Buddhist interactions between ancient India and ancient China were complex and multifaceted. The uniqueness of these interactions and their importance to Asian and world history have been highlighted in textbooks as well as in recent scholarly and popular books. Despite the extensive coverage, many fundamental issues and commonly accepted notions need to be reexamined and rectified. This talk will focus on some of these issues by trying to answer the following four questions: What was the role of Indians in the early transmission of Buddhism to China? When and why did Buddhist interactions between India and China decline? Did Buddhism conquer China or was it transformed by the Chinese? Why did Hinduism, unlike Buddhism, fail to penetrate the Chinese society?
The lecture is free of charge but registration is required. Please R.S.V.P to firstname.lastname@example.org. This lecture is jointly organised by the Research and Publications Unit of the Asian Civilisations Museum and Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).
Tansen Sen is Associate Professor of Asian history and religions at the City University of New York, USA. He received his M.A. from Peking University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has special scholarly interests in Buddhism, India-China interactions, Indian Ocean trade, and Silk Road archeology. Prof. Sen is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 ( University of Hawai’i Press , 2003) and several articles on intra-Asian interactions. He is working on a monograph that examines cross-cultural trade in Asia during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He is currently a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, where he is heading the recently established Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre.
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