|Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism authors visit University of the West|
University of the West welcomed to its campus on Jan. 28 Drs. Donald S. Lopez Jr. and Robert E. Buswell Jr., two world-renowned Buddhist Studies scholars. The two professors introduced some of their most recent work to a room packed with students, faculty and staff, as well as from the surrounding community.
They were here to introduce the new Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism; currently the most authoritative and comprehensive work of its kind in English currently in print. Along with many experts, both professors contributed to the dictionary, as did UWest professor William Chu. The 1,265-page tome has more than 5,000 alphabetical entries that include key terms, theories, practices, texts, authors, deities, and schools of Buddhism across six major canonical languages and traditions: Sanskrit, Pāli, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Furthermore, the dictionary also has selected terms from Burmese, Khmer, Laotian, Mongolian, Newarese, Sinhalese, Thai, and Vietnamese.
The visiting scholars discussed new and emerging perspectives on Buddhism and field various questions from the audience. “As Buddhism becomes Americanized, it also needs its own history and to mend its own path,” Buswell, Jr., said.
“Part of our motivation [producing this dictionary],” Lopez, Jr., said, is to bridge the divide between Buddhist scholars and practitioners.”
Buswell, Jr., and Lopez, Jr., also presented their top ten list of misconceptions about Buddhism, adding that the dictionary might help shed light on them.
Top 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism
10.) All Buddhist meditate
9.) All Buddhist prac
8.) All Buddhists are vegetarians
7.) All Buddhists are pacifists
6.) Buddhism is a philosophy and not a religion
5.) The Buddha was fat
4.) The Buddha was a human being, not a god and not religious. Therefore, there is no place for worship of gods.
3.) Zen rejects conventional Buddhism
2.) Four Noble Truths are not noble
1.) All spiritual traditions, Buddhism included, are but different paths to the same mountaintop