There is a long tradition of the academic study of Buddhism at the Songtsen Library, and a number of researchers at the Department of Research Studies and Oriental Languages are now studying Buddhism from a historical perspective based on the religion’s enormous textual resources and/or various aspects of contemporary Buddhist practice through field studies.
With approximately 300 million adherents around the globe today, Buddhism is one of the largest world religions. The study of Buddhism is a diverse field which combines religion, philosophy, history, art history, philology and textual studies, as well as informing a variety of comparative studies. Besides its interdisciplinary nature, Buddhist traditions vary enormously throughout the world. Because the field comprises so many varied aspects, research and scholarship is wide-reaching in its response to new discoveries, interpretations, and theoretical ideas. Much of this work has moved online so that today’s students and researchers have ready access to key primary source texts and a range of other electronic resources. Managing the ever-expanding universe of scholarly information in this field of study has proved to be a monumental if not near impossible task