Encyclopaedia of Buddhist Arts Donated to School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics
Buddha’s Light International Association South Africa has donated an impressive 20 Volume Encyclopaedia of Buddhist Arts to the School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics within the College of Humanities.
The School is one of the first institutions in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to receive the donation. The Volume was handed over to UKZN by Founder of the Fo Guang Shan, Master Hui Fang.
The 20-volume Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts, published by Fo Guang Shan in March 2013, is considered 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.
According to the description provided by Fo Guang Shan, ‘The content of the Encyclopaedia covers Buddhism’s origins in India, its spread throughout Asia, and its different manifestations developed through intermixing with local cultures, such as Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. Its breadth and depth make it a full introduction to Buddhist art. The information in the Encyclopaedia also includes some of the latest developments in the Buddhist arts world.’
Dean for the School Professor David Spurrett expressed gratitude for the volume saying, ‘We appreciate this generous gift. This volume will benefit students, not only in the Arts, but potentially in other fields such as Architecture. We would welcome future collaborations and exchange programmes with UKZN and Buddha’s Light International Association.’
Words: Melissa Mungroo