Buddhist Scriptures: An Overview

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract / Description of output

In this article I provide an overview of what scripture means and does in a Buddhist context. The article has three main parts. First, by way of introduction I explore the history of Buddhist scripture and a few of the different ways in which scripture was defined and classified in the early period. In the second section I use the common division into three ‘baskets’ of scripture (discourses, monastic discipline and higher teachings) to structure a closer look at some of the main genres of early Buddhist texts. Finally I examine the role of scripture in Buddhist life, as a source of teachings, a means of making karmic merit, and a vehicle of great power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-582
Number of pages10
JournalExpository Times
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Buddha
  • Buddhism
  • canon
  • sacred text
  • scripture


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