Naturalisation of Buddhism in China and Beyond

    Key Information

    Lecture dates: TBC

    Census date: TBC

    Lecturer: TBC

    Duration: 5 weeks (including 5 days on-campus)

    Delivery: On-campus

    Subject Code: ABS940

    Subject Overview

    This subject provides a historical survey of the impact of Buddhism in Chinese culture, exploring its growth and transformation through significant people, doctrines, practices and institutions from the turn of the Common Era to the present.


    It begins with the transmission of Buddhism from India to China and follows the development of a uniquely Chinese Buddhism after a period of initial conflict before integration with the local culture.  


    The second part of the subject uses Buddhist sacred sites as experiential windows to further explore major aspects of the Chinese Buddhist tradition and its interaction with Chinese literature, philosophy, art, architecture and indigenous religious practices.  


    This subject offers an insight into how Buddhism became one of the three pillars of traditional Chinese religions.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Discuss the key aspects of China’s culture and heritage

    • Analyse and assess the role and influence of Buddhism in Chinese religious, social and cultural life such as thought, value, art, architecture, literature and language

    • Examine the development of Buddhism from the Han Dynasty to the religious reform that is taking place in modern day China

    • Develop the skills to pose research questions, investigate and analyse the literature, and present oral and written research reports


    Subject Structure

    This subject runs for five weeks, with the following structure:


    Week 1: Pre-reading of prescribed texts
    Week 2:  Five lecture days on campus (9am - 5pm)
    Weeks 3 - 5: Submission of assessments online