(20 April – 12 July 2020) biennially
The Buddhist Art module includes the religious, historical and geographical context for the spread of Buddhism and Buddhist art from Northern India to Central, East and Southeast Asia. The course begins with a brief overview of the life and philosophy of the Buddha and considers the earliest Indian Buddhist images. We then trace the movement of Buddhist images across the mountains and deserts of the Silk Road to China. It brings together the Buddhist art in Tang China that was to be so influential in Korea and Japan and later in Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Java & Cambodia. It includes a survey of the later centuries when Esoteric Buddhism reached its apogee in Tibet and Theravadin Buddhism in Sri Lanka engendered distinctive forms of Buddhist art in Burma, Thailand and Cambodia.
The course will give greater emphasis to the importance of faith and religion and devotion than is currently possible in the Indian, Chinese or Japanese and Korean modules of the Postgraduate Diploma. The course also addresses the lack of coverage of Sri Lanka in the Indian module. It includes Buddhist monuments, sculpture, manuscripts and the ritual arts. The syllabus will be broadly chronological and regional.