Relic and Image: The Archaeology and Social History of Indian Buddhism|
Fall 2020 not offered
CEAS 381, ARCP 380, RELI 375|
This course investigates the social history and material culture of Indian Buddhism from the fifth century BCE through the period of the Kushan empire (1st--3rd century CE). The course begins with the examination of the basic teachings of Buddhism as presented in canonical texts and then turns to consideration of the organization and functioning of the early Buddhist community, or sangha. The focus then shifts to the popular practice of Buddhism in early India and the varied forms of interaction between lay and monastic populations. Although canonical texts will be examined, primary emphasis in this segment of the course is given to the archaeology and material culture of Buddhist sites and their associated historical inscriptions. Specific topics to be covered include the cult of the Buddha's relics, pilgrimage to the sites of the Eight Great Events in the Buddha's life, the rise and spread of image worship, and the Buddhist appropriation and reinterpretation of folk religious practices. Key archaeological sites to be studied include the monastic complex at Sanchi, the pilgrimage center at Bodh Gaya (site of the Buddha's enlightenment), the city of Taxila (capital of the Indo-Greek kings and a major educational center), and the rock-cut cave monasteries along the trade routes of western India.
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|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARCP-MN)(ARCP)(ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)(CEAS-MN)(CEAS)(CEAS-Phil/Reli)(RELI-MN)(RELI)(SAST-MN)
Richard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo
Mohan Wijayaratna, Buddhist Monastic Life According to the Texts of the Theravada Tradition
Gregory Schopen, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India
F.R. Allchin et al. The Archaeology of Early Historic South Asia: The Emergence of Cities and States.
N.A. Nikam and R. McKeon, trs., The Edicts of Asoka.
And a broad selection of articles and essays available on the course Moodle.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Regular attendance and reading of all assigned materials. Active participation in class discussions. Two short essays; class presentations; term paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course counts toward the South Asian Studies Certificate as a historical inquiry
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