History of Art and Architecture

HAA 1692 Buddhist Civilization along the Silk Road (a Religious Studies course that is cross-listed with our department)

This class serves as an introduction to Buddhism from its origins through the seventh century CE as it moved along the Silk Road, the ancient EurAsian trading network that is considered one of the earliest and most important super highways of trade and culture. Concomitantly, it serves as an introduction to the silk road as the scenario for contact and exchange. The emphasis is on religious praxis, the actors and places that transformed Buddhism and were transformed by it. We will examine archaeological remains and art and discuss how they complement or sometimes contradict textually-based historical narratives. Through the examination of four case studies we will discuss questions related to religious interaction as embodied in material culture and analyze it in context.