Saturday, 22 September 2012

Free admittance Lecture Series "The transformation of Buddhism across Central Asia from India to China "

Starting the 2nd of October Prof. Meiji Yamada will teach two courses about Buddhism at the University of Leiden.

The transformation of Buddhism across Central Asia from India to China (Start the 2nd of October)
Time: Every Tuesday evening from 19.00-21.00
Venue: LIPSIUS Building Room 228, Leiden University


The Way of Tea, the Way of the Buddha( Start the 10th of October)

The courses are free accessible for anyone interested in this/these subject(s) 

Start first lecture Tuesday 2nd of October 2012 
Lipsius Building, Room 228, 
Cleveringaplaats 1,
Leiden University

The course " The transformation of Buddhism across Central Asia from India to China" will trace the spread of Buddhism from the Indian heartland toward the Northwest, into regions now in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and then further over the mountain passes into Central Asia, whence eastward toward western China. It will focus on the importance of the Indian emperor Asoka, on the cult of relics of the Buddha and the stupas or memorial mounds within which they were entombed, on the relation between Buddhism and trade, and the ways in which Buddhism spread along the so-called ‘Silk Routes,’ namely the great trade routes which ultimately linked Rome and China.
Attention will also be given to the status of treatment of the dead in Buddhism, the role of divine figures, and their visual depiction especially in Central Asian cave temples. Texts excavated from diverse sites along the trade routes will be examined in light of what they can tell us about indiginous Buddhisms.
The Pure Land traditions, which later take on so much importance in East Asia, are then treated, and finally consideration will be given to an almost universally ignored region of Buddhist expansion, that into what is now Iran and Persian regions far to the west of what is usually considered the borders of Buddhist geography.


1. The Legends of King Asoka and his Missionizing: The encounter of Buddhism and other religions.

2. The Relic Cult 1: Its origins and development. Relic stupas in the region of Sanchi

3. The Relic Cult 2: From Gandhara and Taxila Eastwards

4. Trade, Business and the Spread of Buddhism: The Buddhist faith of the Sakas

5. The East Asian Development of Lay Buddhism 1: Funerals and Buddhism

6. The East Asian Development of Lay Buddhism 2: Apsaras and Vajrapa

7. Central Asian Ruins and Excavated Documents: Donation and Supplication

8. The Development of the Bodhisattva Idea 1: Avalokitesvara / Guanyin

9. The Development of the Bodhisattva Idea 2: Maitreya and the Ideal Future

10. The Crossroads of Asia: The importance of Bamiyan

11. The Spread of Pure Land Buddhism: From mindfulness of the Buddha to Buddha-name recitation

12. The Spread of Buddhism West to Iran

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