EAST 130 Course Guide
Choose a topic that is interesting to you and which will work within your assignment's parameters. Usually your research goal is to locate published scholarship (books and journal articles) to read on your topic.
Remember to evaluate the accuracy of your resources, and think critically about their arguments. When in doubt, check with your Asian Studies instructor.
First, read a good summary of your topic in a specialized religion or philosophy encyclopedia, like those listed in the Books section. You may also search the Gale Virtual Reference Library for essays from other specialized encyclopedias. Next, once you know the basic information about your topic, search for more published scholarship, such as books in the CUNY Catalog or other catalogs.
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
- Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen (Ref. BL1005 .L4813 1989)
- Short entries on terms, concepts, people, events; includes bibliography.
- Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Ref. B51 .E53 2006, 10 vols., 2nd edition.)
- Comprehensive encyclopedia with long essays covering all periods and movements of philosophy, including the major world religions. Some of the essays date from the original edition (1967) and have not been revised.
- Encyclopedia of Religion (Ref. BL31 .E46 2005, 15 vols., 2nd edition)
- Standard multi-volume reference work with long essays on religious topics. Some essays in the 2nd edition have not been revised from the 1987 version.
- New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (Ref. CB9 .N49 2005, 6 vols., 2nd edition)
- Best multi-volume encyclopedia on intellectual history. Places ideas and concepts within their historical context. Includes excellent cross-references and reading lists.
- Dictionary of Buddhism (Ref. BQ130 .K4 2003)
- Definitions of key terms, concepts, people, and events in Buddhism; includes chronology, list of books in the Buddhist scriptures (Pali, Chinese, Tibetan canons).
- Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Ref. BQ128 .E617 2007)
- Long entries and essays, with cross references and signed by contributors, on all aspects of Buddhism; includes chronology, list of books in the Buddhist scriptures (Pali, Chinese, Tibetan canons), extensive bibliography.
- Encyclopedia of Buddhism (2004, 2 vols.)
- Short entries and long essays on the teachings, practice, history of Buddhism; entries signed by contributors, with cross-references and/or suggested readings; includes timeline.
- Historical Dictionary of Buddhism (Ref. BQ130 .P74 1993)
- Short entries on historical aspects of Buddhism; includes chronology, list of books in the Buddhist scriptures (Pali, Chinese, Tibetan canons), extensive bibliography.
- Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism (Ref. BL1850 .T38 2005, 2 vols.)
- Short and medium entries on all aspects of Confucianism; includes Pinyin to Wade-Giles romanization conversion table, glossary of Chinese characters used in text, bibliography.
- Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Ref. BL1105 .E53 2008)
- Short and medium entries, and long essays on all aspects of Hinduism; entries signed by contributors, with cross-references, and suggested readings.
- Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Ref. BL1105 .J56 2007)
- Short and long entries, with references, on topics in Hinduism; includes illustrations.
- Historical Dictionary of Hinduism (Ref. BL1105 .S85 1997)
- Short entries on key events, people, practices in Hinduism; includes extensive bibliography
- CUNY Catalog
- Search for books at the Queens College libraries, as well as other CUNY libraries.
- Library Catalogs
- Search the library catalogs of regional libraries such as the Queens Library, Brooklyn Public Library, New York University, Columbia University, etc.
- New York Public Library
- Search CATNYP, the catalog of the research libraries at NYPL. Books at the research libraries are non-circulating and must be consulted on site. NYPL has one of the premier research collections in the country and is open to all New York State residents.
- Search for books in the national catalog for the United States and Canada. Includes holdings from libraries in other parts of the world, primarily European or English-speaking.
Articles (Search Databases)
A journal article is written by a scholar or an expert, and provides a detailed analysis of a topic. It is written in the specialized language of a scholarly discipline (such as History). It documents the resources the writer used by providing bibliographic citations such as footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography so a reader can check or repeat the research the scholar has completed.
A scholarly journal is edited by scholars, and any article published in the journal has usually been approved by the author's peers or by referees (other scholars expert in the subject who serve as editors or readers and critique the article before it is accepted for publication). This is why most scholarly journals are referred to as a Peer-Reviewed or Refereed journals. Here is a comparison between popular and scholarly periodicals. Use the following databases to search for journal articles on a topic. You can use other Databases depending what topic you are researching.
- ATLA Religion Database
- Citations to scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, book essays, book reviews.
- Historical Abstracts
- Abstracts of scholarly journal articles on world history (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America).
- HRAF World Cultures
- Full-text of ethnographic writings, including religious beliefs & rituals; includes book chapters, book essays, scholarly journal articles, research reports, dissertations; from the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), a Yale University-based project.
- Humanities Full Text
- Abstracts of scholarly journal articles and magazine articles; citations to reviews and bibliographies. Covers major humanities fields, such as literature and philosophy, including religion. For textual and biographical critiques of an author's life and work.
- Philosopher's Index
- Abstracts of scholarly journal articles and book essays, and citations to book reviews. Covers scholarly research in the major fields of philosophy, including metaphysics and the philosophy of religion.
- Social Sciences Full Text
- Abstracts of scholarly journal articles and social commentary magazine articles; citations to book reviews.
- Abstracts of scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, conference papers, book chapters, and book reviews.
- Sociological Abstracts
- Abstracts of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers; citations to book reviews; includes international publications.
Journals (Browse E-Journals)
- Full-text (cover-to-cover) of 50+ core journals in Asian studies; coverage from a journal's first issue until about five years ago.
- Project Muse
- Full-text of 15+ peer-reviewed journals on Asian studies, from Johns Hopkins University Press, other university presses, and scholarly organizations.
Reports, studies, and conferences are sometimes available from scholarly centers for the study of Asian religions.
- Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia
- Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies
- Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford
- Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies
- Society for the Study of Japanese Religion
- UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies
Studies and exhibitions by museums can also be useful.
- Himalayan Art Resources
- Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art (Ohio State University)
- Metropolitan Museum of Art: Buddhism and Buddhist Art
- Rubin Museum of Art
- Tibet House
- Victoria and Albert Museum: Buddhism
Continue your search for information and resources by browsing these gateways for Asian religious studies.