Religion and Mythology   |   Christianity   |   Islam   |   Judaism   |    Mythology


Dive into the study of Buddhism—the religious teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, known as Buddha “the awakened one” because he attained enlightenment during the sixth century BCE. Buddhism originated in India, with many of its canonical texts written in Sanskrit. It later spread to China and much of Asia before becoming popular worldwide. One reason for its popularity may be because Buddhism is not focused on the worship of a specific deity or God but rather it is a pathway to understanding reality and ultimately ending one’s suffering. Modern practitioners are generally from one of three sects of Buddhism—Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan (Vajrayana). Within these three sects, there are different types of Buddhist traditions, including Zen and Pure Land Buddhism to name a few. 

Buddhists, practitioners following the teachings of Buddha, utilize several strategies for reaching enlightenment—the threefold way, the four noble truths, and the noble eightfold path. The threefold way shows that the path to spiritual enlightenment stems from the practice of ethics (or one’s intentional behaviors), meditation, and wisdom. The four noble truths are the foundation of Buddhist teachings—that life is suffering caused by craving. When craving is eliminated, then so is suffering. An ascetic life is one way to eliminate craving. In the spiritual search for enlightenment, there is an eightfold path that leads to the realization of these truths. The noble eightfold path is a deeper elaboration of the threefold way that specifically shows how one can travel toward enlightenment through intention and practice. The noble eightfold path is the practice of the right understanding, resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and Buddhist meditation. Each of these leads to the realization of the threefold way and eventually to enlightenment.

Buddhist Studies is a specialized area of study that blossomed out of Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary area study. It is also intertwined with religious studies, as it is a religion that has attained great influence beyond its origins in India to become a religious philosophy for an estimated 535 million Buddhists worldwide in 2021. The religious group's adherents comprise approximately 8–10% of the world’s population. 

Contact my rep                   Find resources at my library

Buddhism Resources

Gale provides resources that support Buddhism research from the high school to university level with collections from databases, microform, and eBooks.


Gale databases include collections of publications ranging from books to newspapers, journals, and periodical articles as well as primary source documents and multimedia, such as images, audio, and videos that support users interested in Buddhism research and studies. This includes teachings from Indian Buddhism, Buddhism's acceptance in China and application by Chinese Buddhists, and the impact of Buddhism in other countries, such as Japan and Tibet, and on other world religions, such as Hinduism.


Gale offers Microform for important records and documents that have yet to make the transition to digital.

Gale eBooks

Gale's eBook collection offers a variety of books online that cover a wide range of topics on Buddhism and Buddhist thought. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

    A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

    Wiley-Blackwell   |   2013   |   ISBN-13: 9781118323885

    A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy is the most comprehensive single volume on the subject available; not only does the Companion offer the non-specialist an in-depth introduction to the central concepts of Buddhism, but it also presents extensive discussions of Buddhist social and political thought, contemplative religious practices, issues in applied ethics, and Buddhist social activism. The contributors’ list for the Companion includes leading scholars in the field; each engages the latest scholarship to create a wide-ranging survey of the most important ideas, problems, and debates in Buddhist philosophy. The volume will expand readers’ understanding of the breadth and diversity of Buddhist thought, with many of the chapters written from a comparative perspective. A conscious effort has been undertaken throughout the volume to create a mainstream bridge between the Western and Buddhist philosophical traditions. The broad coverage of Buddhist thought offers a great deal of flexibility to instructors and students, presenting the most versatile single-volume sourcebook available for constructing a customized syllabus on Buddhist philosophy or comparative theological philosophical thought.

    Contact my sales rep >>

  • Liang Sicheng and the Temple of Buddha's Light

    Liang Sicheng and the Temple of Buddha's Light

    Gale Asia   |   2015   |   ISBN-13: 9789814441049

    In July 1937, Liang Sicheng led a small team of architectural historians to Mount Wutai in Shanxi, China, on a search where they discovered a ninth-century Buddha hall dating from the Chinese Tang period. This reference book presents a critical and thorough analysis of the architecture and history of the Foguang temple, one of the oldest timber structures in the world. It features a full-text English translation of the first extensive research account of the Foguang temple written by Liang Sicheng after he discovered the temple. It covers the architectural and technical history of Tang timber structure and includes Liang Sicheng's original writings about the Foguang temple, his photographs and drawings, and more recent research literature. Importantly, it also contains extensive annotated notes throughout the translation and other sections, providing additional details or identifying information that Liang Sicheng or later scholars subsequently adjusted in the other scholarly editions of the text.

    Contact my sales rep >>

  • Understanding World Religions: Understanding Buddhism

    Understanding World Religions: Understanding Buddhism

    ReferencePoint Press   |   2018   |   ISBN-13: 9781682824603

    In ancient India, a wealthy prince named Siddhartha beheld human suffering and became determined to try to put a stop to it. Through meditation and self-discipline, he gained enlightenment and attracted a following that over time grew in the new faith—Buddhism. The religion's beginnings, scripture, and doctrine are discussed, along with its movement from a localized Indian spiritual practice to a world religion. It also examines core beliefs, Buddhist traditions and common contemporary Buddhist practices, and challenges for the future.

    Contact my sales rep >>

Resources to Boost Your Research

From trending social issues to classic literature, Gale resources have you covered. Explore overviews, statistics, essay topics, and more or log in through your library to find even more content.

Access topics >>