Review by Choice Review
Leaman's encyclopedia features brief to medium-length entries written by an international team of scholars about persons and concepts associated with Near Eastern and Asian philosophical traditions. Entries are signed and have brief bibliographies. The work includes a bibliography for further reading, a list of entries by theme, and name and subject indexes. Entries are more concise than those in Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, ed. by Brian Carr and Indira Mahalingam (1997), which features longer articles providing overviews of historical periods and biographies of a few key figures. Since Leaman apparently attempts to avoid overlap with Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. by Edward Craig (10v., 1998), entries for individuals in Craig may not appear in Leaman. For example, "Karaism" and "Kautilya" appear only in Craig, while "Kang Yuwei" appears only in Leaman. Cross-references are not always provided for variant transliterations of names, which may be confusing to novices. Recommended as a handy companion to Craig. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. R. Withers Miami University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
The reference literature for Asian philosophy is scant, probably because philosophy and religion are viewed in the West as more inextricably linked in Asian cultures. Many reference works address Asian religious traditions, but the Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy aims to treat only philosophy, including "religion only in so far as it relates to philosophy." Alphabetically arranged entries are signed by the scholars who wrote them and conclude with bibliographies. They range from ancient times through the twentieth century and include individuals (Gandhi, Mencius), schools of thought (Kagyu school, Yoga), texts (Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads), and concepts (Free will, Subject and object). Topics are drawn from the traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Shinto, and Zoroastrianism and cover the geographic areas of China, India, Japan, Korea, Melanesia, and Tibet. Given their proximity to Asia as well as their experience with indigenous cultures, there are entries for Australia and New Zealand, too. There is also coverage of Western influence on Asian philosophy, an example being Western learning in Japan. Extensive cross-referencing and see also recommendations are used throughout. The encyclopedia begins with a lengthy general bibliography and a thematic outline of entries by religious tradition and geographic area and ends with separate name and subject indexes. Two other sources treat Asian philosophy fairly exclusively. The first is the Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy (Routledge, 1997). Its drawback is that it consists of lengthy, thematic essays and not discrete entries. Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy (Routledge, 1999) follows a dictionary-like format, but compared to this new encyclopedia, the entries are fewer in number and shorter in length, with no individuals treated in separate entries. The Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy is a valuable resource for readers interested in both Western and Asian philosophy, Asian religions, and Asian culture and civilization and is recommended for academic and large public libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.