Hindu practices, festivals, beliefs, gods, sacred sites, languages, and religious texts. It is the most comprehensive Hinduism dictionary of its kind.

RoutledgeCurzon Encyclopedia of Confucianism
Ref Room BL1840 .R69 2003
This two volume work was created by an international team of specialists. It begins with an introductory article discussing Confucianism as a tradition. Over 950 signed entries reflect its history, doctrines, schools, rituals, and terminology. It has a list of sources in the Taoist canon referenced to the three catalogs of the Daozang. Contains an extensive bibliography. There are also three indices which allow mining of information by either scholars' names, topics, or text.

Encyclopedia of Taoism
Ref Room BL1900 .A3E53 2008
Including a 196-page overview, this two volume encyclopedia uses the Pinyin transliteration system for its alphabetically arranged entries. This resource contains detailed entries on texts, doctrines, sacred beings and places, the history of Taoism, and its religious practices and experiences. It has a topical table of contents and an extensive index as well as a lengthy bibliography at its end.

Historical Dictionary of Taoism
Ref Room BL1923 .P37 1998
This slim resource offers numerous entries for special terms and a comprehensive introduction that discusses historical developments. Entries are arranged alphabetically by the Wade-Giles Romanization, followed by the Pinyin version.

Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Ref Room BQ128 .B62 2004 and also online
What is of considered to be the most single comprehensive print resource on the subject, this two volume encyclopedia is noted for its synoptic outline. The oft illustrated signed entries contain bibliographies. The work concludes with brief chronologies of the history of Buddhism in Asia and a detailed index.

Dictionary of Buddhism
Ref Room BQ130 .K46 2003
A comprehensive, single volume dictionary this resource features a pronunciation guide, a guide to Buddhist scriptures, and a chronology of the religion.

Historical Dictionary of Buddhism
Ref Room BQ130 .P74 2009
Now in a revised and greatly expanded edition, this single volume resource has a lengthy introduction providing a history of the development of Buddhism in Asia. Over 700 terms representing all schools and time periods provide basic information and there is an 80 page bibliography subcategorized by topic, including canons, regions, schools, leaders, and even gender and sexuality issues.

How to find books at the Franklin & Marshall College Library

  • Select "Books & More" from the Library home page. To find books for this class use either the "browse" mode and subject search to view sub-divisions of a term or use more specific keyword search terms. within the "words or phrase" mode.
  • Look at the subject headings for a book that meets your needs. Select those subject headings to find other books that are described the same way and might also be useful.
  • Go to the call number locations of those books both in the stacks and the reference room. Similar books will be nearby. Use indices to delve into their contents.

How to find and locate journal articles

Look under "RESEARCH RESOURCES ...A to Z List" on the Library homepage. Scroll down to find the selections that may be the most helpful for your topic, some of which are...

A collection of full text articles in .pdf format from the back files of over 750 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to within the last 4 or 5 years.

Humanities Full Text
Indexes over 300 English-language periodicals covering classical studies, history, literature, performing arts, philosophy, and related fields. Covers 1984 to the present.

ATLA Religion Index
Comprehensive database in religious studies scholarship. Covers 1949 to the present.

Once you have a specific journal title, go to ""JOURNALS FINDER" from the library homepage and type in the title of a journal you hope to find.

How to find information on the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information but because it is an unmediated matrix it is advisable to start one's exploration of it at bona fide sites.

Asia Society
A leading global organization that seeks to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of arts and culture.
Buddhist Educational and Information Network web site.
Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
An academy for the study of Hindu culture, society, philosophies, and languages, in all periods and in all parts of the world.

How to...


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