This superb and well illustrated book includes over one hundred examples of Buddhist art from the British Library’s collection. Most have not been published before.

Buddhism Illuminated relates each manuscript to Theravada tradition and beliefs, and introducing the historical, artistic, and religious contexts of their production. It is the first book in English to showcase the beauty and variety of Buddhist manuscript art.

Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia are centres for the preservation of local artistic traditions. Manuscripts, a vital source for our understanding of Buddhist ideas and practices in the region, are chief among these. They are also a beautiful art form, too little understood in the West.

The British Library has one of the richest collections of Southeast Asian manuscripts, principally from Thailand and Burma, anywhere in the world. It includes finely painted copies of Buddhist scriptures, literary works, historical narratives, and works on traditional medicine, law, cosmology, and fortune-telling.