Naturalisation of Buddhism in China and Beyond

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:  Digital Intensive Classroom (5 days x 8 hrs/day)
Weeks 3 – 5: Submission of assessments online



Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering studies in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing, within an environment that incorporates contemplative education.

NTI offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism, and Mental Health as well as customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.

In accordance with the current restrictions our campus facilities are closed. You can continue to study online and our virtual library services remain available. Our academic and student services staff are online and by phone to assist you. Please stay safe.