Buddhist Canon Studies

The Buddhist canon, commonly known as “Tripitaka” (three baskets), is the major collection of Buddhist texts. It has variant editions in Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, Manchu, and Mongolian languages. Some of the editions have been translated in modern languages such as Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and English. Our study has been so far focused on the Chinese Buddhist canon.

We have organized three international conferences, one AAS panel, and published two edited volumes and one special journal issue to reflect these research results. In the future, we will expand our Buddhist canon studies by adopting a comparative approach to situate the Chinese Buddhist canon in the “sacred” writing tradition of world religions. Based on the current digitized canon, we will also be adopting the technology of deep learning and artificial intelligence to facilitate research and development.


  • “Spreading Buddha’s Words in China: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon,” University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, March 25-28, 2011. Funded by American Council of Learned Societies. Click here for conference programflyerpublic talk flyercanon exhibition flyerexhibition brochureconference exhibition and photo gallery, and Dr. Lewis Lancaster’s keynote speech during the opening ceremony “Changing Patterns of Chinese Buddhist Canon Research.” 
  • “The Chinese Buddhist Canon in the Age of Printing: An East Asian Perspective 刻本時代的漢文大藏經與東亞佛教,” funded by Chiang Chingkou Foundation and co-organized with ICBS (the Institute of Chinese Buddhist Studies) at the University of the West, March 18-20, 2013, Los Angeles. Learn more.
  • “The Chinese Buddhist Canon in Modern East Asia.” Funded by donors at Brigham Young University and Su Wukang East Asia Research fund, co-organized with Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University, April 9 and 10, 2015, Provo, Utah. Learn more. View the conference reportFor details of each presentation.
  • AAS Panel, “Buddhist Canons in Context.” American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Chicago, November 20, 2012.
  • "TRIPITAKA FOR THE FUTURE: Envisioning the Buddhist Canon in the Digital Age." organized by Center for Buddhist Studies, Department of East Asian Studies, Department of Religious Studies and Classics, and the Center for Digital Humanities at The University of Arizona. Nov. 2-3, 2018, Arizona. Learn More.


  • Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon (The Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies). Columbia 2016. Learn more.
  • Special Issue on the Chinese Buddhist Canon: Collections of Chinese Papers from the First and Second International Conference. Studies of Chinese Religions, vol. 2, 2016. Learn more.
  • Reinventing the Tripitaka: Transformation of the Buddhist Canon in Modern East Asia. Lexington 2017. Learn more.
  • Chinese Buddhist Canons in the Age of Printing, 1st Edition. Darui Long, Jinhua Chen. Routledge 2019. Learn more.

Lecture Series:

Chinese Buddhist Canon Research Newsletter Archive