Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road

Johan Elverskog , Southern Methodist University

The meeting of Buddhism and Islam is often conceived within a single moment, namely, the Turkic destruction of the famous monastery Nalanda, which purportedly ushered in the demise of Buddhism in India. And no doubt one reason this single event has come to symbolize the on-going 1300 year process of Buddhist-Muslim interaction lies in the fact that it readily confirms our preconceived imaginings: Islam is bad and violent, while Buddhism is good and peaceful. Yet clearly it was not so simple. The aim of this talk is therefore to problematize this image by exploring the cultural exchanges that took place between Buddhists and Muslims on the Silk Road.

Johan Elverskog is Altshuler University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University. His most recent book is Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road, which was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010, and winner of the American Academy of Religion's 2011 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion. During 2011-2012, he will be a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavorial Sciences at Stanford.

Co-sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Department of Religious Studies, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies, the Department of History, Stanford Humanities Center, the Silk Road Foundation


Thursday, April 26, 2012 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm
Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center.

Various - more details in event description