Buddhist temple donates encyclopedias to Lovejoy Library

by Corinthia Jordan, Alestle Live, October 9, 2017

Edwardsville, IL (USA) -- The Fo Guang Shan Saint Louis Buddhist Temple is presenting Lovejoy Library with a 20-volume set of Encyclopedias of Buddhist Arts at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 in the Friends Corner of the Library.

One of over 200 branch temples, the Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Order was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Its mission includes bringing faith, joy, hope and service to all while teaching kindness, compassion, joyfulness and peace, according to the Buddhist Order.

Venerable Jue Huang of the Fo Guang Temple will present information about the Encyclopedias of Buddhist Arts, the impact of this donation, as well as some details about their temple. Director of Planned Giving Jeff Brown, along with his team, will receive this gift on behalf of SIUE.

The encyclopedias include four volumes on Buddhist architecture, five volumes on grottoes, four volumes on Buddhist sculpture, three volumes on painting, one volume on crafts and one each on calligraphy, seals and biographies. According to the Fo Guang Temple, this encyclopedia set is the first great modern-day compendium of the world’s Buddhists arts.

SIUE feels very fortunate to be chosen to receive this unique edition of encyclopedias, according to Lovejoy staff. These are the first comprehensive books about Buddhist art worldwide, and Lovejoy Library is receiving the 8th set of these published in the English language.

Applied communications professor Min Liu is a member of the Fo Guang Shan Saint Louis Buddhist Center and helped make the donation possible. She has been in direct contact with Huang aiding in this process.

“Our students come to SIUE to major in math, English or engineering, but they also come to learn about the world; they need resources, which could be courses, library resources, campus activities and programming, that help open their minds to different religious practices and schools of thoughts,” Liu said. “A key benchmark of a quality college education is that students leave not just with a diploma, but as a more mindful citizen of our global society. With the limited funding in public universities, I do hope to see more involvement of various religious-faith organizations in facilitating more interfaith dialogues on campus."

Contributions from around the world, including both members and non-members of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, are responsible for this donation. Their contributions help SIUE uphold its standard of excellence by expanding students’ knowledge on different cultures.

“I think it will impact Asian studies, history, art and design in its various forms — sculptures, paintings, architecture — as well as philosophy, sustainability and religious studies. I think these areas can impact our students and give us another aspect to add diversity on our campus,” Lovejoy Library Fine Arts Librarian Therese Zoski Dickman said.

According to senior toxicology major Tim Schaffer, of Edwardsville, students and staff interested in expanding their knowledge on Asian culture and art will benefit from this new edition to Lovejoy Library.

“I think it’s interesting that Buddhists are donating books to the library because I’m a fan of expanding your knowledge and letting other people’s views get in as much as possible,” Schaffer said.

Along with the information inscribed in the encyclopedias, the temple hopes to give more than just knowledge to the students, faculty and staff of SIUE.

According to the temple’s website, “the most valuable gift that we can give to others is this opportunity to pursue a life of deep inner peace.”

The public is welcome to attend this event at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 7, in the Friends Corner of Lovejoy Library.