Buddhist East Asia:   The Interplay of Religion, the Arts and Politics

An NEH Summer Institute ~ May 28 to June 22, 2018 ~ Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Hosted by the Asian Studies Development Program

Buddhist East Asia:  The Interplay of Religion, The Arts and Politics
An NEH Summer Institute

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Buddhist East Asia:  Institute Bibliography

Prior to the Institute, participants will receive a topical bibliography to guide their preparations for the program. In addition, they will be expected to read two background texts:

  1. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices, Peter Harvey (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  2. Buddhism in the Modern World, edited by David L. McMahan (Taylor & Francis, 2012)

Compared to other introductions to Buddhism, An Introduction to Buddhism strikes an admirable balance between breadth and depth that makes it suitable for use in undergraduate courses. Although focused more heavily on the first millennium of Buddhist history, it skillfully teases out common conceptual and practical threads that connect the diverse traditions of Buddhist thought and practice across Asia in both monastic and lay communities. McMahan’s Buddhism in the Modern World is an accessible collection of contributions by leading scholars, each of which includes a summary, discussion topics and further reading. The first half of the book provides an overview of Buddhist Asia’s encounters with modernity, beginning in roughly the 16th century, and includes chapters on early perceptions of Buddhism in Europe and North America. The second half focuses on the diverse responses of Buddhists to the challenges of modernity, including chapters on gender, science, globalization and popular culture.

Institute Bibliography (PDF)

Buddhist East Asia Bibliography


General Background:


Bailey, Greg and Ian Mabbett. The Sociology of Early Buddhism, (Cambridge, 2003)


Berkwitz, Stephen. South Asian Buddhism: A Survey (Routledge, 2009)


Buswell, Robert and Daniel Lopez, edited. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton, 2014)


Edelglass, William and Jay Garfield, edited. Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings (Oxford, 2009)


Elverskog, Johan. Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road (University of Pennsylvania, 2010)


Emmanuel, Steven. A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, (Blackwell, 2013)


Fisher, Robert E. Buddhist Art and Architecture (Thames and Hudson, 1993)


Garfield, Jay. Engaging Buddhism: Why It Matters to Philosophy (Oxford. 2014)


Gethin, Rupert. The Foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin (Oxford University Press, 1998)


Harris, Ian edited. Buddhism, Power and Political Order (Routledge, 2007)


Harvey, Peter. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History, and Practices (Cambridge, 2012)


Heirman, Ann and Stephan Peter Brumbacher, edited. The Spread of Buddhism (Brill, 2007)

Hu, Hsiao-Lan. This-Worldly Nibbāna:  A Buddhist-Feminist Social Ethic for Peacemaking in the Global Community (SUNY Press, 2011)


Juergensmeyer, Mark and Michael Jerryson, edited. Buddhist Warfare (Oxford, 2010)


Lopez, Donald Jr., edited. Buddhism in Practice (Princeton Univ. Press, 1995)


McMahan, David L., edited. Buddhism in the Modern World (Routledge, 2012)


Paul, Diana. Women and Buddhism: Images of the Feminine in Mahayana Buddhism (University of California, 1985)


Mitchell, Donald W., and Sarah Jacoby. Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience. (Oxford, 2014)


Poceski, Mario. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to East and Inner Asian Buddhism. (Blackwell, 2014)


Proser, Adrianna, edited. Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art (Yale, 2010)


Rambelli, Fabio and Eric Reinders. Buddhism and Iconoclasm in East Asia A History (Bloomsbury, 2012)


Robinson, Richard and Willard Johnson, edited. The Buddhist Religion: A Historical Introduction (Wadsworth Publishing, 1997)


Seckel, Dietrich. The Art of Buddhism (Methuen, 1965)


Sen, Tansen, ed., Buddhism across Asia: Networks of Material, Intellectual and Cultural Exchange, Vol. 1. (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Manohar Publishers, 2014)


Schober, Juliane, edited. Sacred Biography and the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia (University of Hawaii Press, 1997)


Strong, Jonathan. The Experience of Buddhism: Sources and Interpretations (Cengage, 2007)


Swearer, Donald. The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia (SUNY Press, 2010)


Tilakaratne, Asanga. Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders (University of Hawaii Press, 2012)


Williams, Paul. Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. London: Routledge, 2009.


Whalen-Bridge, John and Pattana Kitiarsa, edited. Buddhism, Modernity, and the State in Asia: Forms of Engagement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)


Wilson, Liz. Family in Buddhism (State University of New York Press, 2013)

Western Encounter with East Asian Buddhism

App, Urs. The Birth of Orientalism:  Encounters with Asia (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010)

App, Urs. The Cult of Emptiness:  The Western Discovery of Buddhist Thought and the Invention of Oriental Philosophy (UniversityMedia, 2014)

App, Urs. The First Western Book on Buddhism and Buddha:  Ozeray's Recherches Sur Buddou of 1817 (East-West Discovery) (UniversityMedia, 2017)

O'Leary, Joseph S. Buddhist Nonduality, Paschal Paradox:  A Christian Commentary on the Teaching of Vimalakīrti (Vimalakīrtinirdeśa) (Peters Publisher, 2018)

Sweet, Michael J., trans. and Leonard Zwilling, edit. "More Than the Promised Land:"  Letters and Relations from Tibet by the Jesuit Missionary António de Andrade (1580-1634) (Institute of Jesuit Sources Boston College, 2017)


Some Key Texts in Translation:


Sutta-Nipata: A New Translation, H. Saddhatissa (Routledge/Curzon: 1995)


The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, Bhikku Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi (Wisdom, 1995)


The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya, translated by Maurice Walshe (Wisdom, 1995)


Buddhist Wisdom Books: Containing The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra. translated and explained by Edward Conze (Unwin Hyman, 1988)


The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture, translated by Robert Thurman. (Penn State University Press, 1976)


The Lotus Sutra, trans. by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, 1993)




Brook, Timothy. Praying for Power:  Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China (Harvard, 1994)


Broughton, Jeffrey Lyle. The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen (University of California Press, 1999)


Campany, Robert Ford. Signs from the Unseen Realm: Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China (Kuroda Institute, 2012)


Chan Sin-Wai. Buddhism in Late Ch’ing Political Thought (Chinese University Press, 1985)


Chappell, David W. and Masao Ichishima. T'ient'ai Buddhism: An Outline of the Fourfold Teachings (University of Hawaii Press, 1984)


Cook, Francis. Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977)


Faure, Bernard. Ch’an Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Ch’an Traditio (Princeton University Press, 1993)


Gernet, Jacques. Buddhism in Chinese Society: An Economic History from the Fifth to Tenth Centuries (Columbia, 1995)

Grant, Beata. Daughters of Emptiness: Poems of Chinese Buddhist Nuns (Wisdom, 2003)  

Grant, Beata. Zen Echoes:  Classic Koans with Verse Commentaries by Three Female Chan Masters (Wisdom Publications, 2017)

Grant, Beata and Wilt L. Idema. Escape from Blood Pond Hell:  The Tales of Mulian and Woman Huang (University of Washington Press, 2011)

Gregory, Peter. Inquiry into the Origin of Humanity: An Annotated Translation of Tsung-mi’s Yuan-jen-lun with a Modern Commentary (University of Hawaii Press, 1998)


Gregory, Peter and Daniel Getz, edited. Buddhism in the Sung (Kuroda Institute, 1999)


Hershock, Peter D.. Chan Buddhism (University of Hawaii Press, 2004)


Hubbard, Jamie. Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (University of Hawaii Press, 2001)


Jia, Jinhua. The Hongzhou School of Chan Buddhism: In Eighth- through Tenth-Century China. (State University of New York Press, 2006)


Kapstein, Matthew. The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism: Conversion, Contestation, and Memory (Oxford 2002)


Kieschnick, John. The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture (Princeton University Press, 2003)


Li, Qiancheng. Fictions of Enlightenment: Journey to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors, and Dream of the Red Chamber (University of Hawaii Press, 2004)


Mair, Victor. Tang Transformation Texts: A Study of the Buddhist Contributions to the Rise of Vernacular Fiction and Drama in China ( Harvard, 1989)


Mollier, Christine. Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face: Scripture, Ritual and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China (University of Hawaii, 2008)


Powers, John. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism (Snow Lion Press, 2007)


Sen, Tansen. Buddhism, Diplomacy and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, 2015)

Sen, Tansen. India, China, and the World:  A Connected History (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017)


Shakya, Tsering. The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet since 1947 (Penguin Compass, 1999)


Sharf, Robert. Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawaii Press, 2002)


Swanson, Paul. Foundations of T’ien T’ai Philosophy: the flowering of the two truths theory of Chinese Buddhism (Asian Humanities Press, 1989)


Teiser, Stephen. The Ghost Festival in Medieval China (Princeton, 1988)


Tuttle, Gray. Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (Columbia, 2005)


van Oort, H.A., The Iconography of Chinese Buddhism in Traditional China (Brill, 1986)


Weidner, Marsha. Cultural Intersections in Later Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawaii Press, 2001)


Welter, Albert. Monks, Rulers and Literati: The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism (Oxford, 2006)


Wu, Jiang and Lucille Chia, edited. Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon (Columbia University Press, 2015)


Yampolsky, Philip, translator and editor. The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Columbia University Press, 1969)


Ziporyn, Brook. Being and Ambiguity: Philosophical Experiments with Tiantai Buddhism (Open Court, 2004)   Zurcher, Erik. The Buddhist Conquest of China: The Spread and Adaptation of Buddhism in Early Medieval China, 2 Volumes (Brill, 1959)




Buswell, Robert E. Jr. Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Way of Korean Zen (University of Hawaii, 1991)


Buswell, Robert E. Jr. The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea (Princeton, 1992)


Buswell, Robert E. Jr, edited. Currents and Countercurrents: Korean Influences on the East Asian Buddhist Traditions (University of Hawaii, 2006)


Buswell, Robert E. Jr. Religions of Korea in Practice (Princeton, 2007)


Hogarth, Hyun-key Kim. Syncretism of Buddhism a Syncretism of Buddhism and Shamanism in Korea (Jimoondang. 2002)


Lancaster, Lewis and C.S. Yu edited. Introduction of Buddhism to Korea: New Cultural Patterns, (Asian Humanities Press, 1989)


Lancaster, Lewis and C.S. Yu edited. Assimilation of Buddhism in Korea: Religious Maturity and Innovation in the Silla (Asian Humanities Press, 1991)


Lancaster, Lewis with Kikun Suh, and C.S. Yu edited. Buddhism in Koryo: A Royal Religion (University of California, 1996)


Lancaster, Lewis and C.S. Yu edited. Buddhism in the Early Choson: Suppression and Transformation (University of California, 1996)


McBride, Richard. Doctrine and Practice in Medieval Korean Buddhism: The Collected Works of Uichon (University of Hawaii Press, 2016)


McBride, Richard. Domesticating the Dharma: Buddhist Cults and the Hwaŏm Synthesis in Silla Korea (University of Hawaii Press, 2008)


Muller, Charles. The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment: Korean Buddhism's Guide to Meditation (SUNY Press, 1999)


Muller, Charles and Cuong T. Nguyen, edited. Wonhyo’s Philosophy of Mind (Univeristy of Hawaii Press, 2012)


Park, Jin Y. Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism (SUNY, 2010)


Park, Jin Y. Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun: Essays by Zen Master Kim Iryŏp (trans.). (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014)


Park, Sung-bae. Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment (SUNY Press, 1983)


Pihl, Marshall R. "Koryŏ Sŏn Buddhism and Korean Literature." Korean Studies. vol. 19, pp. 62-82




Abé, Ryūichi. The Weaving of Mantra: Kūkai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse (Columbia University Press, 1999)


Adolphson, Mikael. The Gates of Power: Monks, Courtiers, and Warriors in Pre-Modern Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2000)


Arntzen, Sonja. Ikkyū and the Crazy Cloud Anthology (University of Tokyo Press, 1986)


Bodiford, William. Sōtō Zen in Medieval Japan (University of Hawaii, 2008)


Colcutt, Martin. Five Mountains: The Rinzai Zen Monastic Institution in Medieval Japan (Harvard, 1981)


Como, Michael. Shōtoku: Ethnicity, Ritual, and Violence in the Japanese Buddhist Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2008)


Dialogues in a Dream (Muchū Mondō), translated and annotated by Thomas Yūhō Kirchner with Fukazawa Yukio. (Tenryū-ji Institute for Philosophy and Religion Press, 2010)

Eubanks, Charlotte. Miracles of Book and Body:  Buddhist Textual Culture and Medieval Japan (University of California Press, 2011)


Faure, Bernard. The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality (Princeton University Press, 1998)


Heine, Steven and Dale Wright, edited. Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice (Oxford, 2007)


Heine, Steven and Dale Wright, edited. The Kōan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism (Oxford, 2000)


Hershock, Peter D.. Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014)


Kasulis, Thomas. Zen Action/Zen Person (University of Hawaii Press, 1981)


Ketelaar, James. Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Buddhism and its Persecution (Princeton, 1990)


LaFleur, William. The Karma of Words: Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan (University of California Press, 1983)


LaFleur, William and James Sanford, edited. Flowing Traces: Buddhism in the Literary and Visual Arts of Japan (Princeton, 1992)


Leighton, Taigen Dan and Shohaku Okumura, edited. Dōgen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Koroku (Wisdom, 2010)


Marra, Michel. The Aesthetics of Discontent: Politics and Reclusion in Medieval Japanese Literature (University of Hawaii Press, 1991)


Nelson, John K.. Experimental Buddhism: Innovation and Activism in Contemporary Japan (University of Hawaii, 2013)


Okamura, Shohaku. Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen’s Shobogenzo (Wisdom, 2010)


Rambelli. Fabio. Buddhist Materiality: A Cultural History of Objects in Japanese Buddhism (Stanford, 2010)


Ramirez-Christensen, Esperanza. Emptiness and Temporality: Buddhism and Medieval Japanese Poetics (Stanford University Press, 2008)


Shields, James Mark. Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought (Ashgate, 2011)


Stone, Jacqueline Ilyse. Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999.


Victoria. Brian Daizen. Zen at War (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006)


Williams, Duncan. The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of SōtōZen in Tokugawa Japan (Princeton, 2006)


Winfield, Pamela. Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese Buddhism: Kūkai and Dōgen on the Art of Enlightenment (Oxford, 2013)