Politicizing the Lotus: State Patronage of Buddhism, Its Rituals, and Its Art
Spring 2008 not offered
This seminar treats the comparative political uses made of Buddhism, its rituals, and, especially, its art in premodern times by governments in India, China, Korea, and Japan. Since the topic is potentially enormous in its chronological as well as its geographical sweep, the course is necessarily selective in its coverage. Some likely topics are India under the Mauryans (3rd century BCE) and the Kusans (late 1st/early 2nd century CE), China under the Northern Wei (late 5th century) and the Sui dynasties (late 6th century), Korea at the time of its late 6th- and early 7th-century unification struggles, and Japan in the 7th- and early 8th- centuries. Readings for the seminar will encompass both primary, in translation, and secondary historical and Buddhist sources as well as secondary sources treating Buddhist art history and archeology. Class discussions will be devoted to the analysis of both texts and images.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None