Edward J. Thomas

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Edward Joseph Thomas (1869–1958) was a librarian in India and author of several books on the history of Buddhism. His works, mainly concerned with Theravada Buddhism and reflecting Western scholarship, nonetheless remain widely cited for their clarity and accuracy.[1] The Life of Buddha as Legend and History is inevitably cited in Buddhist research.[2] Thomas's ability as a Pali scholar and translator was noted in his time.[3]


  • Jataka tales, with Henry Thomas Francis (1916)
  • The Life of Buddha: As Legend and History (1927, 3rd. ed. 1952)
  • The Perfection of Wisdom, The Career of the Predestined Buddhas, A Selection of Mahayana Scriptures translated from the Sanskrit (London, J. Murray, 1952; rpr. Wisdom of the East Series, Rutland, Charles E. Tuttle, 1992)
  • The History of Buddhist Thought second edition (1951)
  • Early Buddhist Scriptures (1935)
  • The Song of the Lord: Bhagavadgita (1931)
  • Vedic Hymns (1923)


  1. ^ Kenneth W. Morgan. Asian Religions -- An Introduction to the Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoi. American Historical Associations. Published by The MacMillan Company, New York, Collier-MacMillan Limited, London, 1964. Online at Religion Online.
  2. ^ Charles S. Prebish. "Cooking the Buddhist Books: The Implications of the New Dating of the Buddha for the History of Early Indian Buddhism." Journal of Buddhist Ethics 15 (2008): 3.
  3. ^ Stede, W. Review of Early Buddhist Scriptures. Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies 9/2 (1938): 439.