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Philosophy and Practice: The theoretical underpinnings of practice in late Indian tantric Buddhism


Admission requirements

No restrictions on admission


The later periods of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent are characterized by a strong turn toward what is commonly called the Tantric, or Esoteric Buddhism, as well as a concentration, doctrinally speaking, on epistemological traditions. These two are intimately related, as are Buddhist traditions with non-Buddhist traditions, particularly those associated with Śaivism. This course explores selected issues of this vibrant time in Indian Buddhist History.

Course objectives

Students will gain an appreciation for and understanding of developments in the doctrine, ritual and practice of later Indian Buddhism, and surrounding social traditions and institutions, while thinking about larger issues of religion in society.


The timetable is available on the website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • Total course load for the course (number of EC x 28 hours), for a course of 5 EC is 140 hours, for 10 EC 280.

2 classes of two hours per week for 6 weeks = 24 hours class time.
Paper preparation 32 hours
7 hours reading time per class meeting
Total = 140 hours

Assessment method



paper can be resubmitted in case of failing grade.

inspection and feedback

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.


Readings will be placed on blackboard Blackboard

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.
General information about uSis is available on the website


Contact information
Please contct Prof dr Jonathan Silk with questions