SOAS University of London

Department of Religions and Philosophies

Theravada Buddhism among the Shan

Module Code:
Module Withdrawn
Unit value:
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Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective of this course is to explore the history and cultural manifestations of Shan Buddhism, in particular highlighting how it differs from other forms of Theravada Buddhism. 

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of the following topics and to have explored in depth a specific feature of Shan Buddhism or a Shan text:
the conjectured histories of Shan Buddhism

  • Shan Buddhist authorities, including textual, spatial and personal
  • features of Shan religious identity
  • salient features of Shan doctrine
  • aspects of Shan Buddhist practices, including ordination patterns, role of temple, media of transmission, festivals, soteriological, transformative, merit-making, communal and apotropaic practices
  • the visual forms of Shan Buddhism, especially temple layout and architecture, sacred art and dress, etc.
  • the recent and current threats to the practice and preservation of Shan Buddhism

Method of assessment

Coursework: one 3,000-word essay (60%); one oral exam (10%); two class tests (15% each)


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