Abstract: The Roots of Buddhism in India


Buddhism began in the Indian subcontinent, right at the border of what is now India and Nepal. In this lecture, I’ll explore the Indian roots of Buddhism and its effects on the population of the Early Historic period, starting in the 6th century B.C. just after the historical Buddha’s birth and life.  For nearly a thousand years, Buddhism was the prevailing religious tradition in the subcontinent, providing a pulse of inspiration so strong that it was carried along the land and sea routes to Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and up along the Silk Route.  The art and architecture of Buddhism underwent significant changes over time, providing insights on the way in which this religious tradition adapted to the local circumstances of the people who adopted it.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Dalal, Anita, 2007    "National Geographic Investigates: Ancient India".  National Geographic, Washington D.C.

Kulke, Hermann and Dietmar Rothermund, 2010    A History of India, fifth edition.  Routledge, London.

Schomp, Virginia, 2009    Ancient India.  Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, New York.

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