Gandharan Buddhism: Archaeology, Art, and Texts

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Kurt Behrendt, Pia Brancaccio
UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - Religion - 328 pages
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The ancient region of Gandhara, with its prominent Buddhist heritage, has long fascinated scholars of art history, archaeology, and textual studies. Discoveries of inscriptions, text fragments, sites, and artworks in the last decade have added new pieces to the Gandharan puzzle, redefining how we understand the region and its cultural complexity.

The essays in this volume reassess Gandharan Buddhism in light of these findings, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that illuminates the complex historical and cultural dynamics of the region. By integrating archaeology, art history, numismatics, epigraphy, and textual sources, the contributors articulate the nature of Gandharan Buddhism and its practices, along with the significance of the relic tradition. Contributions by several giants in the field, including Shoshin Kuwayama, John Rosenfield, and the late Maurizio Taddei, set the geographical, historical, and archaeological parameters for the collection.

The result is a productive interdisciplinary conversation on the enigmatic nature of Gandharan Buddhism that joins together a number of significant pieces in a complex cultural mosaic. It will appeal to a large and diverse readership, including those interested in the early Buddhist religious tradition of Asia and its art, as well as specialists in the study of South and Central Asian Buddhist art, archaeology, and texts.

A Buddha Dharma Kyokai Foundation Book on Buddhism and Comparative Religion.


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About the author (2011)

Pia Brancaccio is assistant professor of art history in the department of Visual Studies at Drexel University. Kurt Behrendt is assistant curator in the department of Asian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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