This course is discontinued

REL2130 – The Anthropology of Buddhism

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Anthropologists have established a strong tradition for the study of Buddhism, particularly in Theravada Buddhism (South and South-East Asia), while the anthropology of Mahayana Buddhist societies (Himalaya, China, Tibet, Mongolia) is developing rapidly. The course discusses theoretical debates in the anthropological study of Buddhist societies using empirical data from both Theravada and Mahayana societies.

Learning outcome

The student will be introduced to analytical concepts and theoretical models in order to understand how Buddhism localizes in both Theravada and Mahayana societies. The main emphasis will be for the student to acquire knowledge of Buddhism as it is practiced in a local community.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Singular course students may apply after January 11th depending on capacity.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course requires good knowledge of English

Overlapping courses

The course overlap with REL4160.

Some of the courses offered at the Faculty of Arts may overlap with previous programmes of study such as “grunnfag”, “semesteremner” and “mellomfag”. The student must be sure that the course content does not overlap with programmes of study for which the student has received credit. For more information about overlapping of this course, please contact the department that offers the course.


The course consists of lectures and seminars (10 x 2 hours). The students’ written work is an integrated part of the course. The students alternate between writing their own semester assignment (term paper) and commenting upon other students’ semester assignments.

Compulsory assignments: A first draft of the semester assignment is to be submitted halfway through the semester. Fronter may be used in this course.

Deadlines will be published in the detailed teaching plan.

See the guidelines for compulsory assignments at HF


This examination consists of an integrated assessment where the grade is given on the basis of a term paper that the student has written, under the guidance of a supervisor, during the semester (8 - 10 pages, 2300 characters per page). The assignment will be available at the start of the semester.

The student must hand in an Obligatory statement regarding cheating along with the term paper.

The assessment is integrated in the course lessons and it is therefore not possible to sit for the exam unless the student is registered for the teaching component of the course.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Last time offered spring 2009. The course will be replaced by REL3010 The Antrophology of Buddhism


Last time offered spring 2009. The course will be replaced by REL3010 The Antrophology of Buddhism

Teaching language