The Spread of Buddhism Student Project
Buddha gained only a few followers in his lifetime. Over several centuries, however, his teachings won wide acceptance in Asia. The spread of Buddhism in Asia can be traced through looking at Buddhist art. In this project you will compare and contrast famous examples of Buddhist art and different Buddhist sites in Asia, noting differences in the images. These differences will help you realize how Buddhist art reflects local values as it spread. In the process of completing this project, you will also be able to generalize on how ideas change and adapt as they travel from one place to another… CULTURAL DIFFUSION!!!!.
With this project you will be researching one aspect of the spread of Buddhism in Asia (topics and groups are assigned by your instructor) and creating a poster. You will have two class days to work on this project; all other work needs to be done outside of school. On the third class day, your group will present your project to the class.
COMPARE THE CAVES OF AJANTA IN INDIA WITH THE CAVES ALONG THE SILK ROAD ROUTES IN CHINA AND SEOKGURAM IN KOREA.
• In what ways are these cave temples the same or different?
LOOK FOR EXAMPLES OF STUPAS AND PAGODAS IN VARIOUS ASIAN COUNTRIES.
• Compare their examples with the Great Stupa at Sanchi, India.
• In what ways are they the same or different?
• Be sure to also include Borobudur on the island of Java in Indonesia. Might it be one great stupa?
• Why is there no image of the Buddha in the top stupa?
LOOK ONLINE FOR EXAMPLES OF SCULPTURES OF THE BUDDHA IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.
• Be sure to include marks and mudras of the Buddha.
• Consider the Ganhdaran Buddhas and the so-called laughing Buddha. How are the images similar or different?
LOOK FOR IMAGES OF THE BUDDHIST DIETY AVALOKITESVARA (KUAN YIN, KUNON), "THE ONE WHO HEARS THE CRIES OF THE WORLD," IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.
• What are the differences?
• What are possible reasons for the differences?
• Which images do you think people would find more appealing?
• If someone were in trouble or pain, which image might he want to pray to? Why?
RESEARCH ANGKOR WAT AND ANGKOR THOM OF THE KHMER EMPIRE AND ZEN GARDENS IN JAPAN.
• Why were they constructed?
• What Buddhist ideas do they symbolize?
• Both are replications of the universe. In what ways are they similar and different?
Buddhist Art and the Trade Routes
Cave Temples in China
Historical Architecture in Asia
National Geographic Zen Gardens
National Geographic the Silk Road
National Geographic Religion: Buddhism
National Geographic: Tibetans
National Geographic Map: Asia
Xpeditions map of Asia
Map Spread of Buddhism
Time line of Asian history:
Urban temples of China