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Buddhism Illuminated: Illustrated Manuscripts from Southeast Asia

Register for this Spring 2023 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website.
Discover the vibrant and beautiful art of Buddhist Southeast Asia through ancient manuscript illustrations. Covering Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar, we will contemplate Buddhism in all its forms by studying traditional palm leaf manuscripts and folding books. An encounter with poems, ordination texts, and philosophical treatises––and their illustrations––will open a door to major Buddhist narratives such as the life of the Buddha or the famous legend of the Buddhist monk Phra Malai. Through the examination of painted scenes, we will also cover Buddhist monastic life, its rules and key moments as well as the daily life of monks and nuns. By looking at these illustrations, we will examine how main Buddhist virtues are exemplified in a unique expression of Buddhist art. You will leave with a deep understanding of a specific form of Buddhist art that has a sacred scope, magnificent design language––and an enchanting taste for charming details. Spring 2023 tuition is $299.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with important sacred illustrated texts from Southeast Asia
  • A new appreciation for illuminated manuscripts
  • Knowledge about the life of the Buddha and Buddhist monastic life

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing arts professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.