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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2106 Buddhism in Practice: Statues, Stupas and other Forms of the Non-Self

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Ashley Thompson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students must have completed at least 20 credits from the following list of modules: ARTF1045, ARTF1046, ARTF1041, ARTF1042, ARTF1045, ARTF1046, ARTF2000.


ARTF1041Museum/Country House Studies 1
ARTF1042Museum/Country House Studies 2
ARTF1045A Story of Art I
ARTF1046A Story of Art 2
ARTF2000Stories of Art:An Introduction

Module replaces


This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary



On completion of this module, students should:
- have knowledge of Buddhist art and associated ritual practice, as well as history and philosophy;
- be able to critically analyse a variety of art and architectural forms, considering philosophical concept, doctrinal development and historical, social and geographical circumstance;
- be familiar with the ways in which art has facilitated the adoption and adaptation of this 'cosmopolitan' religion by disparate culture-regions;
- also be able to formulate comparative analyses of art at the nexus of religion and politics, between East and West.

Skills outcomes
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument
- Use of audio visual aids
- Participation in group discussions
- Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
- Using bibliographies and databases.


This module explores a series of Buddhist art and architectural forms as products of encounters between philosophical concept, doctrinal development and historical, social and geographic circumstance. Through this approach, the foundational tension between renunciation and social action in Buddhist practice will be examined as manifest in art.

Particular attention will be given to the oxymoron of the 'Buddhist State' at the heart of artistic expression. Introductory considerations will lead to in-depth study of select doctrinal notions, including suffering, desire, the non-self and impermanence.

We will proceed to analyse 'aniconic' icons, select statuary and paintings, the funerary monument or stupa and other forms of the mandala.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

150 hours - class preparation including researching textual and visual materials/reading/preparation
30 hours - essay preparation and writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- attendance
- participation in class discussion.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written WorkWeekly commentary25.00
ReportWritten report of oral presentation of c.15 minutes25.00
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/10/2010


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