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Book: Buddhism in Five Minutes

Chapter: 50. Why do Buddhists Make Art?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40789


There is no term for “art” in Buddhist literature. Instead, the terms used make clear that what we understand as art today was made for a purpose. Buddhist texts also rarely explain this purpose, so the information has to be pieced together from scant references and the visual evidence itself. In the following, I focus on the Buddhist art of India and Tibet and consider the purpose of art parallel to the historical development of Buddhism.

Chapter Contributors

  • Christian Luczanits ( - cluczanits) 'SOAS'