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Tantric Buddhism in mediaeval India



This course, which is financed by the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies Fonds, will be offered in the Fall semester of 2018 and is open to all interested in the field of Buddhist Studies. Students who wish to obtain credit for the course should register as for regular courses and will have to write the paper. Others do not have to register and can simply freely attend the lectures. For more information, please contact prof. dr. J.A. Silk.
Classes are on Tuesdays from 17:00 to 19:00. Classes start on October 9.

Admission requirements

A keen and open mind; interest in the subject.


The course will consist of a series of lectures with some student participation (e.g. discussion of selected passages). The instructor will offer a general introduction to the literature of Indian Esoteric Buddhism, some of its relevant doctrines, and a description of mediaeval tantric communities (how they were organised, internal rules, problems of patronage, etc.). We will discuss evidence from scriptures, commentaries, treatises, and epigraphical sources.

Course objectives

Students will achieve a good grasp of the history and evolution of esoteric Buddhism in South Asia; they will become acquainted with how to handle sources and methodologies critically.


The timetable is available on the Timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total course load: 140 hours
Class meetings: 2 × 10 = 20 hrs
Preparation lecture: 2 x 10 = 20 hrs
Readings: 7 × 12 = 84 hrs
final paper: 16 hours

Assessment method


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:

  • Reading materials

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. Péter-Dániel Szántó