BC305 - Buddhist Culture in Sri Lanka and South-East Asia

A historical survey of the geographical expansion of Buddhism in the subcontinent of India and Sri Lanka and in the countries of South East Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The survey will focus on the role played by Buddhist monks and laity in the dissemination of the new faith and its consequent adaptation by the indigenous people. A general acquaintance with the religion and culture of each country prior to the introduction of Buddhism should form a background to this part of the study. This will be followed up by an assessment of Buddhism’s contribution to the indigenous cultures of the region through its teachings and institutional framework, including the impetus it gave to the promotion of creative works in arts and literature during its long history in each country.