Gandharan Buddhism
328 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
110 b&w illustrations, 4 maps
Release Date:01 Jan 2007
Release Date:01 Jan 2007

Gandharan Buddhism

Archaeology, Art, and Texts

UBC Press

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.

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.




Introduction / Pia Brancaccio and Kurt Behrendt

1 Prologue: Some Debating Points on Gandharan Buddhism and Kusana History / John M. Rosenfield

Part I: Archaeology

2 Recent Archaeological Research in Gandhara: The New Evidence / Maurizio Taddei

3 Buddhist Presence in the Urban Settlements of Swat, Second Century BCE to Fourth Century CE / Pierfrancesco Callieri

4 Relic Shrines of Gandhara: A Reinterpretation of the Archaeological Evidence / Kurt Behrendt

Part II: Texts

5 Pilgrimage Route Changes and the Decline of Gandhara / Shoshin Kuwayama

6 New Manuscript Sources for the Study of Gandharan Buddhism / Richard Salomon

Part III: Art

7 Bodhisattvas in Gandharan Art: An Aspect of Mahayana in Gandharan Buddhism / Juhyung Rhi

8 The Nature and Use of the Bodily Relics of the Buddha in Gandhara / Robert L. Brown

9 Gateways to the Buddha: Figures under Arches in Early Gandharan Art / Pia Brancaccio

10 A Gandharan Relief with Two Scenes from Buddha’s Life / Anna Maria Quagliotti

11 Local Crafts in Early Gandharan Art / Doris Meth Srinivasan

12 Ananda and Vajrapani: An Inexplicable Absence and a Mysterious Presence in Gandharan Art / Anna Filigenzi

13 Design Diversity in Kaniska’s Buddha Coins / Ellen M. Raven



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