Buddhist Societies in Anthropology:

Ethnography and Comparative Studies


July 1st-3rd, 2016

Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu, China


As a world religion, Buddhism has shaped the intellectual traditions, social formations, and political landscapes of many of the Asian regions and societies. It has become the subject matter of the humanities and social science for a long time. This workshop seeks to develop a more vigorous conversation between the studies that scholars have conducted in different Buddhist societies. With this aim, this workshop not only considers Buddhist doctrines and teachings, but also attempts to bring Buddhism back to the cultural and historical contexts of each of the societies, and treat Buddhism as knowledge inseparable from human engagements. By stressing comparative perspectives based on ethnographic evidence and fieldwork, this workshop seeks to enrich the concepts, theories and frameworks that have been used in discussions of Buddhist societies.


Supported by State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (China), this 3-day workshop invites scholars who carry out their research in South and Southeast Asia to Southwest University for Nationalities (Chengdu), and will give attention to the following topics:


1Practical Buddhism, local religion and social life


2Buddhism as a religion of intellectuals


3Buddhism, kingship, and politics


4Myth, concept and mind in Buddhist societies






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