Buddhist Asia: Traditions, Transmissions and Transformations

  An NEH Summer Institute ~ May 25 to June 26, 2015 ~ Honolulu, Hawai'i ~ Hosted by the Asian Studies Development Program

Institute Readings.

Presenting faculty have assigned readings for their sessions, and the full citation information can be accessed below. Each presenter has prepared a bibliography that includes assigned readings and optional additional readings. These bibliographies will be available in the Presenter Session Materials under Resources in the coming weeks.

This list is currently under revision and will be updated as information is available. Access to readings are limited to participants only.


MAY 25 – JUNE 26, 2015

Week One: Buddhist Origins and Early Diversification

Week One Assigned Readings


Monday, May 25

Peter Hershock:  Institute Introduction:  Buddha, Dharma and Sangha:  Buddhist Origins and Core Teachings

Bailey, Greg., & Mabbett, Ian. (2003). Introduction. In The Sociology of Early Buddhism, pp. 1-12.  G. Bailey & I. Mabbett. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.


Clarke, Shayne. (2014). Reconsidering Renunciation:  Family-Friendly Monasticisms. In Shayne Clark. Family Matters in Indian Buddhist Monasticisms, pp. 150-170. . Honolulu:  University of Hawai‘i Press.


Hershock, Peter D. (2003). Buddhist Philosophy as a Buddhist Practice. In R. Solomon & K. Higgins (Eds.). From Africa to Zen:  An Invitation to World Philosophy. (2nd ed), pp. 239-254. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford:  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.


Tuesday, May 26

Rupert Gethin:  Buddhist Diversity:  Early Developments in the Dharma and Sangha

Gethin, Rupert. (2008). A translation of the Sāmaññaphala Sutta.In Sayings of the Buddha: New Translations from the Pali Nikāyas, pp. 5-36. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Schopen, Gregory. (1997). Two Problems in the History of Indian Buddhism: The Layman/Monk Distinction and the Doctrines of the Transference of Merit. In Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India, pp. 23-55. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


Wednesday, May 27

Rupert Gethin:  Buddhist Diversity:  Mahayana Buddhism

Śāntideva: The Bodhicaryāvatāra (1996). Translated by Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 5–8, 14–22, 25–29, 34–44 (Chapters 1–5)


Thurman, Robert A. F. (1976). Extracts from the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra. In The Holy Teaching of Vimalakīrti: A Mahāyāna Scripture, pp. 42-49, 56-63. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.


Williams, Paul. (2012). In Buddhist Thought, (2nd ed.), pp. 98–123. London: Routledge.


Thursday, May 28

Paul Lavy:  Buddhist Art and Architecture in South and Central Asia

Leidy, Denise Patry. (2009). “Pillars and Stupas:  Second Century B.C.E. to Third Century C.E.” (chapter 1), “The Buddha Image: Second to Seventh Century” (chapter 2), “Caves and Caravans:  India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and China” (excerpts of chapter 3), and “South Asia: Regional Styles and Changes in Religious Thought, Eighth to Twelfth Century” (chapter 6). In, The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning, pp. 8-67, 126-145. Boston: Shambhala.

The Art of South and Southeast Asia:  A Resource for Educators by the Metropolitan Museum of Art 



Peter Hershock:  Texts and Concepts: Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta and the Heart Sutra

Lopez, Jr., Donald S. (1996). Commentators Ancient and Postmodern. In Elaborations on Emptiness:  Uses of the Heart Sūtra, pp. 238-260. Princeton:  Princeton University Press.


-----. (1996). The Heart Sūtra:  The Bhagavatī Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra. In Elaborations on Emptiness:  Uses of the Heart Sūtra, viii-viiii. Princeton:  Princeton University Press.


Walsh, Maurice. (1987). Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta:  The Lion’s Roar on the Turning of the Wheel. In Teachings of the Buddha:  The Long Discourses of the Buddha. A Translation of t he Dīgha Nikāya. Translated from the Pali, pp. 395-405. Boston:  Wisdom Publications.


Friday, May 29

Tansen Sen:  ‘Diffusion’ and ‘Transmission’ of Buddhism: Through the 7th Century

Coningham, Robin. A.E. (1995). Monks, Caves and Kings:  A Reassessment of the Nature of Early Buddhism in Sri Lanka. World Archaeology, 27(2), 222-242.


Heitzman, James. (1984). Early Buddhism, Trade and Empire. In Kenneth A. R. Kennedy & G. L. Possehl (Eds), Studies in the Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology of South Asia, 121-138. New Delhi:  Oxford University Press.


Li Rongxi. (2002). The Journey of the Eminent Monk Faxian. In Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, BDK English Tripitaka, pp. 155-214. Berkeley:  Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. [for May 29 and June 1]


Lwin, Thein., Kyaing, Win., and Janice Stargardt. (2014). The Pyu Civilization of Myanmar and the City of Śrī Kṣetra. In Guy, John, Lost Kingdoms:  Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of early Southeast Asia, pp. 63-68, 277. New York:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Ray, Himanshu Prabha. (1994). Kanheri:  The Archaeology of an Early Buddhist Pilgrimage Center in Western India. World Archaeology, 26(1), 35-46.  


Sen, Tansen. (2015). The Spread of Buddhism. B. Z. Kedar & M. Wiesner-Hanks (Eds), In The Cambridge World History, Volume 5: Expanding Webs of Exchange and Conflict, 500CE-1500CE, pp. 439-471. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Zürcher, E. (1990). Han Buddhism and the Western Region. In W.L. Idema & E. Zürcher (Eds.), Thought and Law in Qin and Han China:  Studies dedicated to Anthony Hulsewé on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, pp. 158-182. Leiden, New York, København, Köln:  E.J. Brill.


Week Two: The Buddhist Conquest of China: Canons, Commerce and Culture

  Week Two Assigned Readings


Monday, June 1

Tansen Sen:  Buddhism, Trade and Diplomacy: From the 7th to the 16th Century

Akasoy, Anna. (2013). The Buddha and the Straight Path: Rashīd al-Dīn's Life of the Buddha: Islamic Perspective.In Akasoy, Anna., Burnett, Charles., & Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Eds), Rashīd al-Dīn, Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ikhanid Iran, pp. 173-196. London, Turin:  The Warburg Institute and Nino Aragno Editore.


Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina. (2007). The Buddhist Way into Tibet. In Heirman, Ann., & Bumbacher, Stephan. P. (Eds), The Spread of Buddhism, pp. 304-340. Leiden:  Brill.


Li Rongxi. (2002). The Journey of the Eminent Monk Faxian. In Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, BDK English Tripitaka, pp. 155-214. Berkeley:  Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. [for May 29 and June 1]

Rambelli, Fabio. (2014). The Idea of India (Tenjikuk) in Pre-Modern Japan:  Issues of Signification and Representation in the Buddhist Translation of Cultures. In Sen, Tansen (Ed), Buddhism Across Asia: Networks of Material, Intellectual and Cultural Exchange, Volume 1, pp. 259-290. Singapore and Delhi: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Manohar.

Sen, Tansen. (2014). Buddhism and the Maritime Crossings. In Wong, Dorothy C., & Gustav Heldt (Eds), China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period: Cultural Crossings and Inter-Regional Connections, pp. 39-62. Amherst and Delhi: Cambria and Manohar, 2014.

-----. (2004). The Emergence of China as a Central Buddhist Realm. In Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade:  The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400, pp. 55-101. New Delhi:  Manohar Publishers & Distributors.


Woodward, Hiram. (2009). Bianhong, Mastermind of Borobudur? Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, 11 (2009), 329-354.


Zhang, Xing. (2014). Buddhist Practices and Institutions of the Chinese Community in Kolkata, India.429-457. In Sen, Tansen (Ed), Buddhism Across Asia: Networks of Material, Intellectual and Cultural Exchange, Volume 1, pp. 429-457. Singapore, Delhi: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Manohar.


Tuesday, June 2

John Kieschnick:  Sacred Texts and Eminent Monks: Origins of Chinese Buddhism

Kieschnick, John. (Forth coming).  Buddhism in early Medieval China. Draft chapter in Albert E. Dien & Keith Knapp (Eds), The Cambridge History of China: Volume 2, The Six Dynasties, pp. 220-587.


 Selections from Wang Yi-t’ung trans., A Record of Buddhist Monasteries in Lo-yang by Yang Hsüan-chih (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984). (Excerpts from pp. 3-7, 14-21, 42-52, 173-178)


Wednesday, June 3

John Kieschnick:  Buddhist Impacts on Chinese Material Culture

 Selections from Sheng Yen. (2008). In Footprints in the Snow. The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk, pp. 95-115, 145-150, 162-171. New York: Doubleday.


Teiser, Stephen. (2008). Buddhism: Buddhism in China. In Jones, Lindsay (Ed)., The Encyclopedia of Religion Second Edition, pp. 1160-1169. New York: Macmillan Reference. THIS IS OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO READ


Kate Linigley:  Art, Architecture and the Social Dimensions of Buddhist Practice in China

Lingley, Kate A. (2012). Lady Yuchi in the First Person: Patronage, History, and Voice in the Guyang Cave. In Early Medieval China 18 (2012): 25-47.


Thursday, June 4

Peter Hershock:  Liberation in Action: Chan Idealizations of Responsive Virtuosity

Hershock, Peter D. (2005). Differences in Indian and Chinese Cultural Contexts. In Peter D. Hershock. Chan Buddhism:  Dimensions of Asian Spirituality, 34-45. Honolulu:  University of Hawai‘i Press.


-----. (2005). Early Developments in Chinese Buddhism. In Peter D. Hershock. Chan Buddhism:  Dimensions of Asian Spirituality, pp. 46-65. Honolulu:  University of Hawai‘i Press


Paola Zamperini:  Dreaming Monkeys. Buddhism and the Chinese Literary Imagination

Yueh, Tung, 1620-1689. (1978). Tower of Myriad Mirrors:  A Supplement to Journey to the West. Translated from the Chinese by ShureRn-fu Lin and Larry F. Shultz. Berkley:  Asian Humanities Press.


Friday, June 5

Paola Zamperini  & Peter Hershock :  Texts and Concepts:  Mulian Saves His Mother; Record of Linji; Sutra in 42 Sections

Lau, Joseph S. M. (1985). The Great Maudgalyayana Rescues His Mother From Hell:  From the Dunhuang Bianwen Manuscript P2319/ In Lau, Joseph S. M. & Ma, Y. W. (Eds), translated by Eoyang, Eugene. Traditional Chinese Stories:  Themes and Variations, pp. 443-455. Boston:  Cheng & Tsui.






Sasaki, Ruth Fuller. (2009). The Recorded Sayings of Chan Master Linji Huizhao of Zhenzhou Compiled by His Humble Heir Huiran of Sansheng. In Kirchner, Thomas Yūhō (Ed.), The Record of Linji, pp. 3-27. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


Sharf, Robert H. (1996). The Scripture in Forty-two Sections. In D. S. Lopez, Jr. (ed). Religions of China in Practice. Princeton:  Princeton University Press.


Week Three: Kami, Karma, Self and State: Buddhism and Japanese Identity

Week Three Assigned Readings


Monday, June 8

Peter Hershock:  Buddhism and Premodern Japanese Identity: A Dynamic Symbiosis

Hershock, Peter. (2014). The Japanese Transformation of Buddhism. In Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction, pp. 31-65. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield.


Tuesday, June 9

Thomas Kasulis:  Tendai and Shingon: Saving State and Enlightenment in this Very Body

Kasulis, Thomas P. (1990). Kūkai (774-835): Philosophizing in the Archaic. In Reynolds, Frank. & Tracy, David. (Eds), Myth and Philosophy, pp. 131-150. Albany: State University of New York Press.


Heisig et al. (Eds). (2011). Original Enlightenment Debates. In Heisig, James., Kasulis, Thomas P., & Maraldo, John C. (Eds), Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, pp. 92-97. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.


Wednesday, June 10

Thomas Kasulis:  Pure Land, Nichiren and Zen: Kamakura Buddhist Revolutions

Kasulis, Thomas P. (Forthcoming). Shining Prince, Shining Buddha: Heian to Kamakura (794-1333). In Engaging Japanese Philosophy: A Short History, pp. 123-162, 723-728. Honolulu:  University of Hawaiʽi Press.

{Note that this is a draft needing final editing and should not be cited or duplicated; even the page numbers will likely differ in the final published version}


Kazuko Kameda-Madar:  Buddhism in the Art and Aesthetics of Premodern Japan

 Ruch, Barbara. (2002). Coping with Death:  Paradigms of heaven and Hell and the Six rRealms in Early Literature and Painting. In Engendering Faith: Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan, pp. 93-130. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan.


Ten Grotenhuis, Elizabeth. (1999). Chūjōhime:  The Weaving of her Legend. In Japanese Mandalas: Representations of Sacred Geography, pp. 180-200. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


Thursday, June 11

Fabio Rambelli:  Japanese Buddhist Material Culture: Texts, Trees and Tools

Rambelli, Fabio. (2007). Excerpts from pp. 58-63, 112-120, 141-153, 179-187, 259-273. In Buddhist Materiality:  A Cultural History of Objects in Japanese Buddhism. Stanford:  Stanford University Press.


Keller Kimbrough:  Women and Buddhism in Medieval Japan

Kimbrough, R. Keller, trans. (2008). A History of Seiganji in the Capital (excerpt from the ca. 1565-1595 Rakuyō Seiganji engi), in Preachers, Poets, Women, and the Way: Izumi Shikibu and the Buddhist Literature of Medieval Japan, pp. 245-266. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.


-----. (2008). Izumi Shikibu’s Vow” (excerpt from the sixteenth-century Akagi Bunko manuscript of The Tale of Jōruri. In Preachers, Poets, Women, and the Way: Izumi Shikibu and the Buddhist Literature of Medieval Japan, pp. 277-280. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.


-----. (2013). Sayohime (seventeenth-century Kyoto University manuscript). In Wondrous Brutal Fictions: Eight Buddhist Tales from the Early Japanese Puppet Theater, pp. 161-190. New York: Columbia University Press.


Friday, June 12

Thomas Kasulis & Peter Hershock:  Texts and Contexts:  Dōgen: Genjōkōan; Shinran: “Wisdom as Light” and “Good and Evil” (excerpts)

Heisig et al. (Eds). (2011). Dōgen: “Lancet of Zazen” and “Genjōkōan: The Case of Presencing.”In J. Heisig, T. Kasulis, & J. Maraldo (Eds.), Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, pp. 141-147. Honolulu:  University of Hawaii Press.


Heisig et al. (Eds). (2011). Original Enlightenment Debates. In Heisig, James., Kasulis, Thomas P., & Maraldo, John C. (Eds), Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, pp. 92-97. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

[Same assignment from June 09, 2015]


Heisig et al. (Eds). (2011). Shinran (excerpts): “Naturalness as Sacred,” “Attaining Faith is Attaining Nirvana,” “Wisdom as Light” and “Good and Evil.” In J. Heisig, T. Kasulis, & J. Maraldo (Eds.), Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, pp. 249-250, 254-260. Honolulu:  University of Hawaii Press.



Week Four: The Coevolution of State and Society in Buddhist Southeast Asia

 Week Four Assigned Readings


Monday, June 15

Anne Blackburn:  Buddhism in Southeast Asia:  A Thematic Overview

(First Hour)

Skilling, Peter. (1997). “The Advent of Theravāda Buddhism to Mainland South-East Asia.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 20.1: 93–107.


(Second Hour)

Thongchai Winichakul. (1994). Siam Mapped, pp. 16-19. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.


Lefebvre, Henri. (1991). Social Space. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. Social Space. In The Production of Space, pp. 73 (last paragraph)-79. Malden: Blackwell.


Swearer, Donald K., & Premchit, Sommai, trans. (1998).  Legend of Queen Cāma, pp. 125-133, 158-161. Albany: SUNY Press, pp. 125-133, 158-161.


(Third Hour)

White, Erick. (Forthcoming). Contemporary Buddhism & Magic. In Jervson, Michael (Ed), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism, pp. 1-9. Oxford: Oxford University.


“The Jewel Discourse (Ratana Sutta),” in The Book of Protection, trans. Piyadassi Thera.  1981.  Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, pp. 30-34


Tuesday, June 16

Anne Blackburn:  Sangha, State and Society: Monks, Merit and Relics

(First Hour)

Gunawardana, R.A.L.H.  1988.  “Subtile Silks of Ferreous Firmness: Buddhist Nuns in Ancient and Medieval Sri Lanka and Their Role in the Propogation of Buddhism.”  The Sri Lankan Journal of the Humanities, 14:1-2:1-59.


(Second Hour)

Gunawardana, R.A.L.H.  1979.  Robe and Plough: Monasticism and Economic Interest in Early Medieval Sri Lanka.  Tucson: Association for Asian Studies, pp. 170-190, 338-350.


(Third Hour)

Blackburn, Anne M. 2010.  “Buddha-Relics in the Lives of Southern Asian Polities.  Numen 57: 317-40.


Wednesday, June 17

Paul Lavy:  Buddhist Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia

Leidy, Denise Patry. (2009). Southeast Asia: Diffusion and Divergence. In The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning, pp. 162-187. Boston: Shambhala.


Miksic, John. (1990). Architecture and Symbolism. In Borobudur: Golden Tales of the Buddhas, pp. 36-59. Hong Kong: Periplus.


Thursday, June 18

Anne Blackburn & Peter Hershock:  Texts and Contexts:  Vessantara Jātaka

Vessantara-Jātaka (1907). Trans. E.B. Cowell & W. H. D. Rouse. In The Jakata, Vol. VI. Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/j6/j6013.htm


Cone, Margaret & Gombrich, Richard F. (1977). Trans. The Perfect Generosity of Prince Vessantara: A Buddhist Epic, pp. 50-74.  Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Friday, June 19

David Germano:  Vajrayāna Buddhism: Origins and Tibetan Flourishing

Davidson, Ronald. (2015). Early Medieval India and the Esoteric Rhapsody. In Tibetan Renaissance, pp. 22-60. New York:  Columbia University Press.


Samuel, Geoffrey. (2012). Tibetan Buddhism as a Path to Liberation I:  Tantric Teachings. In Introducing Tibetan Buddhism, pp. 44-64. New York:  Routledge.


-----. (2012). Tibetan Buddhism as a Path to Liberation II:  Tantric Teachings. In Introducing Tibetan Buddhism, pp. 65-87. New York:  Routledge.


[Note:  Readings by Samuel are combined as one document. Between Chapters 3 and 4, focus on the latter]



Week Five: Buddhism and Modernity

 Week Five Assigned Readings


Monday, June 22

David Germano:  Tibetan Buddhism Now: Grappling with Geopolitics

Germano, David. (2001). Encountering Tibet:  The Ethics, Soteriology, and Creativity of Cross-Cultural Interpretation. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 69, No. 1, pp.165-182.


-----. (1998). Re-membering the Dismembered Body of Tibet:  Contemporary Tibetan Visionary Movements in the People’s Republic of China. Goldstein, Melvyn C. & Kapstein, Matthew T. (Eds). In Buddhism in contemporary Tibet:  Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, pp. 53-94. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London:  University of California Press.

Juliane Schober:  Modern Buddhist Conjunctures in Myanmar: Cultural Narratives, Colonial Legacies and Civil Society

Schober, Juliane. (2006). Buddhism in Burma:  Berkwitz, Stephen C. (Ed). In Buddhism in World Cultures:  Comparative Perspectives, pp. 73-99, 314-315. Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford:  ABC-CLIO.  



Scholber, Juliane. (2011). Chapters 3 through 8. In Modern Buddhist Conjunctures in Myanmar:  Cultural Narratives, Colonial Legacies, and Civil Society, pp. 46-155. Honolulu:  University of Hawai‘i Press.


Tuesday, June 23

Peter Hershock:  Reviving the Past or Reimagining the Future: Buddhism in Modern China

Birnbaum, Raoul. (2003). Buddhist China at the Century’s Turn. In D. L. Overmyer (Ed), Religion  in China Today:  The China Quarterly Special Issues New Series, No. 3, pp.122-144. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.


Wednesday, June 24

James M. Shields:  Japanese Buddhism: Traditions in Transformation in the 20th Century

Ketelaar, James Edward. (1990). The Making of a History:  Buddhism and Historicism in Meiji Japan. In Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Buddhism and Its Persecution, pp. 174-212. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Thursday, June 25

Peter Hershock:  The Globalization of Buddhist Asia

Hershock, Peter D. (2013). Diversity Matters:  Buddhist Reflections on the Meaning of difference. In Emmanuel, S. M. (Ed), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, pp.675-692. West Sussex:  Wiley-Blackwell

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