In July, 2012, the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism published the English Edition of The Collected Works of Korean Buddhism in thirteen volumes. This is the first comprehensive collection of Korean Buddhist materials ever to appear in a European language. UCLA’s Center for Buddhist Studies was a crucial participant in this project. Director Robert Buswell served as chair of the English Editorial Board for the series as well as a translator and editor, and two graduates of UCLA’s Buddhist Studies program, Richard McBride and Patrick Uhlmann, also served as translators and editors of several volumes.
As Robert Buswell’s Preface to the English translation notes, the thirteen volumes of this anthology are drawn from the Han’guk Pulgyo chŏnsŏ 韓國佛教全書and collect the whole panoply of Korean Buddhist writing from the Three Kingdoms period (ca. 57 C.E.-668) through the Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910). These writings include commentaries on scriptures as well as philosophical and disciplinary texts by the most influential scholiasts of the tradition; the writings of its most esteemed Sŏn (Zen) adepts; indigenous collections of Sŏn kongan (koan) cases, discourses, and verse; travelogues and historical materials; and important epigraphical compositions.
It is our hope that The Collected Works of Korean Buddhism will ensure that the writings of Korean Buddhist masters will assume their rightful place in the developing English canon of Buddhist materials and will enter the mainstream of academic discourse in Buddhist Studies in the West. Korea’s Buddhist authors are as deserving of careful attention and study as their counterparts in Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese Buddhism. This first comprehensive collection of Korean Buddhist writings should bring these authors the attention and sustained engagement they deserve among Western scholars, students, and practitioners of Buddhism.
Since the project was funded by a grant that only covered the publication of a limited number of paper copies of the texts, the texts are also being released in PDF format. A hard copy of the full set may be found in the UCLA Young Research Library.
The English editorial board consisted of Robert Buswell (chair; UCLA), Charles Muller (University of Tokyo), John Jorgensen (Australia National University), and Roderick Whitfield (SOAS, University of London). Participating translators were Juhn Ahn, Robert Buswell, Michael Finch, Jung-geun Kim, Charles Muller, John Jorgensen, Richard McBride, Jin Y. Park, Young-eui Park, Patrick Uhlmann, Sem Vermeersch, Matthew Wegehaupt, and Roderick Whitfield.