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Buddhist Art


Admission requirements



Buddhism had a globalizing effect on the art of Asia, once it began to spread from the Indian subcontinent to the South (Sri Lanka) and the East (East and Southeast Asia). The spread of Buddhism and its contact with local cultures also led to processes of localization. This course focuses on the Indian origins of Buddhist art as well as on such processes of globalization and localization as expressed in Buddhist art and material culture in other parts of South and Southeast Asia. In particular, we discuss the form, function and development of reliquaries, Buddha and Bodhisattva images, the biography of the Buddha in art, stupas, temples, and mandalas. We expect students to be actively involved, prepare weekly readings, and contribute to discussions in class. Student may enroll for a one-day excursion to the famous Asian art museum Musée Guimet in Paris at the end of the course (with support from the Friends of the Kern Institute).

Course objectives

Basic knowledge of the form, function and development of Buddhist art and material culture in South and Southeast Asia.
Insight into the religious foundation and socio-cultural embedding of Buddhist art and material culture in South and Southeast Asia.
Insight in dynamic processes such as globalization and interculturalization as expressed in Buddhist art.
Ability to analyze scholarly literature, distinguish between main and side subjects, ask critical questions.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Students are expected to actively participate in the lectures through a thorough preparation of the weekly readings.
There is an excursion at the end (not mandatory).

Assessment method

Two written examinations with essay questions: one at the end of block 1 and one at the end of block 2

Each of the two partial examinations counts for 50%. The average of these results is the end-result for the course.

The resit combines the mid-term and second-term exams into one full resit exam of two hours covering the readings and teaching materials of the full course. The result, if higher, replaces the average result of the first two partial exams.
Exam review
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A syllabus will be posted on the blackboard site at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

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Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar. * For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof