This course is discontinued

REL4270 – Tibetan Literary Culture

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Tibetan literature is a major literary tradition in Asia, and is of crucial importance for the study of Buddhism.

There is a vast body of Buddhist texts translated into Tibetan from Sanskrit, chiefly during the 7th to the 12th centuries A.D.

From the early 11th century until today Tibetans have also produced their own Buddhist historical, biographical, and liturgical literature, as well as commentaries, meditational texts, poetry, works on logic, grammar, philosophy and medicine.

Since the middle of the 20th century a secular Tibetan literature consisting of poetry, essays, novels and short stories has emerged, written in a modern idiom.

A selection of texts from different genres of Tibetan litterature will be selected and studied in class. The course will alternate from semester to semester in the reading of historical and modern literature.

Learning outcome

  • an overview of Tibetan literary culture, from the 7th century A.D. to present times
  • familiarity with selected Tibetan religious texts


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.

Acceptance as a Master student in Asian and African Studies, East Asian Culture and History (program option) or History of Religion.


Teaching is given in the form of academic supervision. Some seminars will be given throughout the semester.

Students must sumbit an obligatory first draft of the semester assignment (1-3 pages).

The draft must be handed in within October 1st and approved by the teacher for the student to qualify for the final examination.

Guidelines for obligatory qualifying essays

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Semester essay (8 - 10 pages, excluding front page and literature).

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

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

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2016


Autumn 2016

Teaching language