Naturalisation of Buddhism in China and Beyond

Subject code ABS940
Lecturer Dr Iain Sinclair
Delivery mode Online, live
Duration Ten weeks
Next start date Visit timetable

Subject Overview

This first part of the subject provides a historical survey of the impact of the different Buddhism traditions on Chinese culture and vice versa. China is selected because of the successful sinicisation process that includes the transformation of various Buddhist traditions and their interactiosn with indigenous philosophy, culture and religious practices from the turn of the Common Era to the present. The second part of the subject continues the exploration of how this naturalised form of Buddhism maintains its relevance to communities worldwide. In this final section, the successful acculturation process (as seen in Buddhism becoming one of the three pillars of traditional Chinese religions) is also examined in the light of how Humanistic Buddhism can play a role in global Buddhist communities in the 21st century.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and critically evaluate the key factors influencing the naturalisation of a foreign religion.
  2. Analyse and assess the complex role and influence of Buddhism on indigenous religious, social and cultural life such as thought, value, art, architecture, literature and language.
  3. Identify the constructive competencies and conditions for future development of Buddhism.
  4. Develop the skills to pose research questions, investigate and analyse the literature, and present oral and written research reports. 


  • Assessment 1: Individual presentation and report on critical evaluation and application (20%)
  • Assessment 2: Critical review of book, book section or article (30%)
  • Assessment 3: Final paper on a research topic (50%)


Offering a high degree of flexibility, our online courses can be studied full or part-time. Our courses are designed for health and wellness professionals, counsellors, educators, and other leaders who are balancing a work schedule and already have an undergraduate degree. Enrol now or at a time that suits you.