Buddhism Illuminated through Southeast Asian Manuscript Art (1)

Front cover of Buddhism Illuminated: Manuscript Art from Southeast Asia, London: British Library 2018.

Buddhism Illuminated through Southeast Asian Manuscript Art (1), 08/06/2018, Asian and African Studies Blog, British Library

Buddhism Illuminated: Manuscript Art from Southeast Asia is a lavishly-illustrated book which has just been published by the British Library, in collaboration with Washington University Press. The book, by two curators in the British Library’s Southeast Asia section, is dedicated to the memory of the Library’s former Curator of Thai, Lao and Cambodian collections, Dr Henry D. Ginsburg (1940-2007), who was a leading expert and one of the pioneers of research on Buddhist manuscript art in Southeast Asia. The purpose of this book is to share many years of research on the British Library’s unique collection of Southeast Asian manuscripts on Buddhism, which illustrate not only the life and teachings of the historical Buddha, but also everyday Buddhist practice, life within the monastic order, festivals, cosmology, and ethical principles and values.

The book contains six chapters and over 200 high-quality coloured photographs of manuscripts which have mostly been digitised with generous funding from Henry Ginsburg’s Legacy. The illustrations are mainly from eighteenth and nineteenth century Burmese and Thai manuscripts, and the book provides detailed background information on Theravada Buddhism in general and Buddhist art in mainland Southeast Asia in particular.

San San May and Jana Igunma, Buddhism Illuminated: Manuscript Art from Southeast Asia, London: British Library 2018. (ISBN 978 0 7123 5206 2)

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