Buddhism

Where can I find information about Buddhism?

Image: Buddha Statue Spiritual by Marjon Besteman-Horn on Pixabay.

Entry last updated: 11/09/20

Introduction

Buddhism is a belief system based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama who lived in the 6th century BC. He was called Buddha which means The Enlightened One. Buddhism has about 5 million followers all over the world.

Beliefs and traditions

Rather than believing in a personal god, Buddhists believe that change is always possible. They seek to achieve nirvana which is the freedom from desire. They also believe in reincarnation, and that people experience pain and suffering through many different lives.

BBC Religions

This site has information about many major religions. The pages on religion have been archived since 2015 so are no longer updated, but the information is still useful.

  • Choose Buddhism from the list of featured religions and beliefs.
  • The heading 'beliefs' has links to different topics.
  • Choose the topic you want to read about.
  • The Four Noble Truths has information about the four principles of Buddha's teachings.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check out the About the BBC link on the website. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC resources. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Select your learning level - Primary, Middle, or Secondary (you can always change this later).
  • Enter 'buddhism' into the search area, and select the magnifying glass.
  • The article called Buddhism has information about the beliefs and traditions of Buddhists.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Buddhism around the world

Buddhism started in India, but has since spread around the world. Its beliefs or canon are slightly different in each country, and have also changed over time.

Encyclopedia.com

This site has nearly 200,000 entries from credible sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia Encyclopedia.

  • Enter 'Buddhism' into the search box.
  • The article Buddhism has information about the history of Buddhism in different places around the world.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

In Māori, Te Ara means ‘the pathway’. Owned by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Te Ara answers all questions about the people, environment, history, culture and society of New Zealand. Information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Enter 'Buddhism' into the search box.
  • The article Buddhists, which is part of the Diverse religions entry, has information about Buddhists in New Zealand.
  • Make sure to look at the following page Forms of Buddhism.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

High School (Gale In Context)

This EPIC site has different types of resources such as magazines, journals, essays, videos, images, and audio. It is aimed at secondary school students and has information about various curriculum topics.

  • Enter 'Buddhism' into the search box.
  • Choose the type of resource you want to explore eg Reference.
  • Select the article you want to read.
  • Buddhism is an interesting article about the history of Buddhism, and how it spread around the world.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Controversies

There are many different types or sects of Buddhism with slight differences in their beliefs and practices. Other religions tried to stop Buddhism spreading because its followers' beliefs were different to theirs.

World History in Context

This EPIC site has a range of topics about history, people, civilisations, and religions.

  • Enter 'Buddhism' into the search box.
  • The article Buddhism is divided into sections.
  • Three Branches has information about the different types of Buddhism.
  • Modern Buddhism has information about how political and social changes have impacted Buddhism.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Infoplease

Although this site has a US focus, it has information about a variety of subjects.

  • Enter 'Buddhism' into the search box.
  • Choose the type or sect of Buddhism that you want to read about.
  • The article Buddhism Religion: The Spread of Buddhism has information about some of the opposition to Buddhism and its beliefs.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Books

There have been many books written about Buddhism - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Some suggested titles are:

SCIS no: 1984532
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