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Buddhist Art


Admission requirements



Buddhism had a globalizing effect on the art of Asia, once it began to spread from the Indian subcontinent to the South (Sri Lanka) and the East (East and Southeast Asia). The spread of Buddhism and its contact with local cultures also led to processes of localization. This course focuses on the Indian origins of Buddhist art as well as on such processes of globalization and localization as expressed in Buddhist art and material culture in other parts of South and Southeast Asia. In particular, we discuss the form, function and development of reliquaries, Buddha and Bodhisattva images, the biography of the Buddha in art, stupas, temples, and mandalas. We expect students to be actively involved, prepare weekly readings, and contribute to discussions in class. If possible, we will organize an excursion to Musée Guimet in Paris at the end of the course.

Course objectives

  • Basic knowledge of the form, function and development of Buddhist art and material culture in South and Southeast Asia

  • Insight into the religious foundation and socio-cultural embedding of Buddhist art and material culture in South and Southeast Asia

  • Insight in dynamic processes such as globalization and interculturalization as expressed in Buddhist art

  • Ability to analyze scholarly literature, distinguish between main and side subjects, ask critical questions.


The timetable is available on the website of the BA Linguistics

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture
    Students are expected to actively participate in the lectures through a thorough preparation of the weekly readings.

Course Load

5 EC (140 hours)

  • Lectures: 13 x 2 = 26h

  • Weekly readings: 10 x 6 = 60h

  • Other literature (book, 240 pp): 34h

  • Preparation exam and exam: 2 x 10 = 20h

Assessment method


Two written examinations with essay questions: one at the end of block 1 and one at the end of block 2


Each written examination 50%. The average counts.


If the average is below 5.49 (=6) or lower there is a resit (100%) combining the two examinations in the resit period. You cannot do the resit if your average is 5.50 (=6) or higher.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Information on the course including syllabus

  • Informing students

  • Powerpoint presentation

  • Links to weekly readings if possible
    *Other relevant information

Reading list

Syllabus will be posted on the blackboard site at the beginning of the course


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Prof. Dr. M.J. Klokke Dr. E.M. Raven