Study Weekend: The Life and Times of the Buddha

Weekend course: -
A woman looks at a manuscript showing the life of the Buddha in Burmese, from 19th-century Burma

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  • Full Price: £110.00 Other concessions available

Discover the life of the Buddha

Course dates: Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 February 10.30 – 17.00

Read the course outline

The two-day course features six lectures exploring the figure of the Buddha as he has been imagined and revered over 2000 years of history.

Begin by exploring what we know about the Buddha’s historical and religious context in North India in the middle of the first millennium BCE by considering the kinds of sources Buddhist scholars and practitioners have consulted. Discuss the way in which the Buddha has been remembered and represented in Indian Buddhist art and literature, and question how this helps us understand the Buddha as a historical, mystical and literary figure. In the afternoon, explore how Buddhists think about the Buddha’s importance beyond his life: across past lives, prior to his awakening and his status in the world after his death.

On the second day, discuss the fundamentals of Buddhist thought, and teachings observed by both the earliest Buddhist tradition in India and newer forms of Buddhism that emerged over the following 2000 years. Consider these new developments, including forms of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and think about how perceptions of the Buddha’s achievements and status evolved over time. Finally, we explore how Indian Buddhism, both ‘mainstream’ and Mahāyānist, developed outside of India and was transmitted across South East, Central and East Asia, as well as considering how the Buddha has been understood in the West.


Name: Study Weekend: The Life and Times of the Buddha
Where: Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £110.00
Student: £90.00
Registered Unemployed: £90.00
Young Person (18-25): £90.00
Senior (60+): £100.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546