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Topics in Buddhist Studies: Apologetic Dimensions of Late Indian Buddhist Philosophy


Admission requirements

No prerequisites


The lectures consider the broad historical context of the rise of the so-called Buddhist epistemological tradition, and then turn to selected topics, including: scriptural authority; apologetics proper; the heart of the system (particularly the doctines of apoha and the two truths); the proofs of momentariness, selflessness and rebirth; the path (compassion and wisdom, karuṇā and prajñā); the nature of buddhas (omniscience, yogic perception), and others.

Course objectives

Students will gain an appreciation of the historical context of philosophical developments in later Indian Buddhism, understanding these developments in terms of their precursors and in terms of the way these traditions have been studied and evaluated by modern scholarship.


The lectures will begin 6 September 2011 and run every Tuesday evening 17.00-19.00, through 30 November (except 26 October, during reading week).

Timetable Instute for religious Studies

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment will be through a final paper, the topic and scope of which will be decided in consultation with the instructor.


Yes: Blackboard

Reading list



Via uSis
In addition to the registration in uSis, students are also expected to self-enroll in blackboard a few weeks before the course starts.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Prod. dr. J.A. Silk