SOAS University of London

SOAS Library receives 20-volume Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts donated by Fo Guang Shan Monastery

7 July 2016
Fo guang shan encyclopedia

On 30 June 2016, Venerable Man Chien, President of Fo Guang Shan Overseas Executive Council and Head Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Europe presented a lecture on ‘Chan Buddhism in Contemporary Life’ at SOAS, Khalili Lecture Theatre. This lecture, hosted by Professor Michel Hockx, formed part of a series of events related to the Exhibition of One-Stroke Calligraphy by Venerable Master Hsing Yun at Asia House generously supported by the Pure Land Foundation, and facilitated by SOAS China Institute and London Fo Guang Shan Temple.

Before the lecture, SOAS Chinese librarian Wai Hing Tse provided Venerable Man Chien and the representatives of London Fo Guang Shan Temple with a tour in the library’s Special Collections to view Buddhist materials in the Morrison’s Collections. Following the tour, Venerable Man Chien presented two sets of the Encyclopedia, one in English and one in Chinese, to Professor Michel Hockx, Director of China Institute.

The 20-volume Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts, published by Fo Guang Shan in March 2013, is the first great modern-day compendium of the world’s Buddhist arts. Comprising four volumes on Buddhist architecture, five on grottoes, four on Buddhist sculpture, three on painting, one on crafts, one on calligraphy and seals, one on biographies, plus an index, the Encyclopedia contains almost 3.8 million Chinese characters of texts and more than 15,000 pictures. The complete volume is essentially a compendium that fills a gap in Taiwanese publications on Buddhist arts, and its gift to the library would no doubt benefit researchers and students in the realm of Buddhist arts.